Car accident, insurance questions

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walletless
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Car accident, insurance questions

Post by walletless » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:06 pm

I had an unfortunate incident in a supermarket parking area when I was driving in the aisle to exit the parking lot, and someone backed into my car from their parking spot. The other party is clearly at fault here, however their insurance company has been unable to contact the insured for over a week. The other party's insurance company is unable to authorize any fixes to car damages until they can complete the investigation, which requires them talking to the insured party.

So, now I am left with two options
1) Go through my own insurance, pay the collision deductible for now, and hope that my insurance can prove the other party at fault. This may increase my insurance premiums in future if they are unable to determine fault with other insurance.
or
2) Wait till the other party's insurance is able to complete their investigation. There is a time-bound 40 day limit here, which is too long for me to drive the car in the current condition.

For now, the other insurance company has adopted a "wait and watch" policy, where they have no updates for me when I call other than saying that they have not been able to contact their insured.

In addition to this, I also would like to file a Diminished Value claim once the fault is determined, I am quite confident that the other party will be at fault here (although you can never be 100% sure with insurance companies). Finally, my car had a child car seat in it. While it is hard to claim that the car seat had any impact, the insurance companies are not giving me any response on what I can expect in terms of getting it replaced.

Any suggestions on the best way to proceed in this scenario?
a) Should I go through my insurance's collision coverage for now?
b) What can I expect/demand for car seat replacement?
c) What documents should I try to gather to be ready to file diminished value claim? I already got an estimate from a local dealer (through their website) immediately after the accident. When filling out the car condition reported, I said "no accident", so I can get the offer value for the car before the accident. Hopefully once the repairs are complete, I can go back to the same dealer's site and get a new report with everything else same, but state that there were accident damages with the dollar amount of repair. Would that be enough paperwork to file a diminutive value claim?

If it matters, this is in CA state.
Last edited by walletless on Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:09 pm

Go through your own insurance.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:45 pm

This ^^^
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criticalmass
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by criticalmass » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm

Going direct to the at fault’s insurance works well unless you get no response or they aren’t cooperating. It looks like that’s the current status for you, so I would go through your own insurance without delay. They may have their own reporting timeline.

As for Diminished Value, put that aside until repairs are complete. Then you can try to claim it through the at fault’s insurance company using documented evidence of the reduction in value of the repaired vehicle.

Be prepared that you may to file suit against the at fault party (not their insurance company) before you collect anything for DV. But you may start with their insurance company as a first step. Insurance companies will try to tell you anything to convince you to drop the DV claim. (“They don’t cover DV,” “you haven’t sold the car, so no DV,” “your evidence is insufficient,” and so on. I’d give them two tries and then file suit, likely in small claims. Their hassle in dealing with you will likely exceed the DV if they let it go that far. You have the upper hand.

By the way, hopefully you have a police report or event number, if the damage on private property is too small for a report.

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walletless
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by walletless » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:59 pm

Thanks for the replies. I've contacted my insurance and started the claim. If anyone has info on car seat replacement, please do let me know.
criticalmass wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm
By the way, hopefully you have a police report or event number, if the damage on private property is too small for a report.
Unfortunately, no. In California police does not show up on private areas like parking lots unless there is injury, threat to life or death.

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dm200
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by dm200 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:06 pm

One possibility - if you are ready, willing and able to do so - is to physically go to the insured's home address and knock on the door. Or, perhaps go to the insured's place of work and ask to see him/her.

Search online for the insured's information, email, friends and relatives, etc.

More of a longshot might also be to go to that same grocery store at the same day and time in a following week - and look for him/her.

If you do any of these things - let us know..

I would also, such as every day, call the insured's insurance company an ask for the status.

gac1979
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by gac1979 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:22 pm

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Last edited by gac1979 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

niceguy7376
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by niceguy7376 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:29 pm

So I learnt some new things.
The At fault driver is not reachable by their Insurance company and thus the Ins company wont help the OP.

In CA, if incidents like these happen in private land, then it is upto the people involved in the accident to come to a conclusion as to who is at fault.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by deltaneutral83 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:33 pm

IANAL but have been in this situation but the diminished value part will likely depend on which state you live in because some states are more on top of this than others. You will no doubt have to get an appraisal or other written documentation of the new value vs what it would be without the accident and take either the person that hit you or the at fault insurance company to small claims court to even come close to getting the accurate diminished value. The things the at fault insurance company will tell you are quite honestly laughable regarding diminished value. It's almost as if the accident and subsequent carfax on your car increases your value according to them since you got new parts or body work, yea right!

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walletless
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by walletless » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:54 pm

niceguy7376 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:29 pm
So I learnt some new things.
The At fault driver is not reachable by their Insurance company and thus the Ins company wont help the OP.
Legally, the insurance companies are required to do a "good faith" service to their client, so they cannot determine fault and authorize repairs without hearing back from their client within some number of days (which happen to be 40 days according to my adjuster).
In CA, if incidents like these happen in private land, then it is upto the people involved in the accident to come to a conclusion as to who is at fault.
That is not correct. The police does not show up on private properties (unless there is loss of life, accident or perceived threat to life), but it's not up to the people involved in accident to determine fault. You can take photographs/videos/eyewitnesses and provide them to the insurance company, and let them battle it out to determine fault.

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greg24
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by greg24 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:55 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:06 pm
One possibility - if you are ready, willing and able to do so - is to physically go to the insured's home address and knock on the door. Or, perhaps go to the insured's place of work and ask to see him/her.
The person is avoiding their insurer because they are at fault. I do not expect them to react well if the other party shows up at their house.

A punch in the nose may be the result.

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walletless
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by walletless » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:57 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm
Be prepared that you may to file suit against the at fault party (not their insurance company) before you collect anything for DV.
Thanks for this! Super useful. One clarification - are you suggesting that for Diminished Value claim, I need to sue the insured party instead of the insurance company (if they refuse to pay)? This seems a little off to me - the insurance company is the one that is required to pay DV, so why sue the insured person?

gac1979
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by gac1979 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:02 pm

walletless wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:57 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm
Be prepared that you may to file suit against the at fault party (not their insurance company) before you collect anything for DV.
Thanks for this! Super useful. One clarification - are you suggesting that for Diminished Value claim, I need to sue the insured party instead of the insurance company (if they refuse to pay)? This seems a little off to me - the insurance company is the one that is required to pay DV, so why sue the insured person?
Because the person is the tortfeasor. In most states, you sue the owner or operator (or both) and the insurance company provides a lawyer to represent their insured. The insurance company then pays the settlement or judgment.

criticalmass
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by criticalmass » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:34 pm

walletless wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:57 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:55 pm
Be prepared that you may to file suit against the at fault party (not their insurance company) before you collect anything for DV.
Thanks for this! Super useful. One clarification - are you suggesting that for Diminished Value claim, I need to sue the insured party instead of the insurance company (if they refuse to pay)? This seems a little off to me - the insurance company is the one that is required to pay DV, so why sue the insured person?
The insurance company didn't hit your vehicle nor cause you to suffer diminished value. Your complaint is with the party who did.

The insurance company may represent their insured, and you are free to give them an opportunity to do so before filling a civil suit. Once you do, the insured will certainly use the insurance company to defend them, which may include settling with you.

Please understand that nobody is "required" to pay you DV compensation unless a court orders such. Most parties would likely prefer to avoid having to go that far.

Helo80
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by Helo80 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:05 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:06 pm
One possibility - if you are ready, willing and able to do so - is to physically go to the insured's home address and knock on the door. Or, perhaps go to the insured's place of work and ask to see him/her.

Search online for the insured's information, email, friends and relatives, etc.

More of a longshot might also be to go to that same grocery store at the same day and time in a following week - and look for him/her.

If you do any of these things - let us know..

I would also, such as every day, call the insured's insurance company an ask for the status.

Do you really live in DC? Won't that get you (possibly) a bullet in the head?

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Kenkat
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by Kenkat » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:37 pm

Was there a child in the car seat at the time of impact? If not, I can’t imagine why you would want to replace it for what sounds like a parking lot fender bender. The car seat probably absorbed more impact force when they shipped it new from China or wherever it was made.

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dm200
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:39 am

Helo80 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:05 pm
dm200 wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:06 pm
One possibility - if you are ready, willing and able to do so - is to physically go to the insured's home address and knock on the door. Or, perhaps go to the insured's place of work and ask to see him/her.
Search online for the insured's information, email, friends and relatives, etc.
More of a longshot might also be to go to that same grocery store at the same day and time in a following week - and look for him/her.
If you do any of these things - let us know..
I would also, such as every day, call the insured's insurance company an ask for the status.
Do you really live in DC? Won't that get you (possibly) a bullet in the head?
On the other side of the river - in Arlington, Virginia.

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SmallCityDave
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Re: Car accident, insurance questions

Post by SmallCityDave » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:49 am

Kenkat wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:37 pm
Was there a child in the car seat at the time of impact? If not, I can’t imagine why you would want to replace it for what sounds like a parking lot fender bender. The car seat probably absorbed more impact force when they shipped it new from China or wherever it was made.
I agree about the car seat it's a bit of a stretch and diminished value..... I'm surprised we aren't talk about suing for emotional distress.

What type of car are we talking about? I wouldn't want to be in your position but at the end of the day it's a car.

Recently we were in an fender bender, the adjuster came out and wrote the estimate for $1800-1900 I was a bit surprised because it bent up the bumper and there was a 1 inch scratch I told the adjuster that the estimate was high unless there was frame damage (there wasn't) he said it was what it was. I took it to the shop and showed them the estimate, I asked them to install a bumper the cost was $600 now the truck is better than before the accident.

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