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Auto Accidents: Making Sure the Other Party’s Insurance Pays When You Are Not at Fault

The year 2013 started out with a bang for me, literally. This past January, I was involved in an auto accident that totaled my car, which was no fault of my own. My daughter and I had just dropped off my teenage son at work, stopped to do an errand, and were on our way home. While nearing an intersection of four lanes of traffic, two lanes each in opposite directions, I was in the left lane. I saw a black car quickly approach a stop sign at a side street where there was also a turn lane present. The car barely even slowed down, and sped out into oncoming traffic, crossing the turn lane, the right lane, and my lane of oncoming traffic. I recall saying out loud to my daughter, “Seriously! Is this guy really going to pull out in front of me?”. At the same time, I began braking, realizing he really was going to pull right out in front of us. I quickly glanced to see if I could switch lanes, but there was traffic coming up in the right lane behind me, and a meridian separating the lanes from the cars going other direction on my left. There was no other choice but to slam on the brakes, keep control of the car, and pray that it stopped in time to prevent a collision.

Thankfully, I was traveling in a 30mph speed zone and had been fully aware of when the other car pulled out into oncoming traffic. I was unable to fully stop but had slowed down to the point where my car was traveling at a slow enough speed that the damage was minimized. My daughter and I suffered only a bad scare and a slight bump on the impact that felt like nothing more than a good hit from a bumper car. My car, however, didn’t fare as well.

To make a long story short, when speaking to the insurance adjuster of the other driver’s company, they originally wanted to pay only 80% of my expenses. After explaining every detail of the accident to her, it was then estimated that 100% of my expenses would be covered. However, later, after calling a collision repair service that works with their insurance company, another adjuster calls me to say they would be picking up only 80%. Well, I wasn’t having any of this when the accident was 100% not my fault. After yet another phone call to another adjuster that evening, and having the collision repair service phone the insurance company to check on what percentage they were paying, they were still holding out at 80%. So, I phoned yet another adjuster and explained the entire matter to him, providing valuable details that convinced him to override the previous decision and agree to pay 100% of my repairs. He said, ” After hearing what you just told me, I 100% agree with you, it was all on our guy.” Needless to say, I was satisfied, especially since my car ended up being a total loss and I was cut a check that enabled me to replace my vehicle.

If you ever find yourself in this type of situation, don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights. When you are totally convinced you were not at fault, you shouldn’t be stuck with paying for repairs. Here are some tips I learned to help ensure your account of the accident will help you get what you deserve.

1) Get a copy of the police report, if needed. I was only handed a little account of the accident with insurance information at the scene, but if you find you need the report, they can be obtained for a small fee from your local police station, usually a day or so after the accident. I ended up not needing mine but instead told my account.

2) Remember the details that will help your case. At the scene of the accident, you will obviously be shaken up, if not injured, and it’s not the best time to recall details. Try to think about it before the insurance adjuster calls, to recall important details you may not remember at the scene.

3) The details that helped me prove my innocence was that my story backed up the fact that I was paying attention, reacted quickly in the only possible way I could, and had managed to safely bring my car down to slow enough speed that his accelerating car literally clipped the front end off with his back end. This was especially important since the point of impact was on his rear driver’s end. By telling the adjuster that I retrieved my headlight from the scene, miraculously, with bulb and plastic lens unbroken, this proved that I had responded as I should have and was at a near stop when we collided. It all corroborated my story about how my front end came to hit his rear end and explained why he literally ripped my front bumper off.

4) Letting the adjuster know that the driver admitted guilt on the scene, and also admitted it to the responding officer was also helpful, proving I had a witness other than myself who heard his confession. The fact that the other driver received a citation for failure to yield at a stop intersection was also useful to me.

The point is, if I had listened to other adjusters, everything would have been left as is, and I would be without a car because 20% of what it would cost to fix it was not in my budget. If you honestly feel you’re being treated unfairly, stand up for yourself. Call and ask to speak with another adjuster, explain yourself thoroughly, be polite and keep your cool, and you may find you get a different result. This agent explained that people’s opinions vary and determinations of liability are a complicated matter, but when you have such a strong case against the other person, exercise your right to be treated fairly, and they just might listen. If all else fails, get your own insurance company in on the action to help you get your needed repairs and to come to your defense against the other insurance company. Considering all these facts and situations, Need Cheap Insurance? Then all you have to do is click here and get the very best auto insurance policies with best rates and premiums. 

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