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  • Attorneys?

    If you're in an auto accident, and it's not your fault in any way, do you always seek legal counsel?

    Thanks.


    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Attorneys?

    I didn't...insurance handle it to my satisfaction...had they not then yes I would have...
    Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
    You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

    Derek

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Attorneys?

      It has been a number of years (actually over four decades) since I got in an accident... but within a six month period I just happened to be in two and neither was my fault. But, I learned a lesson:

      It may NOT be your fault, but unless the other party was "ticketed", your insurance company may well take issue with you!

      In my particular case, I was only 23 at the time and was insured with Allstate. In the first accident, the state trooper felt that there was "enough damage" and he didn't issue any tickets. I was smart enough to get the driver's names and the license numbers, and my BIL at the time, was an insurance adjuster for another company and we went up later that day and took pictures of my car's damage (it wasn't driveable) and the intersection where the accident happened.

      I called the Allstate office to report the accident (this was before "No Fault") and was basically told "thanks, but if you're not making a claim to us, why are you calling?.... like Duh, because I'm supposed to! The following evening, the offending driver's insurance company called and took a statement from me and then made all the arrangements to tow my car and get it repaired. But, nothing was settled between the insurance companies and Allstate was telling me that the other company was saying it was my fault; and of course, Allstate had never seen anything other than the body shop report, and "frontal damage" (Actually, I had right-rear side damage, as well as frontal damage because the faulting car had changed lanes, slamming into the side of me, which then caused me to hit another car.)

      Six months later I was involved in a four-car accident caused by a reckless driver who was arrested on the spot. Two people went to the hospital, and fortunately for me, my car was the least damaged, with only a leaking radiator and busted grill. (trailer hitch on the truck in front of me). Again I called Allstate and pretty much got the same reponse.

      But, later that afternoon I got a personal call from the desk officer at the local police station. He was concerned as he had just gotten off the phone with my Allstate office, who wanted the details and was "insistant" that I must be "at fault, in some way" as I had "a history". Although it was clear in the report that I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, the local Allstate office appeared to be setting me up to being "kicked".

      My boss overheard the conversation and asked me what was going on and I told him and he called his lawyer on my behalf and the lawyer,in turn, called Allstate and threated a law suit unless I received my "claim payment" for the previous accident within the week. The following day, the agent stopped by the office and paid my previous claim. The following week I dropped Allstate and moved to Nationwide, where I've been ever since.

      So, this kind of thing may not happen under "No Fault" (NY State), but I'm no longer trusting of insurance companies and think it's best to CYA. So, if there is any doubt whatsoever as to the legal "faults" of an accident, I'd go with a lawyer, expecially if there's a personal injury involved, or extensive property damage.

      Good luck and glad you didn't get hurt,

      CWS
      Last edited by CWSmith; 05-28-2011, 06:04 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Attorneys?

        Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
        It has been a number of years (actually over four decades) since I got in an accident... but within a six month period I just happened to be in two and neither was my fault. But, I learned a lesson:

        It may NOT be your fault, but unless the other party was "ticketed", your insurance company may well take issue with you!

        In my particular case, I was only 23 at the time and was insured with Allstate. In the first accident, the state trooper felt that there was "enough damage" and he didn't issue any tickets. I was smart enough to get the driver's names and the license numbers, and my BIL at the time, was an insurance adjuster for another company and we went up later that day and took pictures of my car's damage (it wasn't driveable) and the intersection where the accident happened.

        I called the Allstate office to report the accident (this was before "No Fault") and was basically told "thanks, but if you're not making a claim to us, why are you calling?.... like Duh, because I'm supposed to! The following evening, the offending driver's insurance company called and took a statement from me and then made all the arrangements to tow my car and get it repaired. But, nothing was settled between the insurance companies and Allstate was telling me that the other company was saying it was my fault; and of course, Allstate had never seen anything other than the body shop report, and "frontal damage" (Actually, I had right-rear side damage, as well as frontal damage because the faulting car had changed lanes, slamming into the side of me, which then caused me to hit another car.)

        Six months later I was involved in a four-car accident caused by a reckless driver who was arrested on the spot. Two people went to the hospital, and fortunately for me, my car was the least damaged, with only a leaking radiator and busted grill. (trailer hitch on the truck in front of me). Again I called Allstate and pretty much got the same reponse.

        But, later that afternoon I got a personal call from the desk officer at the local police station. He was concerned as he had just gotten off the phone with my Allstate office, who wanted the details and was "insistant" that I must be "at fault, in some way" as I had "a history". Although it was clear in the report that I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, the local Allstate office appeared to be setting me up to being "kicked".

        My boss overheard the conversation and asked me what was going on and I told him and he called his lawyer on my behalf and the lawyer,in turn, called Allstate and threated a law suit unless I received my "claim payment" for the previous accident within the week. The following day, the agent stopped by the office and paid my previous claim. The following week I dropped Allstate and moved to Nationwide, where I've been ever since.

        So, this kind of thing may not happen under "No Fault" (NY State), but I'm no longer trusting of insurance companies and think it's best to CYA. So, if there is any doubt whatsoever as to the legal "faults" of an accident, I'd go with a lawyer, expecially if there's a personal injury involved, or extensive property damage.

        Good luck and glad you didn't get hurt,

        CWS
        Makes,me wonder-how manyof Ridgid forum members trust or distrust insurance companies?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Attorneys?

          I would agree that it depends on the severity of the accident. If no one is badly hurt, notifying your insurance co. should be sufficient. Remember not to give statements over the phone to anyone other than your own insurance co! I think it's a good idea to write down as soon as possible all the details of the accident for furture reference.

          Comment

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