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Old 04-23-2010, 09:50 AM
34 posts, read 75,829 times
Reputation: 15


michgc, you are right. It sounds like she's working the system. Depressing story. Life seems so unfair sometimes.

There are good honest people out there though. One time I lost my keys and wallet at Tyson's movie theater and feared for the worst. They turned up at Lost and Found.
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:58 AM
3,508 posts, read 3,887,809 times
Reputation: 8394
Yes, your daughter certainly can be a witness. Being under 18 has nothing to do with it.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:06 PM
Location: Central Maine
1,471 posts, read 2,385,588 times
Reputation: 1271
Let me explain how these things go. You probably have uninsured motorist coverage. Your insurance company isn't going to spend a dime to pursue this other driver on such a small claim, because it has you. Once it charges the accident against your policy (either by saying it was your fault or by utilizing your uninsured motorist coverage) it will recoup its costs by raising your rates. Even if you have something like "accident forgiveness," you will have used up your "free" claim and save exposure to future liability to the insurance company.

Now, everything depends on how much the insurance company values you as a customer. If you call them and are very... assertive, you will have a chance that they will, at least, not hold you at fault. I'm not sure if you can pursue your claim yourself, it depends upon your policy (subrogation). And of course, there is the question of the legality of the other driver's presence here and/or their assets. The whole 18 age minimum to give testimony (especially to an insurance company) seems bogus, so you may have a shady insurance company.

About 35 years ago a motorist rear-ended me while I was stopped at a traffic light. My insurance company did to me exactly what I stated above. I changed insurance carriers. The new company gave me safe driver rates after I explained the situation.

Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:43 PM
34 posts, read 75,829 times
Reputation: 15
Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
The whole 18 age minimum to give testimony (especially to an insurance company) seems bogus, so you may have a shady insurance company.
I'm working with Geico right now. I guess they want to have an independent witness. Someone who's impartial.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:24 PM
1,180 posts, read 2,293,246 times
Reputation: 1054
I guess they want to have an independent witness. Someone who's impartial.
That makes more sense.

Here's what you need to understand about insurance companies...It's a very small claim. Your insurance company would spend more fighting about it even if the case never saw the inside of a courtroom than they would by simply cutting a check.

I'll give you an example...In my office (I'm a paralegal), we had people come in claiming to have been "hit by a car" several times a month. The insurance companies never fought it even when we all knew that the claim bogus. It was common practice for thugs in the town to literally jump into slow moving cars, then claim all kinds of injuries. They were always soft tissue type injuries...impossible to prove or disprove. Everyone knew they were lying...the attorneys, both insurance companies, the cops.... But fighting it out is way more expensive than simply cutting a check for a couple thousand dollars.

It completely sucks. But we live in a litigious society. And in some ways the insurance companies and the attorneys encourage this type of behavior.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:41 PM
2,688 posts, read 5,460,134 times
Reputation: 1273
Check into Fairfax County Small Claims Court. I filed a suit against a woman who hit me and refused to cooperate with me or with our insurance company. After the uniformed sheriff's deputies served her with the papers, she mailed us a check the next day. You might be able to sue her for the $500 deductible. In court you could bring up the fact that she provided false insurance information in the presence of a police officer, and the fact that she has not registered her car in Virginia. She may just pay up, or even drop her claim against you, because she doesn't want to go to court. Or if she doesn't show up, I think you get an automatic default judgment in your favor. You can go to fairfaxcounty.gov and check under Courts. No attorneys are allowed so you'll only have to pay the cost of the filing fee.
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:07 PM
510 posts, read 775,157 times
Reputation: 279
Your insurance company shouldn't force you to pay for the other driver's damages in a case like this. Once I got in an accident with someone who made a right turn from the left lane of a 4 lane road at a stop sign. I was in the right hand lane and was making a normal right hand turn, and thought this person was going straight - as he was in the left lane and also had no turn signal on. Anyway, somehow he claimed he turned right directly in front of me and I ran the stop sign and crashed into his right side, which was untrue. In the end since there were no eyewitnesses, and the police came and did not give either of us a ticket, each insurance company (mine was GEICO) just paid the damage to our own cars, so it cost me my deductible. They did NOT however honor the other person's attempted claim against me. He also tried to claim back injury even though he was walking around fine at the scene of the accident and didn't complain there of any problems to the police.This person was also insured with that idiotic Maryland insurance group that takes drivers who can't be insured by anyone else, and also did not speak much English. He was clearly lost and out of the blue decided to make a right turn illegally from the left turn lane right in front of me. Also, I noticed he was on his cell phone at the time. The giveaway that he was lost was when he left the scene of the accident, he did a u-turn and proceeded to go back across the intersection - which if he had turned left there like he should have - there would never have been any accident in the first place! People like this, who get forced into the group of driver's who can't otherwise get insurance, ought to just not be allowed to drive!
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:32 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
7,765 posts, read 10,563,309 times
Reputation: 7024
Our company insurance company was Geico, too. I agree that for small amounts they don't really care to go after the other person - it's not worth it to them. That's one of the reasons they settled with the person in my husband's accident. They probably thought it would be a small car repair. Little did they know...Now their fighting whatever bogus medical claims she has.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:08 PM
Location: Northern Virginia
274 posts, read 522,059 times
Reputation: 94
She couldn't be bothered to steer correctly because one hand was holding a phone. Get in car, dial phone, use one hand to steer out of parking space, steer "correctly". It's amazing, and I can't believe that so many folks get away with it!

Originally Posted by Fern435 View Post
I am so sorry this happened to you. Some people around here should NOT be licensed to drive. (I nearly got sideswiped this morning by a woman in a huge SUV this morning as I dropped off my student for school. She had the entire width of a street to pass me, but she could not be bothered to steer correctly.)

I don't understand why the police said a public school drop-off lane is private property, either. And why does she have Maryland plates on her vehicle if she lives in Vienna?

Hopefully someone will have a good idea about what to do...
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:18 PM
34 posts, read 75,829 times
Reputation: 15
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
Without someone being ticketed for the accident I don't know how you can be forced to pay for her damages. What will probably happen, if you can't find a witness, is that your insurance will have to pay for your damages.

Looks like that's what will happen. I'm not found at fault since my insurance couldn't get a hold of the other driver. Good call. However, I still have to pay $500 deductible for the damage she caused if I want my car fixed(MAIF is not returning calls). I'm tired of driving with a gaped hood and crooked light.

Lesson to be learned: look around for a witnesses immediately before assessing your damages!
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