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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    6

    Default Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

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

    Hello, I am trying to find answers to a number of questions... hopefully some of you can help. Thanks in advance.

    I was recently involved in an accident while driving my girlfriend's car. I was in a busy and crowded parking lot and was forced to back up to allow another car to park, while backing up I felt a thump. I got out to find a 60 - 70 year old woman on the ground. I was shocked of course and asked her if she was OK and offered to help her up. She instead got up on her own and I walked with her to her car to exchange information. The police were called, and they said that due to the woman's age they were going to call the paramedics - so the paramedics came and took her away. I spoke to the police officer later that day and he said there were no major injuries and she was released on her own. I understand I am likely to be found at fault.

    I was driving my girlfriend's car, which is insured, however both she and I thought that her insurance extended to me if I drove it. Once I got home later that day I looked through all the paperwork we had for my girlfriend's insurance; I was listed as an exclusion! This surprised us both as she has very good coverage, covering her for almost every possible thing. Yet I was listed as an exclusion?!?! We've called the insurance company and have asked about this, believing this was mistake on there part or they did not mention the exclusion at the time the policy was written. We are waiting to hear back.

    Either way I do not have insurance of my own. The car that I own is a 1985 Nissan that has not run in about a year and so it sits parked in a garage. I don't have the money to fix my car right now and have been unemployed since I was laid off in March 2009.

    I've tried to contact the pedestrian, primarily because I feel bad about the whole thing; also because I would like to try to offer her money to settle and ASAP. The pedestrian's insurance company has contacted me and asked that I only deal directly with them.
    The pedestrian's insurance company has not giving me any information about the woman's condition or the cost of the ambulance ride.

    I assume that the women has no broken bones and required no surgeries when she went to the emergency room. Would it be acceptable to make the women an offer of money and ask her to stop her claim with her Insurance? Even though her insurance has asked me only to deal with them and not contact the women?

    If I am stuck dealing with the pedestrian's insurance and my girlfriend's insurance will not cover me does anyone know if the number the pedestrian's insurance company asks for will be negotiable? Or will they ask for the amount they have paid to the pedestrian? If I pay the insurance company can the pedestrian still come after me for money?

    If I have very little money in the bank and maybe only 10K in an IRA account, what happens if I can't pay? Declare bankruptcy?

    I am lost in all of this, and as you might imagine very stressed out. Any thoughts, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    Quote Quoting marclevin
    View Post
    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Calif.

    Hello, I am trying to find answers to a number of questions... hopefully some of you can help. Thanks in advance.

    I was recently involved in an accident while driving my girlfriend's car. I was in a busy and crowded parking lot and was forced to back up to allow another car to park, while backing up I felt a thump. I got out to find a 60 - 70 year old woman on the ground. I was shocked of course and asked her if she was OK and offered to help her up. She instead got up on her own and I walked with her to her car to exchange information. The police were called, and they said that due to the woman's age they were going to call the paramedics - so the paramedics came and took her away. I spoke to the police officer later that day and he said there were no major injuries and she was released on her own. I understand I am likely to be found at fault.
    You backed into a little old lady.

    Did you think it was HER fault?

    I was driving my girlfriend's car, which is insured, however both she and I thought that her insurance extended to me if I drove it. Once I got home later that day I looked through all the paperwork we had for my girlfriend's insurance; I was listed as an exclusion! This surprised us both as she has very good coverage, covering her for almost every possible thing. Yet I was listed as an exclusion?!?! We've called the insurance company and have asked about this, believing this was mistake on there part or they did not mention the exclusion at the time the policy was written. We are waiting to hear back.
    Even if it was a mistake, it won't be admitted to as such now.

    I've tried to contact the pedestrian, primarily because I feel bad about the whole thing; also because I would like to try to offer her money to settle and ASAP. The pedestrian's insurance company has contacted me and asked that I only deal directly with them.
    The pedestrian's insurance company has not giving me any information about the woman's condition or the cost of the ambulance ride.
    I wouldn't call the victim.

    Anything you say will only admit your own guilt.

    I assume that the women has no broken bones and required no surgeries when she went to the emergency room. Would it be acceptable to make the women an offer of money and ask her to stop her claim with her Insurance? Even though her insurance has asked me only to deal with them and not contact the women?
    Again, a bad idea.

    If I am stuck dealing with the pedestrian's insurance and my girlfriend's insurance will not cover me does anyone know if the number the pedestrian's insurance company asks for will be negotiable? Or will they ask for the amount they have paid to the pedestrian? If I pay the insurance company can the pedestrian still come after me for money?
    If the insurance pays the pedestrian, you will be responsible for that money. If the injuries are in excess of that amount, you will be on the hook.

    Now, the woman wasn't driving. What insurance company is talking to you?

    If I have very little money in the bank and maybe only 10K in an IRA account, what happens if I can't pay? Declare bankruptcy?

    I am lost in all of this, and as you might imagine very stressed out. Any thoughts, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Wait to see what happens.

    I am not going to sugar coat it and say you are potentially on a large hook. The ambulance ride along can run six hundred bucks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    and you only have to worry for two years before knowing she isn't going to file a suit for injuries you caused.


    while you claim the gf's insurance company did not inform your gf of you being excluded, just how do you think they had your name? Plus, your gf is responsible for verifying her policy is as agreed.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    marclevin,
    Wow, I'm so glad I live in a no-fault state where "how badly" (medically) someone is hurt is what becomes liable financially & legally. Fault for the accident is understood!
    Anyway, I'm not a lawyer, but my semi-educated guess is that you should be cool at this point. If anything, maybe if the pedestrian's "insurance co" (is that her car insurance co?) anyway if so, maybe you can ask them if her personal medical coverage (such as medicare) would cover her accident ambulance, ER, etc, charges. You could plead that you are unemployed for awhile - this & that- & would have a very hard time paying anything more than what was the pedestrian's "out of pocket expenses" like co-pays or medical supplies. That is assuming the pedestrian had very minor injuries & nothing permanent.

    You are definitely at their mercy. Somewhere, your gf's insurance must have been told you were a regular driver of the car, whereas reporting to the insurance co someone should have said you just borrowed the car with permission. Instead, it sounds like you reported yourself as being a regular driver of that car- when a "regular" driver MUST be on the policy?
    I think legally your gf could also be sued if that pedestrian was seriously hurt OR was just $ hungry. I could be wrong about that - but i would definitely find out- bc then she doesn't have to worry about filing for bankruptcy (as a last resort of course) either.

    Good luck to you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    If the victim's personal insurance and/or medicare covers her injuries, then that entity will sue the OP for the amount.

    Because insurance pays for damages doesn't mean those damages are no longer part of the OP's liability.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    If the victim's personal insurance and/or medicare covers her injuries, then that entity will sue the OP for the amount.

    Because insurance pays for damages doesn't mean those damages are no longer part of the OP's liability.
    isn't that only if the person makes a claim through the insurance? What I'm saying is that he could plead with the insurance company to handle it through their personal insurance. The party was not going to collect for their "medical treatment" anyway. To satisfy the health insurer bill is what he'd be requesting. Plus any "out of pocket" monies to reinburse the victim. What's wrong with that?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    The insurance carriers will pay a claim to the victim if she files. Then, the insurance company will chase the OP for the amount they paid to the victim.

    If there was an ambulance involved, there are already medical costs for transportation and examination accrued.

    All that changes if the victim files against health rather than auto insurance is who sues the OP for repayment.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    Thanks for the comments and commentary.

    I understand that 99% of the time it will be the driver of the cars fault, regardless of the situation. But I have to wonder, why she did not get out of the way? I was traveling at maybe 2 MPH. Why did she not yell STOP? And was thump I heard her hand on the trunk of the car? Did she actually fall from the force of the car hitting her or did she put her hand on the trunk while she tried to get out of the way and lost her balance. Did the car backing up startle her and this is really a case of slip and fall? Her injuries at the time appeared to be more from gravity then for the force of a car hitting her. She is an old lady yes, but is she suffering from Alzheimer's? Is she currently taking medication that may impair her ability to drive - or in this case decide when not to walk behind a moving car?

    To clarify; the pedestrian has opened a claim with her Car Insurance company. I still have no idea about the extent of her injuries or what exactly she will claim for beyond an ambulance ride. Though I've read that one can argue against exaggerated Pain & Suffering claims if their medical bills are largely just tests and not actual treatments.

    Does anyone know if the pedestrian's Car Insurance does come after me and in the case I am unable to pay; Does this automatically got to arbitration in Calif? Would this be just another civil action in front of a judge?

    Regarding my girlfriend's car insurance; when she changed her policy they asked if there are any other drivers at the same address. She said yes, and told them my name. They asked if I "regularly" drive her car. And this is where we are in disagreement with the her Insurance company. She believes that she told them I do drive her car from time to time - they might have taken that statement to mean I do not "regularly" drive her car and marked the forms incorrectly. This was all done over the phone and no papers were signed. At least they are trying to see if in fact the policy was written incorrectly, we are still waiting to hear back.

    Being out of work for over a year has left me with credit card debt, no home, and no income. So I weighing options for liquidating the IRA and taking the penalty, paying all the CC debt off and making them an offer with whatever is left. The alternative for them would be to come after me via arbitration or civil court, correct? At which time I could declare BK, correct? Then they get little or nothing. My Girlfriend has student loans and less money then I do, so I doubt they would want to go after her.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    Why did she not yell STOP?
    maybe she did. sometimes a 60-70 yo lady doesn't have a loud voice.

    And was thump I heard her hand on the trunk of the car? Did she actually fall from the force of the car hitting her or did she put her hand on the trunk while she tried to get out of the way and lost her balance. Did the car backing up startle her and this is really a case of slip and fall?
    it makes no difference. The proximate cause of her injuries are your actions.

    Her injuries at the time appeared to be more from gravity then for the force of a car hitting her.
    it doesn't make any difference. You argument is like saying: the person wasn't injured from me pulling the trigger. It was the bullet hitting them that caused the injury and I didn't propel the bullet.

    She is an old lady yes, but is she suffering from Alzheimer's? Is she currently taking medication that may impair her ability to drive - or in this case decide when not to walk behind a moving car?
    it doesn't matter. You failed to see her. It's your fault.

    To clarify; the pedestrian has opened a claim with her Car Insurance company.
    No idea why she would even contact her car insurance. It doesn't involve her car.

    . I still have no idea about the extent of her injuries or what exactly she will claim for beyond an ambulance ride
    and you may not know for years.



    .

    Does this automatically got to arbitration in Calif?
    no



    Regarding my girlfriend's car insurance; when she changed her policy they asked if there are any other drivers at the same address. She said yes, and told them my name. They asked if I "regularly" drive her car. And this is where we are in disagreement with the her Insurance company. She believes that she told them I do drive her car from time to time - they might have taken that statement to mean I do not "regularly" drive her car and marked the forms incorrectly.
    living at the same residence, you have the choice of: a listed driver; an excluded driver. If you drive the car at all, you would need to be a listed driver. The fact they named you as an excluded driver, this would be in response to your GF saying "no, he does NOT drive my car"
    This was all done over the phone and no papers were signed. At least they are trying to see if in fact the policy was written incorrectly, we are still waiting to hear back.
    and when she got the policy in the mail, apparently she failed to check it for accuracy.

    Being out of work for over a year has left me with credit card debt, no home, and no income. So I weighing options for liquidating the IRA and taking the penalty, paying all the CC debt off and making them an offer with whatever is left. The alternative for them would be to come after me via arbitration or civil court, correct?
    civil court most likely.

    At which time I could declare BK, correct? Then they get little or nothing.
    you might want to investigate BK laws. Not all debts are dischargeable.

    My Girlfriend has student loans and less money then I do, so I doubt they would want to go after her
    they will go after whomever they think they might be able to get the money from. I presume you are both young so you are both at the beginning of your earning life. That is the best people to sue. Chances are one of you will have some money in the future.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    6

    Default Re: Uninsured Person Driving Insured Car, Hit a Pedestrian

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post

    No idea why she would even contact her car insurance. It doesn't involve her car.
    Most Car Insurance policies cover you as a pedestrian in a parking lot type of accident, at least that is what her insurance adjuster told me. I would guess because she is old and does not want to deal with the hassle of trying to come after me directly.


    living at the same residence, you have the choice of: a listed driver; an excluded driver. If you drive the car at all, you would need to be a listed driver. The fact they named you as an excluded driver, this would be in response to your GF saying "no, he does NOT drive my car"

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    and when she got the policy in the mail, apparently she failed to check it for accuracy.
    Correct, Neither of us checked the policy in detail. When we did it is wrapped in so much jargon that my girlfriend first read it and thought I was covered.

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    they will go after whomever they think they might be able to get the money from. I presume you are both young so you are both at the beginning of your earning life. That is the best people to sue. Chances are one of you will have some money in the future.
    35 / 31 respectively. I understand that a civil judgment can last 10 years in Calif. So I am sure we will make some money over our life times. I guess I need to see if Chapter 13 will discharge the debt.

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