Mustang Bullitt Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last Friday my Dad was driving our business truck, a 1995 F150, towing our trailer. A woman pulled out across traffic and the truck hit the side of her vehicle, caving in the side of her 2000 Buick over a foot. When I arrived, at first, the damage looked moderate to the truck. But, upon further inspection there was quite a bit of frame damage to the truck. As he tried to steer to avoid her, the right front took most of the impact and with the weight of the trailer the frame somewhat buckled. She was charged with the accident.

I didn't like the way it was handled in the first place, everything seemed centered around her and getting her car taken care of. They expected me to just drive the truck off. The bumper was pushed into the tire and the tow truck for her vehicle had to pull the bumper out just for me to move it. Then the fan was banging into something and I couldn't open the hood to find out what it was. They finally called a tow truck for my truck and trailer and I had to pay the $85 for the 3 mile trip out out of my pocket :mad:

Later that day, her insurance company as well as mine, State Farm contacted us and said they could not get an adjuster out until Monday or Tuesday. That was pretty bad, considering the truck is a business vehicle and insured that way. Meanwhile we sat idle Friday and Saturday with no truck.

Today the adjuster, representing the other party, showed up and immediately said he was not going to total the truck even before starting the estimate. I am not sure if he even realized we were also a long time State Farm insured :???: I went over with him that I would not accept a vehicle that dog tracked down the road. He assured me that the frame would be straightened perfectly. I still see way too many trucks, vans and other full frame vehicles that dog track after so-called frame straightening.

The estimate he came up with was $4124. He had figured in salvage parts for the repair and, what appeared to be, heavily discounted labor rates. He asked me where I might take it and I told him probably the Ford dealer. He said I would need to present his estimate when I took the truck in. He said ford would go over it but he had no doubt it was fixable. After he left I got to thinking about it and he was picking my truck apart (it's high mileage, but has been maintained pretty well) and then I started thinking "why am I getting used parts?" The other driver was at fault.

Next, I try to get a rental truck. I call the claims office and am informed the computers are down and to call back in a couple hours. Two hours later they offer no help on finding a rental. Where do you find a truck rental company that will allow trailer towing? Apparently they didn't know either. They just sent me out on my own. I found one 100 miles away, but kept checking all day. At 5 pm I located a truck rental outfit that could get me a truck tomorrow. We are now at 3 days without a truck. Now I will have to pay for the entire rental and turn a bill into State Farm to get it paid.

I am starting to feel like second class here :mad: No one seems to want to do anything. What should I do now? Should I go ahead and take it to Ford? It really isn't driveable so I am limited to maybe one other local bodyshop. As far as the used parts, why should I except that? He admitted they were about $1000 from totalling it. I figure with the rental and likely additional work required to make this truck right, they will be over the mark.

Any advice would be appreciated. I really feel like I am being pushed around like I knew was gonna happen.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 01GTB on 2002-04-02 01:39 ]</font>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,362 Posts
It's your right to have new parts installed and if not, they'll have to give you a lifetime warranty on all repairs related to the accident.

You are entitled to loss of use for your business, but you'll need to document what and how you lost money by not being able to use the truck. You're also entitled to a rental truck if you need it while the wreck is out of service. You just can't sit back and expect to be paid automatically for loss of use, you need to do your part to help mitigate damages. At least this is how a court would see it.

What you need to do is quit jerking around with her insurance company. Call your agent and file a claim with your own company. You'll probably initially have to pay the deductible, but your company will subrugate the claim against her's to recover their outlay of money and your deductible.

Here's the real catch.

Her insurance isn't required to pay you one dime, their job is to cover her and their own stockholders' interests.

You want to see that insurance company get off the pot, file a personal lawsuit against her! She'll run screaming and hollering to her agent to get her out of the suit and they'll pay up in a hurry and start playing nice to keep her from filing a suit against them!

Trust me, I've been through this a few times over the years and it works every time! :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,362 Posts
P.S.

And how is your dad feeling?
Sore neck?
Bad dreams?
Headaches?

Get my drift?

The more you get jerked around, the more dad hurts! :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Talk to a local lawyer but you have no need to deal with the other parites carrier-take the truck to a Ford dealer and get the FORD dealer to do an estimate of what it will cost to do it right, including FORD parts. Give that ESTIMATE to the other woman's carrier (State Farm?) and tell them that is what they will be paying and if they do not agree you will be suing their insured. You should have a small claims court system in your State-most even have helpers for the processs. Go to court with your Ford Dealer estimate-the small clams jusdge will not be impressed if the woman shows up withthe cheapo State Farm estimate. You also have loss of use of the vehicle-on a personal vehicle this is not much $25 a day or so-cost of a cheap rental but here you have a commerical vehicle loss--did you loss business etc that can be verfiied, higher than normal replacement rental costs etc --they are all in order here. Even if you could not get a rental for a couple of days-the commercial truck was still out of operation-and if it would have been in operation on those days you are entitled to loss of use for those days. You may find with the high loss of use potential-I can see hundreds of dollars per day on a business vehile and the cost of the repairs at a shop of your chosing that the carrier may wake up quickly and decide it will be cheaper to total out the truck and pay you off, quickly. good luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,988 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How does this work if we are both insured by the same company? My agent is very aware of the accident, but I guess I'll need to go back down there tomorrow. It seems this may be a worse case scenario.

As bad as being 3 days behind without a truck is, I would be completely happy with them being fair on the damage to my truck and getting a rental. Also, what are your thoughts on frame damage?

Thanks for the advice :smile:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: 01GTB on 2002-04-02 02:54 ]</font>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,362 Posts
Just because you're insured by the same company doesn't mean you still can't sue her personally.

The law here in Nevada and California gives you, the owner the right to have your truck fixed at a place of your choosing. I'm sure Florida is the same, but check with the Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Insurance Commision or whatever Gov't. Agency oversees
regulations and rights concerning repairs.

Go to Ford, get an estimate along with an appraisel of the value before the wreck. Also, you're entitled to diminished value, because if the truck is fixed, and you want to sell it, you are required to disclose major accident repairs. The prospective buyer will offer you less because it's been previously wrecked, thus, diminished value.

Factor all this together and demand they pay to fix it with new parts and guarantee the repairs, compensate you for diminished value or total it. Plus pay for any present and future medical expenses for your dad, loss of use and loss of business.

Tell them if they don't see things your way, you will sue her and let a judge decide.

They'll straighten up quick.

Don't let them bullshit you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,362 Posts
P.S.

I copied this from the Florida Bar Ass'n.


What To Do In Case Of An Automobile Accident

1. STOP

Florida law requires the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident to immediately stop at the scene. You should make sure you do not block traffic any more than necessary. If the accident involved an unattended vehicle or other property, you should attempt to locate the owner. If you cannot find the owner, then you are required to leave a conspicuous note, giving your name, address and vehicle registration number. You must immediately notify police of the accident.

If the accident involved an attended vehicle or property, both drivers must stop at or close to the scene, without obstructing traffic any more than is absolutely necessary.

2. ASSIST THE INJURED

Your first responsibility in the event of an accident with an occupied car or property is to find out if anyone is hurt. If someone is seriously injured, get an ambulance, rescue squad, or doctor immediately. You are required to provide the injured person all reasonable assistance, including attempting to obtain treatment for the injured or transportation to a doctor or hospital. However, you should not attempt to provide treatment for injuries yourself unless you are trained in first aid. Even with good intentions you may make the injury worse if you do not know what you are doing.

3. PROTECT THE SCENE

The cars should be left where they came to rest unless they are blocking traffic. While it is important to protect the accident scene, obstructing traffic can delay the arrival of police or emergency vehicles or even cause another accident. For this reason, it is essential that you carefully note the positions of any vehicles involved in the accident that are obstructing traffic—and then move them .

The use of flares, flashlights, or your car's four-way flashers can help provide warning to other drivers of the accident scene.

4. NOTIFY AUTHORITIES

All accidents do not require police notification. Only accidents involving injury to or death of any person or damage in excess of $500.00 requires police notification. All other accidents (minor in nature as defined by the Statute) do not have to be reported to the police as long as the drivers exchange information or notice is given to an unattended vehicle or property of the cause of the damage.

Written reports of accidents have to be made to the Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within ten (10) days after an accident which results in bodily injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property of an apparent amount of at least $500.00 unless an investigating police officer has made a written report having been notified of such accident.

5. PROVIDE REQUIRED INFORMATION

You are required by law to provide the other driver in an accident with your name, address, and vehicle registration number, and to let the driver see your license. You are entitled to the same. Always ask to see a driver's license, and copy down the number as well as his name and address. You are also required to provide the investigating officer with whatever information is needed to determine the cause of the accident. The statements you make to the officer alone to assist the investigation are privileged. If you are charged or sued, they cannot be used against you in court.

6. DO NOT COMMENT

With the exception of your exchange of required information, you should not comment on the accident. Keep your notes and opinions to yourself. Do not admit you were wrong or careless. Such admissions, made in the tension and excitement of the moment, may be accurate, but they could turn out to be costly. There is time to admit responsibility after the facts are all in if they clearly show you were wrong. If the accident was a serious one, you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible before arriving at any agreements with anyone, and before making any admissions. A plea of guilty to a traffic charge may sometimes be used against you in a lawsuit to establish your civil liability for damages.

7. OBTAIN WITNESSES

Get the names and addresses of all the witnesses you can. Attempt to have them write down or at least state to you what they know, at the scene. Keep a pencil and pad in your car so you will be able to make necessary notes.

8. TAKE NOTES

Sketch a diagram of the scene, pace off distances, and note skid marks, broken glass, positions of the cars, and locations of damage. If you have a camera with you, take photos of the scene. Try to clarify what happened in your own mind while events are still fresh. Write down all you have noted as you will forget a great many details in a short period of time.

9. WHEN TO LEAVE

After you have assisted the injured, obtained identification from the other driver, provided your own name, address and identification, gotten the names of witnesses, studied the scene so that you know what happened to cause the accident, and assisted the investigating officer, you are free to go. You should ask for the officer's permission to leave prior to doing so.

10. SEE A DOCTOR

Serious injuries do not always show immediate symptoms. It would be wise to have your doctor examine you as soon as possible even if you are uncertain if you sustained an injury.

11. BILL OF RIGHTS

Florida has personal injury protection insurance which is known as "no-fault insurance," which all vehicle owners are required by law to carry. This insurance will potentially reimburse expenses up to $10,000.

Your insurance company will pay 80 percent to all reasonable expenses for necessary medical care and treatment. Such benefits may also include remedial treatment and services recognized and permitted under the laws of the state for an injured person who relies upon spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with his or her religious beliefs. Your insurance company will also pay 60 percent of any loss of gross income or loss of earning capacity. They will also pay 60 percent of all expenses reasonably occurred in obtaining from other ordinary and necessary services in lieu of those that, but for the injury, the injured person would have performed for the benefit of the household. Please note that just because you or your doctor feel expenses are related to the accident that does not guarantee payment.

Your insurance contract may also have medical payments coverage. Your insurance company must apportion claims between the PIP and medical payments coverage to maximize your benefits and you should request that it do so.

Check your coverage carefully and review your policy with legal counsel.

When an injury claim is filed under a no-fault insurance policy, the company must send you a "bill of rights"—a state-approved form explaining precisely what benefits you are entitled to and how quickly the company must pay them. The law provides interest on covered PIP benefits not timely paid. It also provides for fines to be assessed against PIP insurers by the Department of Insurance for failure to pay benefits within the prescribed time. See your lawyer for more details.

12. COMPLY WITH INSURANCE LAWS

Everyone who lives in Florida or who operates a motor vehicle here for over 90 days a year must have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

If you are also entitled to receive similar benefits from a major medical or disability insurance policy, Medicare, military pension benefits, or other sources, you should ask your auto insurance company about a policy which will provide a deduction to allow for such other payments. The rates on such a policy may be significantly cheaper than standard policy rates. Since most other insurance policies protect the company against double payments for the same expenses, you may not lose any benefits with the larger deductible.

13. OPTIONAL COVERAGE

You may also purchase insurance to cover damage to your auto, auto liability insurance, medical payments coverage and uninsured motorist coverage.

Auto liability insurance may be very important to you. It protects those who are "insureds" from legal liability for bodily injury or property damage to others, caused by auto accidents. Further, the insurer agrees to defend insureds against all liability claims for which coverage is afforded. Please note if you do not purchase enough coverage you may be personally held responsible for damages over your policy limit.

Auto liability is the most common way of complying with the Florida Financial Responsibility Law.

Uninsured Motorist Protection should seriously be considered and may be one of the best bargains in auto insurance. In effect, you are establishing insurance coverage for those situations in which the other at fault driver is uninsured or insufficiently insured. If you or someone else under your policy was seriously injured, a claim could be made against your own carrier for all damages recognized by the laws of Florida.

14. MAKE NO PAYMENTS

The driver of the other car cannot force you to pay anything without legal proceedings, and you or the other driver's insurance company must pay for damages in many instances. Accordingly, you should carefully consider the circumstances before making payments to the other driver for damage to car or property. You would be prudent to seek the advice of your insurance agent and your lawyer.

15. DISPUTES REGARDING PIP BENEFITS

In the event you are having a dispute with the insurer for PIP benefits you may demand mediation of the claim before resorting to the courts by filing a request with the Department of Insurance on a form provided by the department. For a small fee, mediation is an informal process whereby a neutral mediator selected by the Department of Insurance will work together with you and the insurer to resolve the dispute. You may reach the department at a local service office or call 1-800-342-2762. You should consult an attorney prior to such proceedings in order to ensure your rights are fully protected.

16. SELECT YOUR OWN LAWYER

Do not allow anyone to rush you into a settlement. You may be entitled to significantly more, or, conversely, you may not be obligated to pay as much. By consulting a lawyer you will safeguard your own rights. Attorneys are designated in specialties to aid in selection. Any attempt by lawyers to contact you for employment without your request should be reported to The Florida Bar. You must select counsel and be wary of attempts to solicit you as a client.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
It sounds like Florida is a no fault state. Your own insurance company pays for damage to you're vehicle and medical bills if your injured. You probably can only sue if you're seriously injured but ask your agent. Car rental is probably a coverage you must have on your policy to be reimbursed but EVERY STATE'S INSURANCE LAWS ARE DIFFERENT. The towing bill should be paid as part of the claim. All insurance companies use new and used parts that are supposed to meet manufacturers specifications. Ask your agent if they have a direct repair facilities that State Farm guarantees repairs. I'm a AAA agent in Michigan and I'm estimating what the law's are in
Florida. $4,100 in damages is not much damage but if you're willing to take the loss they'll total it and give you the $4,100. If I can be of any help just let me know

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: barry bullitt on 2002-04-02 09:12 ]</font>
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top