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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Tacoma, WA

    Default Accident without insurance

    I was a young stupid person who made the mistake 4 years ago of not having car insurance. I got what was coming to me and rear ended someone at a stoplight. I was just coming off another stop light and was not going very fast and hit a truck. I'm sure this is not important, but the driver thought it was his fault because he slammed on his brakes, but I know it was my fault for following too close. The person I hit tried to leave the scene, but the police who came flagged him down. I gave the police my information and was ticketed later and I got insurance and paid my fine. A few months later I got a letter from his Canadian insurance company (the accident took place where I live in WA) stating that their insured had front end damage and that I was resposible to pay. I called and said that I rear ended him and he did not have front end damage. They told me that I needed to take pictures of my car and get a copy of a police report, which I am pretty sure is their job in the first place! I sent the info and heard nothing back from them for months. Finally, I got a letter stating the their insured suffered injuries and was seeking chiropractic care and that I would be responsible for the bill. They would never tell me or send me anything regarding what injury he was claiming. I never heard back. 2 years later I went to renew my license and learned that it had been suspended due to a lean his insurance co. put on me. I called and the adjuster said that I needed to pay $1000 for his bumper damage and that he was suing for punitive damages, but that amount was not yet settled. I signed a prommissory note for the $1000 and had been making payments. The day that the statute of limitations ended on his lawsuit, I called the adjuster to find out what they settled for. It was $25,000 and I still have no idea what this amount is paying for. The adjuster told me to not do anything and that I could contest this if I did not feel it was fair. He said the paperwork would take his company a long time to process. I called back every couple of weeks and rarely got a phone call back. I asked a friend of mine who works in insurance why it was taking so long and he said it could take up to a year to process everthing. I called the claims adjuster 1 more time, to give him my new address. 13 months went by and someone from the insurance company's collection dept. called and started threatening that I hadn't paid in 11 months, I owe them $25,000 because I signed a promise note, and that if I didn't start making payments in 30 days then they would suspend my license. I told her that I hadn't recieved any info in the mail and then she said all of the mail was returned, even though I had a forward from my old address and they were given my new address. At the very least, they obviously had my phone number (which had not changed in 3 years). I also told her that the signed note was for $1000 and she told me that it was subject to change (my copy had no fine print stating this). I called the orginal adjuster the next day demanding why my file was not sent to me and he said that he thought collections sent it and they thought he sent it. After my long story I am confused over some things: Does they insurance company not have procedures that they have to follow? If they have been handling this improperly, do I have any recourse? I have never recieved anything in writing regarding the lawsuit. They have been really bad about returning calls and sending me letters that contain the wrong info about the initial accident. Their insured had uninsured motorist protection, did he sue them or me? I have never recieved anything summoning me to court. What do you think my next stepw should be?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Confusing Situation

    Your situation is very confusing, and will be difficult to straighten out. It appears that you signed legal documents which may have created a significant financial obligation on your part. But without reviewing those documents under the laws of the jurisdictions at issue, it is difficult to even guess at what they say, what your actual obligations are, or how you might be able to resolve the situation.

    You should consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction about this matter, taking with you all of the paperwork relating to this incident (police reports, copies of correspondence, copies of the papers you signed, etc.) A lawyer may be able to help you resolve the matter, set aside the financial obligation, or suggest another course (e.g., bankruptcy) which would end your financial problems relating to the accident.

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