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    Car hit in back Insurance Situation

    My husband was hit in the back at a very high speed by a teen driver. He had to put the brakes on to keep from being propelled into the intersection. It was at a stop sign.

    He did not try to get out to get witnesses. The kid gets out and openly and in a friendly manner admits it was all his fault. They exchange insurance info.

    Hubby calls me. I am more concerned about him having his head rest up and if he got a whiplash.
    And if he is able to drive. I assure him a rear end hit is usually no fault. The person hitting the backend of a car is automatically at fault.

    Or so I thought.

    This kid gets home and his father calls their insurance company immediately and then all of sudden the other insurance company's agent (of a very little known ins. co. - have never even heard of them) is grilling my husband on the phone of how "you backed into our insured's car at a stop sign and caused all this damage".

    Of course my husband tells the truth about the situation. And then calls our ins. company (one of the best by the way USAA).

    He has taken in the truck for a damage appraisal (and it is in the thousands even though the truck is driveable).

    But the thing is we could end up paying the deductible of $500.00 (ouch!) for it to be repaired depending on if it is contested, etc.

    The absurdity of it all and this truck is almost paid off in just a few months.

    Lessons learned already:

    Immediately call your own ins. company after making sure everyone is ok.

    Always call the police to come out. The rule used to be if it was thought to be over $250.00 damage - the cost of cars/repairs now makes that very easily reached.

    If someone is admitting it is their fault - have them write that statement and sign it on the paper of exchanged insurance info.

    Here we are going to be possibly liable (raised insurance rates/on Husband's ins. record of being at fault/contested) and pay out a deductible.

    We are still in the process right now, but am just shocked.

    We do have an EF (how glad I always insist on this but it has taken a battering this past year).

    From a legal standpoint it is just not worth taking to a small claims court.

    Any feedback by anyone with this experience is appreciated.

    Do ins. agents 'fight it out' or does the appraisal of damages usually tell what really happened, is a lesser known or unknown co. going to be intimidated to go up against a
    more well known established co., etc...

    I just do not know much about insurance industry but am quickly learning.

    #2
    That is interesting. (Well, sukcy in your case).

    The only accidents I have been involved in were being rear-ended (though my parked car has been hit many times). I Can't even tell you how many times - my first car had a bullseye on it, I swear. It has always been VERY open and shut - other insurance company always rushed me a check. I did always call my insurance company as a FYI - in case they got involved.

    I would think if your insurer investigates it at all, it would be pretty obvious that hubby was rear-ended. & I would think it would be in your insurers best interest to be involved. I would think that you have all the evidence you need - the car. No advice though.

    I will think twice about not calling the police for a minor fender bender. Yeesh.

    Actually, I remember my mom getting hit by a teen driver and going through something similar. The insurance companies straightened it out - the teen was clearly lying. I am sure it happend a lot, and if your spouse has a good driving record, I also assume he would be more credible. Good Luck.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by PetMom View Post
      "you backed into our insured's car at a stop sign and caused all this damage."
      There is, as you have found out, no such thing as an "always at fault" situation; despite the common saying about being hit in the rear. I learned this when I was a juror in a case where a driver rear-ended another.

      In accident situations, unless it is just a very minor bump and the two drivers are going to both go on their way as if nothing happened, call the police. Period.

      And, you shouldn't have to pony up $500, which I assume is your comprehensive deductible. Most insurers have a separate deductible, usually rather small compared to your collision and comprehensive deductibles, for when the accident is the other party's fault and they are going to (a) have to fight it out with the other insurer or (b) the other party is uninsured and they are going to pursue him. I had a situation where the latter was the case and I paid $100. The insurance company went after the driver. If they have recouped the expenses from him, I would have received my $100 back. Since they did not, I did not get my $100 back but my car was repaired without another penny out of pocket. Also, the accident and claim did not affect my insurance record or premium.


      Comment


        #4
        You always want to call the police. I was in an accident about a year ago and I called 911 to report it and have them send an officer. They told me to simply exchange info and that we did not need the police. I told them it was a case of road rage that caused the accident and I did not want to get out of my vehicle to exchange info. They sent an officer. (wasnt exactly a case of road rage but I wanted an officer on site asap)

        I was glad to have a police report with the other party at fault since they tried telling their insurance agency that it was my fault. Funny part was the other party that hit me admitted to the the cop that it was their fault.

        For gods sake people no matter what if you're in an accident call the police. Unfortunately you cannot trust anyone.

        Comment


          #5
          Laws vary by state.

          In MA, if you have collision coverage, and reporting being rear ended, and have heavy rear end damage to the rear bumper of your car, the insurance company will waive your deductible. The one I work for does. I have never seen a case where we didn't. Because we waive, even in 50/50 conflicting story type sitiations. It's called good customer service.

          Perhaps laws are different where you live though.

          Regardless, any claims adjuster worth their salt is going to look at the amount of damage to your car and the location of the accident and statements. If you were stopped at a stop sign (and the other driver admits that he was stopped as well) and you backed into him, you simply would not have the time or speed to cause the same amount of damage that a driver who is already in motion moving forward could cause to a stopped car. So thus, his statement does not match the damages and yours does.

          If you can't get your ded. waived, I would use that explanation and demand that the insurance company look deeper into it.

          Comment


            #6
            As usual always good advice, tips and experience in this forum.

            thanks for all feedback - and I am gearing for the $500.00 comprehensive ded. if they find Hubby is at fault (sort of financially bracing for that just in case).

            I had no idea we can ask the insurer to look deeper into it as BlackDiamond suggested and also ask for deduction waived. Or as Poundwise posted that there are different deductibles.

            Thanks so much.

            And always call the police - lesson learned - the above posted road rage was a good example -there was not any road rage but it got a cop out there and
            With the cost of things/repairs and driving records to keep intact a fender bender could easily escalate into something ugly quickly.

            Comment


              #7
              The state I now live in requires police to go to all accidents, regardless of amount of damage, ect. You can move the accident scene unless in the case of completely blocking traffic.

              Good luck, PetMom. I think USAA will treat you right.
              My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

              Comment


                #8
                I don't work for USAA but I talk to reps from there all the time and I will say they are one of the more stand up, pleasant to deal with companies I talk to. I think you'll be fine.

                Remember, insurance is an industry with heavy competition. They NEED you as much as you need them. They should be on your side.

                Comment


                  #9
                  One trick I learned, use your cell phone at the scence to take pictures and if possible record the other drivers statement.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Such good ideas - every post.

                    I am making a list and having it right there in the car, doing drills on what to do, having insurance co. phone number right there, etc. You are just always so concerned if anyone is
                    hurt, but now we have to be ready for someone to flat out lie to get out of something.

                    This teen's father was so swift they (or their ins. co.) contacted our ins. co. before we did.

                    Fortunately our ins. co. found out from the evidence of the car damage that husband was not at fault.

                    Now waiting for other ins. co. to decide on their inspecition of damages.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by PetMom View Post
                      This kid gets home and his father calls their insurance company immediately and then all of sudden the other insurance company's agent (of a very little known ins. co. - have never even heard of them) is grilling my husband on the phone of how "you backed into our insured's car at a stop sign and caused all this damage".
                      That is unbelievable.. What the hell, does that even actually happen? Who reverses at a stop sign?

                      I've never been in an accident and just realized after reading through this thread that I would be so screwed too if I was in the same situation. Great advice! Gonna go play with the blackberry now

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Follow up:

                        Our ins. company found from damages it was not our fault (or they are calling it officially "word for word"). The teen's ins. found it was my husband's fault.

                        My ins. agent told me they really cannot tell whose fault it is from damage on a
                        vehicle.

                        We now have to pay the full $500.00 deductible to get the car repaired. And they
                        sent the check to the repair service already and they do not take payments! Literally, our
                        poor emergency fund. They cheerfully suggested we put it on a credit card.

                        I was against small claims court but someone told us to do this just to get them
                        in court to explain (or perjure) in front of a judge. Supposedly you can do cross
                        examination, present evidence, get witnesses if you have them. Make junior
                        and papa squirm a bit.

                        But still, we have to come up with the filing fee to start the procedure and that
                        is not cheap.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by seen View Post
                          That is unbelievable.. What the hell, does that even actually happen? Who reverses at a stop sign?

                          I've never been in an accident and just realized after reading through this thread that I would be so screwed too if I was in the same situation. Great advice! Gonna go play with the blackberry now
                          A few years ago I was sitting behind a car at an intersection waiting to turn left. All of the sudden my car felt like it got rear ended. I looked up in my rear view mirror, but no cars were behind me. I then looked forward, the car infront of me had reversed straight into me. The driver got out and started yelling at me at which point I had to point out that her car's reverse lights were still on. She ran back to her car, put it in drive and moved away. She then appoligized, we still called the police. So believe it or not this does happen.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by PetMom View Post
                            Follow up:

                            Our ins. company found from damages it was not our fault (or they are calling it officially "word for word"). The teen's ins. found it was my husband's fault.

                            My ins. agent told me they really cannot tell whose fault it is from damage on a
                            vehicle.

                            We now have to pay the full $500.00 deductible to get the car repaired. And they
                            sent the check to the repair service already and they do not take payments! Literally, our
                            poor emergency fund. They cheerfully suggested we put it on a credit card.

                            I was against small claims court but someone told us to do this just to get them
                            in court to explain (or perjure) in front of a judge. Supposedly you can do cross
                            examination, present evidence, get witnesses if you have them. Make junior
                            and papa squirm a bit.

                            But still, we have to come up with the filing fee to start the procedure and that
                            is not cheap.
                            Threaten to take the insurance co of the teen to small claims as well. It likely won't even go to court before the cave. Be a PITA. Call every day. Demand to speak to managers and dept. heads. Fight it. You will win.

                            I work in insurance claims. People who make PITA of themselves always get what they want, even when they are wrong. 9 times out of 10, it's cheaper to make them just go away.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I am also appalled that your insurance company is not waiving your ded as a common customer courtesy. We sometimes find 50/50 in these situations but that means our insured ALWAYS gets their ded waived and no premium increase.

                              Comment

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