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Contesting A Liability Decision

Discussions relating to Personal Injury Law

Contesting A Liability Decision

Postby seafraid » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:58 pm

i was rear-ended into another vehicle on june 5.  i was stopped, and the car behind me hit me, pushing me into the car in front of me.  the car behind me had a lot of damage, the car in front had very little.  almost all of my damage was on the back end, very little on the front.  

the guy that hit me is insured by geico.  geico quickly accepted responsibility for 80% of my damage, and declared that my car - a 1994 geo tracker - was totalled.  i disagreed with the liability decision, and geico said ok, we will continue to investigate the remaining 20%, and i agreed to that. i have received a check for 80% of the car's blue book value, and signed over the car.  

however, we are continuing to haggle over the liability for the accident.  geico is insisting that i am liable for 20% of the damages to my car, even though i was stopped when their client's car hit me, and well over 80% of my damage was to the back of my car.

geico is claiming that the driver in front of me says he felt two impacts, with the first impact being the harder one; and therefore, i hit him first before their client hit me. my response:

a) if you look at the photographs, the biggest impact was clearly the one behind me; there's no way the damage to the car in front of me and my front end would be so minimal if the first impact was my hitting him.

b) the driver in front of me has no way of seeing the sequence of events behind him - my geo tracker is taller than the bmw 320i that hit me, and he couldn't have seen when he hit me.

c) almost all of my damage was to my back end, so i am not accepting responsibility for 20% of my damages.

d) even with geico's 80/20 decision, the amount of their 80% damages is still more than the total blue book value of my car, and so their settlement with me should be for the entire blue book value, not 80%. i should add that this is in san francisco, where the police do not file reports on auto accidents.  they were on the scene, but they only helped all of us exchange insurance information.  however, both my insurance company(CSAA) and geico took photographs of my car's damage.

i'll also note that, with the value of my car, this is not for a lot of money, but i will go to small claims court if necessary to clear this thing up.  

which leads to this: geico says that if i disagree with the liability decision, i can go to small claims court against the driver who hit me.  but, if my issue is with the liability decision, shouldn't i be suing geico?

so to sum up, here are my questions:

- is small claims court the place to go to contest a liability decision?

- can i sue geico, or do i have to sue the driver?

- can i contest the 80/20 liability decision based on almost all of the damage being on the back end of my car?

- even if geico's 80/20 decision stands, shouldn't i get the whole blue book value in settlement, since the damage that everyone agrees their client caused is what totaled my car?

i hope these questions are clear, thanks for answering.
seafraid
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:38 pm

Contesting A Liability Decision

Postby Faegan » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:43 pm

Comparative negligence rear end collision Split liability rear end accident

complaint state insurance commissioner Small claims court property damage

Bodily injury small claims court

Never too late to see doctor bodily injury

Waiting long time to see doctor accident injury

Do not settle personal injury insurance claim too soon;

5 Easy Steps Self Help Insurance Claim Settlement

Managing Medical Care After Auto Accident

Dear Tony,

There is a move afoot among the insurance companies to find comparative fault in every accident they can.  And KING TV investigative reporters in Seattle had a special report wherein they showed the employer's memos regarding adjusters' goals and achievement of a certain percentage of comparative fault claims, even if there was no comparative fault to begin with.

It sort of sounds like Geico is doing something like that.  But in their defense, I guess you could blame the guy in front.  It is possible to have two hits when the middle car is struck first from behind; I don't know the physics of it, but it does happen.

First question: why don’t you go through your own insurance for the collision loss?  Is your deductible too high or what?  It matters not in that case who caused the accident.  They will pay you the full totaled value, less your deductible.  Then they will go after the tortfeasor.  

But on the odd chance you did not purchase collision coverage, I will go forward with the analysis versus Geico.

I wonder if you can really show through the estimate that the damage to the back end alone was enough to total the car.  That proof would help in your argument, since only their guy hit your back end.  That is the argument you are making, and I would agree with it, BUT YOU HAVE TO BACK IT UP WITH THE WRITTEN ESTIMATES.  In other words, if it were just that one hit, they would have had to total the car, so make them pay of consider making a complaint to your state insurance commissioner http://www.settlementcentral.com/links.php

In answer to your questions, your claim is against the other driver, who is the tortfeasor.  You have no independent claim versus Geico unless there was something said or assurances given to induce you to sign over the car and they are going back on their promise.  Since that is probably not the case, then your only action is versus the tortfeasor.

As for whether or not small claims court is the forum or not, I cannot judge, since you gave me no figures.  But if the maximum limits are comfortable for you, then go for it.  There are no attorneys allowed there, but Geico will make a motion to intervene with their attorney.  You should vigorously oppose that.  Tell the judge that it violates the spirit of the small claims forum.

One other thing, I would consider adding bodily injury as a claim to your lawsuit if you have experienced any pains, such as a dull ache or nagging ache at night following physical activity.  Those could be the first signs of a soft tissue injury, which would not surprise me given the fact your car was totaled.

I am a little worried that anyone with THAT MUCH PROPERTY DAMAGE inside the car likely sustained some pretty good trauma, and soft tissue injuries have a way of coming back to haunt you later when you start to get physically active this summer season. I am also worried that the insurance adjuster will just offer a small sum "for your inconvenience and any aches and pains you might have."  DON’T TAKE THEIR MONEY TOO SOON.  

And, of course, once you settle, that is it: no one will be there to pay for your future medical or chiropractic care; nor will you ever see another dime in pain and suffering money.  By the way, did you know that getting an early settlement is a favorite trick of the insurance adjusters?  Please see my website wherein we show Insurance Claim Adjuster Secret Tactics http://www.settlementcentral.com/page0092.htm

There may be a dull ache at night following some physical activity or pain the next morning.  DO NOT LET LITTLE PAINS GO UNATTENDED SINCE YOU DO NOT KNOW WHETHER THEY WILL CONTINUE OR GO AWAY.  We all hope and believe that such little pains will disappear soon.  But on the other hand, we have no way of knowing since this is the way serious soft tissue injuries can behave.  

So, when this happens, even if a couple months or more post-treatment, do not hesitate to SEE A DOCTOR AND ATTRIBUTE THE PAIN TO THE ACCIDENT WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION.  It is NEVER TOO LATE TO REPORT PERSONAL INJURIES FROM A CAR ACCIDENT http://www.settlementcentral.com/page0104.htm

According to Our http://www.SettlementCentral.Com Members, Chiropractors are Most Effective in Severe Whiplash and Soft Tissue Car Accident Injuries http://www.settlementcentral.com/page8010.htm

Managing Medical Care After Auto Accident: http://www.settlementcentral.com/page0203.htm

Here is the key: DO NOT EVER SUGGEST THAT YOUR NECK COULD ALL OF A SUDDEN "GET REAL SORE" IF THEY DO NOT PAY UP THE 20%.  UGH, I hate that, and I had a client who did that before he came to me, but I did not know until the adjuster played me his recorded threat to that effect.  Naturally, his threat did not help his personal injury case one bit!

Key number two: you cannot prove a bodily injury claim unless you have seen a doctor or chiropractor about the pain.  Open a claim with your own insurance PIP or MedPay for the medical costs.  You MUST have seen a doctor at least once to make a bodily injury claim.  

Without having to join my website, I have given a lot of free information on handling insurance claims without having to join as a member.  Read the module at "5 Easy Steps to Do-it-Yourself Insurance Claim Settlement" http://www.settlementcentral.com/page0102.htm

FINAL TOPIC: Effective communication with insurance claims adjusters.  Establish Firm, Professional, and Positive Relationships With the Insurance Injury Claims Adjuster http://www.settlementcentral.com/page0059.htm

Always communicate with the adjuster in writing, showing your own analysis of value. It is OK I guess to have one call or so, but no more.   Always have your information and ammunition in writing to give to the adjuster. Let him know that you are FIRM IN YOUR RESOLVE to get what you are demanding(NOT "asking", since that invites a counter-offer, but instead "demanding" as fair and reasonable compensation) by asking him what the options are to resolve the matter fairly should he not agree to a reasonable claim value. In other words, let him know that you will go through with a court filing if need be. Remember these tips, do your homework, print out your evidence, show resolve to get your fair settlement, and you will DO JUST FINE. I trust that my extra time here has produced some information that has been of value to you, and thus I would respectfully request that you take the time to locate the feedback form on this site and leave some feedback for me.

Best Wishes, Dr. Settlement, J.D.(Juris Doctor) http://www.SettlementCentral.Com
Faegan
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:42 am

Contesting A Liability Decision

Postby Nate » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:41 am

i was rear-ended into another vehicle on june 5.  i was stopped, and the car behind me hit me, pushing me into the car in front of me.  the car behind me had a lot of damage, the car in front had very little.  almost all of my damage was on the back end, very little on the front.  

the guy that hit me is insured by geico.  geico quickly accepted responsibility for 80% of my damage, and declared that my car - a 1994 geo tracker - was totalled.  i disagreed with the liability decision, and geico said ok, we will continue to investigate the remaining 20%, and i agreed to that. i have received a check for 80% of the car's blue book value, and signed over the car.  

however, we are continuing to haggle over the liability for the accident.  geico is insisting that i am liable for 20% of the damages to my car, even though i was stopped when their client's car hit me, and well over 80% of my damage was to the back of my car.

geico is claiming that the driver in front of me says he felt two impacts, with the first impact being the harder one; and therefore, i hit him first before their client hit me. my response:

a) if you look at the photographs, the biggest impact was clearly the one behind me; there's no way the damage to the car in front of me and my front end would be so minimal if the first impact was my hitting him.

b) the driver in front of me has no way of seeing the sequence of events behind him - my geo tracker is taller than the bmw 320i that hit me, and he couldn't have seen when he hit me.

c) almost all of my damage was to my back end, so i am not accepting responsibility for 20% of my damages.

d) even with geico's 80/20 decision, the amount of their 80% damages is still more than the total blue book value of my car, and so their settlement with me should be for the entire blue book value, not 80%. i should add that this is in san francisco, where the police do not file reports on auto accidents.  they were on the scene, but they only helped all of us exchange insurance information.  however, both my insurance company(CSAA) and geico took photographs of my car's damage.

i'll also note that, with the value of my car, this is not for a lot of money, but i will go to small claims court if necessary to clear this thing up.  

which leads to this: geico says that if i disagree with the liability decision, i can go to small claims court against the driver who hit me.  but, if my issue is with the liability decision, shouldn't i be suing geico?

so to sum up, here are my questions:

- is small claims court the place to go to contest a liability decision?

- can i sue geico, or do i have to sue the driver?

- can i contest the 80/20 liability decision based on almost all of the damage being on the back end of my car?

- even if geico's 80/20 decision stands, shouldn't i get the whole blue book value in settlement, since the damage that everyone agrees their client caused is what totaled my car?

i hope these questions are clear, thanks for answering.
Nate
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:00 am


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