Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

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downshiftme
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by downshiftme » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:59 pm

My parked car was hit in a parking lot by a driver who drove off. Fortunately bystanders got photos and the license plate identified the car.

On initial conversations, the at fault party was so sorry and would pay privately. After we got estimates, suddenly they had a cousin who could do the work in his shop much cheaper, they would pay that amount. At this point we gave up and not wanting to accept a repair from an unknown third party, processed the claim through their insurance. They in return denied being involved. When we told insurance we had photos, the story changed to it wasn't them driving. Then, the damage was already there. Then back to our estimates were wrong and the cousin's shop would be a better choice.

I'm glad I went through insurance because although it was a hassle to deal with their insurance, it was a lot easier than dealing with them as they squirmed every which way to avoid responsibility. In the end even insurance got tired of the stories and just authorized the shop (of our choice) to fix it. I'm now highly skeptical of any at-fault party who wants to deal without insurance.

delamer
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by delamer » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:14 pm

downshiftme wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:59 pm
My parked car was hit in a parking lot by a driver who drove off. Fortunately bystanders got photos and the license plate identified the car.

On initial conversations, the at fault party was so sorry and would pay privately. After we got estimates, suddenly they had a cousin who could do the work in his shop much cheaper, they would pay that amount. At this point we gave up and not wanting to accept a repair from an unknown third party, processed the claim through their insurance. They in return denied being involved. When we told insurance we had photos, the story changed to it wasn't them driving. Then, the damage was already there. Then back to our estimates were wrong and the cousin's shop would be a better choice.

I'm glad I went through insurance because although it was a hassle to deal with their insurance, it was a lot easier than dealing with them as they squirmed every which way to avoid responsibility. In the end even insurance got tired of the stories and just authorized the shop (of our choice) to fix it. I'm now highly skeptical of any at-fault party who wants to deal without insurance.
Seems to me that the fact that the at-fault party drove off to avoid taking responsibility should have been your first clue. :wink:

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dm200
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:05 am

The latest twist:

My wife told the car owner and the driver (owner's daughter or step daughter) that we were willing to work something out - without filing a claim on their insurance. Now, we are getting no response from owner - and, after the wrong insurance information about USAA - claims to have Progressive - we will attempt to file a claim with Progressive. My wife contacted Progressive by phone - and Progressive told her that they will get back to her after researching whether Progressive insures this vehicle.

If it turns out that the owner does not have Progressive - any ideas how to find out the correct insurance information if the car owner is not cooperative? My wife thinks calling the police would be a good idea. I don't think the police would get involved at this point because there were no injuries, the incident was not on a public street, and no indications of a "crime" - just a civil matter. We do have the cell phone numbers of both the owner and driver. My wife also found more information about the owner on the internet.

Seems to be an example of "No good deed goes unpunished" :oops:

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:19 am

Call your own insurance agent with the offender's license plate number. They will easily find all of the information you need. No, you won't file a claim, because you don't have collision, but any good agent will find out this information so you can follow up. Note that I have done this numerous times (my wife and I were separately hit from behind 6 times in a single year). With nothing but a plate number I received so much information, there was nothing I could think of that I'd want that I didn't already have.
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MileKing
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by MileKing » Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:47 am

If it's not clear the other party has auto insurance and auto insurance is mandatory in your state, you might consider reporting the incident to DMV. Your location is listed as Washington, DC area. If you are in VA or MD, both require auto insurance. (Not sure about DC itself.) A number of years ago when I lived in VA, my car was hit in a parking garage. I did not learn of the damage until I left work that evening. Two witnesses left notes with the plate number of the vehicle that hit mine and left the scene. My insurance company could not (or would not) follow-up on the plate number and wanted to process my claim under uninsured motorist coverage with a $250 or $500 deductible. I used a form available on the VA DMV site to provide DMV all the details of the incident, my insurance info, and my suspicion that the hit and run driver did not have insurance. Less than two weeks after submitting the form to DMV my insurance company contacted me to let me know that the driver had been tracked down. Things proceeded from there and my car was repaired with no out of pocket on my end. I'm not 100% certain, but believe DMV reported the insurance info of the other motorist to my insurance company.

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dm200
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:11 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:19 am
Call your own insurance agent with the offender's license plate number. They will easily find all of the information you need. No, you won't file a claim, because you don't have collision, but any good agent will find out this information so you can follow up. Note that I have done this numerous times (my wife and I were separately hit from behind 6 times in a single year). With nothing but a plate number I received so much information, there was nothing I could think of that I'd want that I didn't already have.
Thanks - I did not know this can be done.

If it turns out that the vehicle did not have Liability insurance, then I believe we could then file a claim on our own insurance - Uninsured Motorist.

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dm200
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:14 pm

MileKing wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:47 am
If it's not clear the other party has auto insurance and auto insurance is mandatory in your state, you might consider reporting the incident to DMV. Your location is listed as Washington, DC area. If you are in VA or MD, both require auto insurance. (Not sure about DC itself.) A number of years ago when I lived in VA, my car was hit in a parking garage. I did not learn of the damage until I left work that evening. Two witnesses left notes with the plate number of the vehicle that hit mine and left the scene. My insurance company could not (or would not) follow-up on the plate number and wanted to process my claim under uninsured motorist coverage with a $250 or $500 deductible. I used a form available on the VA DMV site to provide DMV all the details of the incident, my insurance info, and my suspicion that the hit and run driver did not have insurance. Less than two weeks after submitting the form to DMV my insurance company contacted me to let me know that the driver had been tracked down. Things proceeded from there and my car was repaired with no out of pocket on my end. I'm not 100% certain, but believe DMV reported the insurance info of the other motorist to my insurance company.
Thanks! Virginia DMV might actually be good for something! ;) We live in Virginia and this incident was also in Virginia. The owner of the other car also lives in Virginia. Since we have his home address, I thought about knocking on his door - BUT my wife found a photo of him online - and says he looks big, mean and tough!

squirm
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by squirm » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:21 pm

Why not just notify your insurance and make a police report? Are you trying to make friends with the dude who hit your car? If you go there, he'll just deny it, people are liars. Get a police report and your insurance involved.

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dm200
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:23 pm

squirm wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Why not just notify your insurance and make a police report? Are you trying to make friends with the dude who hit your car? If you go there, he'll just deny it, people are liars. Get a police report and your insurance involved.
Not at all. I just believe that the police will not be interested or do anything. I will leave that to my wife, though.

squirm
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by squirm » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:32 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:23 pm
squirm wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Why not just notify your insurance and make a police report? Are you trying to make friends with the dude who hit your car? If you go there, he'll just deny it, people are liars. Get a police report and your insurance involved.
Not at all. I just believe that the police will not be interested or do anything. I will leave that to my wife, though.
I would just make a trip to the station and file a report, what's the worst that can happen.

Katietsu
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by Katietsu » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:39 pm

When I was hit in a parking lot by a driver that drove off, I did as described in the post above. A couple days after the incident, I went to the police station and made a report. The police did not “do anything” but they did give me a copy of the report. he report helped with the insurance. I am guessing they figure that most people are less likely to lie to the police. I think by going to the police and taking only a tiny bit of time, I was able to the report filed and completed easily.

On the other hand, when I was rear ended with moderate damage, I was never able to get a report. I was, however, yelled at by the officer for calling the police. He emphatically reminded me that if both cars can drive away and no one is hurt, there is no need to divert a police officer.

I wonder if those on this forum who advocate the police for even parking lot fender benders live in high tax/HCOL communities with excess public resources. I did that for 4 years at one point in my life and was shocked to see a neighbor call the police for stolen push lawnmower.

MrBobcat
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by MrBobcat » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:53 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:23 pm
squirm wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Why not just notify your insurance and make a police report? Are you trying to make friends with the dude who hit your car? If you go there, he'll just deny it, people are liars. Get a police report and your insurance involved.
Not at all. I just believe that the police will not be interested or do anything. I will leave that to my wife, though.
Are you sure about that? Our state requires an accident report be filed (by the driver) for any apparent damage over $1000. Anyway I'd just go through your insurance at this point. The guy probably wanted to "handle it" because the insurance information his daughter gave you was no good.

My car got backed into in a parking lot and whoever did it left the scene. I got stuck coughing up my $1000 deductible but the uninsured motorist paid the difference.

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dm200
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:42 pm

The saga continues ... good news, I think.

Progressive confirmed he had no policy in effect on the date of the collision.

We filed with State Farm under our Uninsured Motorist coverage (Property Damage Liability). So, looks like State Farm will either pay for the car to be fully repaired OR, perhaps, pay us the "value" if the repair costs are higher than the "value" of the car.

When my wife first went to our State Farm agent's office, though, the woman there told my wife that Uninsured Motorist did not cover this - it only covered hit and run. So, my wife called me from there - and I said, "Nonsense!" - and talked to the woman there - who repeated that this was not covered. I then asked for a State Farm number to correct this - and then I called the State Farm claim office - that confirmed that I was right and the woman at the local State Farm office was wrong - and filed the claim.

One of my very few "disappointments" with State Farm! Fortunately, I was 99.99% sure this information was wrong - and followed up.

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dm200
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Re: Wife's car hit in a parking lot - how to deal with various issues?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:36 pm

Latest update - State Farm Uninsured Motorist will cover the full repairs at no charge to us. We drop off the car that the repair place next Tuesday. We will also, at the same time pick up a rental car, fully paid for by State Farm, to have until we get the fully repaired car back.
There was somewhat of a details mix-up at the Car Repair (Body Shop) - so my wife went there in person and cleared up everything.
One key to this all working out well was that my wife got a lot of information about the car that did the damage, the driver of that car, and the owner of that car.

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