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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    3

    Default Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: FL


    Hello, and thank you for reading and taking the time to share your opinion.
    I'll try to keep it short, but if there are details that could help let me know.

    Status of my vehicle:

    I had been sharing an auto policy with my grandmother for many years while I took care of her needs. She was in her 90s and not self sufficient.
    She had a vehicle that she let me use whenever I needed it, which happened to be a long time for reasons that are not relevant.
    Last year my grandmother passed away. My father lives in TX and my Uncle lives in NY(her only 2 children).
    My father had POA.
    I tried to get the title transferred into my name but the tax collectors office said my father needs to be present. Once again he lives in TX.
    At this point I just added the car to a new auto policy in my own name. The title is still in my grandmother's name.

    Nature of the Accident:


    I was involved in a 3 party accident. Party 1 was stopped on the interstate (far right lane). Party 2 saw them late and rear ended Party 1 on the left side. Party 3 (Me) tried to avoid the collision by maneuvering to the right shoulder. Right shoulder is under construction with concrete barrier with not enough room for the entire car. My left mirror and door side-swiped Party 1's rear/right quarter.

    Party 1 (4 people) got out of the car and we hung out and talked--even laughed with me. No one was injured.
    I was not issued a ticket.
    All vehicles were able to move under their own power.

    Current situation and Question

    Later, two of the people from Party 1 claimed Injury against my policy.
    They are now demanding an Affidavit from me as well as my deceased grandmother, as the car is in her name.
    In FL I am not required to complete the affidavit.

    I did not inherit anything from my grandmother, and I do not know of any estate left in her name.
    My financial situation: Solid, I think, for a 27 year old. I own 2 cars (nothing fancy, combined value maybe $8,000) and have a house on mortgage. I have a pretty middle class salary. No kids, not married. Saving for retirement in several types of accounts.

    Question:
    Should I disclose to my insurance company that my grandmother is deceased and therefor cannot sign an affidavit? Or will that bring me more trouble?
    Should I sign the affidavit? I feel like the answer is no...

    If I say nothing and don't submit an affidavit, is it likely that they have grounds to take me to court?
    I don't know what to do and hope someone is patient enough to read all of this.

    In my opinion, Party 1 is just aggressively trying to demand everything and just see what comes up. Like I mentioned, there was no injury at the scene, and the damage actually caused by my sideswipe was minor.
    Party 2 was primarily at fault and I believe was ticketed, however I believe this party to have state minimum insurance limits and little to no assets--therefore coming after me instead.

    Sorry, that was not short.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,726

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    If you don’t disclose the situation to your insurance provider and it is relevant, it will be an issue and not to your benefit. If it isn’t relevant to the situation, it doesn’t matter to them.

    Disclose it now or risk complications later.

    Of course when you purchased your policy you did inform them it is not your car but your grandmother’s, or at least belonging to her estate, right?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    When I purchased the policy, I don't think it was ever asked of me. It is through GEICO and was all online.
    I just wonder what Party 1's lawyer will do when they know the owner is deceased. Does that make me more or less vulnerable?
    Regardless I assumed what you have said already--I have to tell them before it potentially goes too far.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,726

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    It could cause your grandmothers estate to become involved. Her estate could be and is likely to be named as a party if there are any lawsuits.

    I suspect there was something somewhere that obligated you to provide the insurance provider that you don’t own the car. If there is and you weren’t truthful, I think you’re in for a rude awakening. It’s quite likely they will invalidate your insurance

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    Thanks for your continued replies, jk.
    Insurance invalidation seems like a worst-case scenario. I checked the geico site, and unfortunately I do see that I somehow listed myself as the owner of the vehicle. There is an option to select the owner as "Owner not listed on policy", and I could change that now. I was not carrying collision/comprehensive anyway as the value of the car is low.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask you, in your opinion should I submit the affidavit for myself given my circumstances?
    Thank you,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,726

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    I would address that question to your insurance company


    btw: changing the owner designation now won’t help you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,149

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    Any change you make now is not going to be retroactive and would further show that you were trying to defraud the carrier.

    You have given the insurance carrier a very good way to walk away from the coverage. I suggest you contact a lawyer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,544

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    I tried to get the title transferred into my name
    Given that the car belongs to your grandmother's estate, what would make you think you'd be entitled to do that? Did she leave the vehicle to you in her will?


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    the tax collectors office said my father needs to be present.
    Why? The authority conferred on him by the power of attorney terminated the moment your grandmother died.


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    Later, two of the people from Party 1 claimed Injury against my policy.
    They are now demanding an Affidavit from me as well as my deceased grandmother, as the car is in her name.
    In FL I am not required to complete the affidavit.
    An affidavit that says what?


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    I do not know of any estate left in her name.
    If nothing else, her estate includes the car you're driving.


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    I own 2 cars (nothing fancy, combined value maybe $8,000)
    I assume this means two cars other than your grandmother's car. Correct?


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    Should I disclose to my insurance company that my grandmother is deceased and therefor cannot sign an affidavit? Or will that bring me more trouble?
    I'm not really sure that your insurer will care about your grandmother's death and consequent inability to sign anything. However, if the subject comes up, you obviously should not lie about that. You should, however, let your insurer know that the two people making a claim against your policy have "demand[ed] an [a]ffidavit from [you]."


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    Should I sign the affidavit?
    Since you didn't tell us what this affidavit does or might say or why the two claimants "demanded" it, we have no conceivable way of intelligently opining about this.


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    If I say nothing and don't submit an affidavit, is it likely that they have grounds to take me to court?
    Whether you do or don't sign some affidavit has no bearing on whether "they have grounds to take [you] to court." They have grounds to sue you because they were (allegedly) injured as a result of your negligence.


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    Like I mentioned, there was no injury at the scene
    You don't know that. All you know is that you observed no injury and that no one complained of an injury. However, soft tissue injuries may not be immediately apparent.

    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    When I purchased the policy, I don't think it was ever asked of me. It is through GEICO and was all online.
    Somewhere in the process, you were asked to identify the registered owner of the vehicle. That said, I disagree that this will have any impact on your coverage. It's not material.


    Quote Quoting jalopy
    View Post
    I just wonder what Party 1's lawyer will do when they know the owner is deceased. Does that make me more or less vulnerable?
    Neither. It has no bearing on either your vulnerability nor your potential liability.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NW of KSTL
    Posts
    2,554

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    Isn't Party 2 the one that caused the crash to begin with? Did #2 get cited? What did the police report contain? Assigned fault?

    From what you describe the contact with you was incidental to #2's action(s). All of the grandmother comments are VERY relevant and need to be dealt with honestly. But it would appear #1 is possibly barking up the wrong tree.
    Growing old, mandatory. Growing up, optional!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,726

    Default Re: Traffic Accident-Vehicle Under Deceased Grandmother's Name

    Quote Quoting souperdave
    View Post
    Isn't Party 2 the one that caused the crash to begin with? Did #2 get cited? What did the police report contain? Assigned fault?

    From what you describe the contact with you was incidental to #2's action(s). All of the grandmother comments are VERY relevant and need to be dealt with honestly. But it would appear #1 is possibly barking up the wrong tree.

    Have you misread
    Accident:


    I was involved in a 3 party accident. Party 1 was stopped on the interstate (far right lane). Party 2 saw them late and rear ended Party 1 on the left side. Party 3 (Me) tried to avoid the collision by maneuvering to the right shoulder. Right shoulder is under construction with concrete barrier with not enough room for the entire car. My left mirror and door side-swiped Party 1's rear/right quarter.


    op failed to stop within an assured distance and hit a stopped car (car 1j . The contact was not incidental to 2’s actions but a totally independent incident. 2 went left. Op went right to try to avoid hitting anybody but still hit car 1. He simply failed to stop. I’m surprised op didn’t get a ticket.


    Car 2 and 3 are valid targets for 1 making a claim for damages, especially concerning imjury to occupants where it will be more difficult determine which contact was the actual cause of the injury.


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