Skip to comments.Help me help this elderly lady 2
Posted on 05/04/2013 8:46:34 AM PDT by patriot08
A friend and I have a little project going to help the elderly. As some of you may recall, I posted a thread by the same title to enlist help for an elderly lady with her finances a while back. So many of you were kind enough to post some good and much appreciated advice.
Well, I need to help this same lady again. Back in February, this lady was bedbound with the flu. At about noon, there was a loud crash in front of her house. It was so loud that it brought all the neighbors running out to see what happened. A friend, who was visiting this lady, came running into her room and told her a truck pulling a trailer had just crashed into her car which was parked in front of her house. She and some of the neighbors identified the truck as a local foundations company truck- before he sped away. The man was speeding and doing a turn around on the cul-de-sac on which this lady's house was located. His trailer swung into this lady's car and smashed in the passenger's side of it, causing several thousand dollars worth of damage.
The police were called and filled out a report. Several weeks passed and the lady called to see what they had found out. She eventually found out the hit and run man had been found and had been given a ticket. She asked them what about her car, and the cop told her he would find out who the hit and run was insured by. More weeks went by and finally the cop told her it was Geico. She also found out the guy's name (a Mexican man) and license plate number, and that the hit and run division cop said he got into an argument with the hit and run guy's lawyer when trying to find out about who he was insured by. (Lawyer???)
Ok, so this lady files a claim with Geico- and she's been getting nothing but the run-around for weeks- excuses, calls not returned, etc. Finally yesterday, the guy at Geico tells her the hit and run guy was driving his own truck but pulling a trailer owned by the foundation company. The Geico guy says he's waiting for a statement from the hit and run guy. (like he's going to call). He said something about the guy 'speaking very little English'. The Geico guy also said the foundation company said there was no damage or paint on the truck or trailer and that they sent a letter to the lady that the claim was denied. The lady never got such a letter.
Ok. From what I can get out of all this: a Mexican man slams a trailer into this lady's car and runs. He's apparently lawyered up and making himself scarce- not cooperating with anybody. Almost three months have passed and everyone (cops, the foundation company, Geico) seems to be dragging their feet, hoping this lady will just shut up and go away. Geico says the hit and run guy was insured by them, but the trailer that hit the lady was owned by the foundation company. The foundation company says their insurance will not pay. They state that there was no damage to truck or trailer, and that a letter was sent to the lady declaring they will not pay. The lady received no such letter.
I think it stinks like an illegal alien hit this lady's car and ran because he didn't want to meet up with the cops. What's he doing with a lawyer? What can this poor lady do? How can she make them pay for the damage to her car? Is there an agency who can help her? Any help would be greatly appreciated, FReepers!
Why not do a small claims case against both the individual and the foundation company? if they no-show, then it’s default judgement for her?
What about the lady’s insurance company? She should have “uninsured motorist” coverage. At worst, she would have to pay her deductible. Has she filed a claim with her own insurance company?
Why isn’t this lady working through her own insurance company? Usually, they will do the leg work .
Have her contact the Department of Insurance and file a claim against GEICO. Get witness statements attesting to the driver, the vehicle, and the trailer. Get a copy of the police report and file a small claims action against the driver of the vehicle and the foundation company, Ascertain if the towing vehicle was owned by the foundation company. Witness statements can help with this (logos, signs, etc)
I just got off work so I may have missed some things, but these could give you a starting point.
If the lady had comprehensive insurance, she should notify her insurance, GEICO, that she has been unable to get resolution from the at-fault driver, or his insurance company. She should formally demand GEICO cover the loss/damage under her comprehensive insurance and subrogate any claim/recompense to the opposing insurance company.
The lady should explain this in a letter that has all the pertinent information, names, dates, etc. and she should also cc: a copy of the letter to her state insurance commissioner’s office. She should follow up the letter with a call to that office in a week.
My wife and I have over the years had little problems here or there about insurance. Our Georgia Insurance Commissioner has been OUTSTANDING in responding. Often, just a call from an Insurance Commissioner representative to an insurance company rep is all that it takes.
That’s my advice..
Her own insurance company should pay and then it is on them to collect from the other person’s insurance company.
Her insurance should pay, and they go after the other guy.
It’s not her job to do the work, that’s why we have insurance.
It’s near impossible here (Kalifornia) to collect on a small claims default. The hoops required to jump through are astounding.
If her deductible is not refunded, then small claims court sounds good.
First, was her car insured with collision insurance? If so, her company should pay her damages and then recover from the responsible parties.
If not, she must file suit against the driver and the foundation. They can ignore her, but not a summons.
Why didn’t she file a claim with her own auto insurance company?
If she has insurance, her company can pay for the repairs and go after the other insurance company for her. That would be my recommendation based on personal experience.
This woman needs to contact HER insurance company and get THEIR lawyers on this. She has identified Geico and Geico has confirmed they insured the driver of the truck. That's all she needs to do. Her insurance company has tons of lawyers who do just this. They have to otherwise THEY are on the hook for the repairs. That's why she has insurance. It's called subrogation.
I've been through this many times. Her Insurance company is the party who must deal with this on her behalf.
An adjuster will contact her and work up an estimate and that's it. They will go after Geico using their resources to get the money for the repairs.
Try bringing this case to a consumer reporter at a local television station to see if they will do a story. As much as I hate the media, if there is a local outlet looking to “be for the little guy”, they might raise a stink and bring enough public pressure to bear to generate a payout to make the story go away.
Like others have said here, she should just file with her insurance company as always. Include the witness statements. Her insurance company will pay her and then THEY go after Geico to get satisfaction.
And you can focus on bringing her chicken noodle soup and magazines or a good book. :)
that’s great but she has no ability to collect it.
Why isn’t her insurance handling all this? They have the clout to get answers.
Is Arizona, the law requires us all to have Uninsured Motorist coverage due to so many drivers (illegal aliens) without liability coverage.
My daughter recently won her small claims case in CA for $1,400 and initiated proceedings to claim the other party’s assets due to non-payment. That got the other party’s attention and they just began a four-month payment plan to pay the damages. There’s hope, but it’s a long road. You have to be patient.
As to all your questions about why she hasn’t reported to her own insurance company, I don’t know.
I think maybe she just didn’t know that was the way to handle it- or maybe it was having to pay the deductible.
By the way, I’ve seen her car. It is pretty blue, 2000 Seville the is- WAS in very good shape. Low millage, well maintained. She still owed $2,000 on it.
On second thought, how about the local news channel’s “On Your Side Consumer Investigations” reporter?
If you can get a local reporter to call the business to ask why they are hurting the elderly and hiring illegal aliens you could get some action!
Too bad you don’t have Sheriff Arpaio.
I think maybe this lady just didn’t know to contact her insurance co, or maybe she was afraid of the deductible.
She did email a local TV station who does a ‘Trouble Shooters’ segment (who trys to help the little guy who has been swindled.)
They emailed her back to contact them ASAP- that they wanted to put her story on TV that day, but she was too shy to appear on TV.
Might be dangerous for her to start messing with illegal aliens.
Take it to the State Board of Insurance and Attorney General of the State. Keep copies of everything and put a time line of everything including phone calls. If it goes to court; judges like the facts only.
Everybody seems to think the "uninsured motorist coverage covers damage to your car by a driver w/o insurance. It does not cover damage to your car. It covers medical expenses for injuries to non-relative passengers resulting from an accident caused by an "uninsured motorist. The damage to your car from such an accident is covered under your collision coverage and is subject to your deductible. If you have a high deductible to keep premium cost down, it comes out of your pocket. You can attempt to recover through legal action but you'll have to "squeeze blood out of a stone".
If the driver is an illegal, he's probably in the wind by know and will be impossible to find. You could try "small claims court" against the construction company, it might be your only option.
PS Your insurance company will tell you that they will try to collect from the UM and you will be reimbursed for the deductible in the same percentage as they recover. Don't hold out much hope as they don't try all that hard. IC to UM "pay up", UM to IC "no", IC to UM "pay up or else", UM to IC "go ahead, I ain't got squat", IC to UM "OK, have a nice day". IC writes off loss as a "business expense", you get screwed. (from personal experience)
Thanks for the clarification.
Also get the name and bar # of that “attorney” and check with the Bar association in the state. You might find out that she’s even speaking Herberto, the Enlish speaking cousin of the “insured” and not an attorney at all...lol
Does she have insurance, both collision and liability? If so then that is where this thing belongs at least as a start. If she has insurance and has not contacted her insurance company then that is her first step. If she stills owes money on the car as you indicate and has it financed I suspect the finance company requires her to have insurance.
The deductible would be just reduced from her insurance payment to her or her repair shop of choice when she has the car fixed.
This all belongs in the lap of her insurance company as a start assuming she has coverage. If not then she has other problems and routes which involve lawyers and lawsuits.
Sad thing is that car is going to price out at 1500 - 2200.
I once had a Volvo get totaled exactly the same way - except it was a texting teen - not a reckless Mexican.
No insurance fight = they just gave me a thousand bucks. When I shopped for a thousand dollar Volvo, nada.
That car would have lasted for many more years.
Thanks so much all. I will relay all your advice
Are we Americans or mice? Perhaps the elderly can teach us how to be brave.
She has hartford with aarp. I think she did not know to contact them. It has been so long because could not find hit/run guy/find his insurer. All concerned drug their feet..hoping she would go just go away. (Excuse typing. I am using kendle fire)
Make a claim on her insurance and let them sort it ot.
They are real good it too.
She has hartford with aarp.
Then that is who she needs to file her claim with. Hartford will then sort it out. How hard is that to understand?
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