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Old 04-26-2010, 02:36 PM
 
2,675 posts, read 4,540,907 times
Reputation: 2131

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mississippimagnolia View Post
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.
Actually, I think your post shows we do NOT live in a litigious society. What you've described is the outrageous behavior of a small number of people, not of a society. If this happened frequently (i.e., if we really were a litigious society or moving in that direction), more people might hear about it and try it themselves, and the companies would soon learn that they had to put a stop to it by fighting unfair claims. Then the word would get out that this scam does not work. But because there are only a few scammers doing this, and most people are more moral, the companies find it cost-effective to settle even though they know it may mean that these scammers will try it again.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who really do have good legal cases but never make them because the expenses for fighting a big company that chooses to fight rather than own up to problems or settle are too great for the little guy/gal. I've never met one of those scammers (though I know they're out there) but I've known a dozen people who might have been in the second category. So the "litigious society" myth is one that bugs me.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:20 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,434 times
Reputation: 10
I don't know how far this would go, but this is what I would do:

Find out how long this person has been living at the apartment in Vienna. The Virginia motor vehicle code says that any new resident must apply for a Virginia license within 60 days and obtain a Virginia registration within 6 months.
If she has been there longer than this, then she is operating the vehicle illegally,and furthermore, because she is a Virginia resident, her Md. insurance is void.
Of course this will probably not prevent you having to charge your insurance company( as you have now proved her uninsured).
I don't know about you, but personally I would get enough satisfaction doing it to make it worth my while.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,569 posts, read 12,685,046 times
Reputation: 8334
Do you have any updates on the case? I'm just curious.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:02 AM
 
1,182 posts, read 2,543,554 times
Reputation: 1065
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
Actually, I think your post shows we do NOT live in a litigious society. What you've described is the outrageous behavior of a small number of people, not of a society. If this happened frequently (i.e., if we really were a litigious society or moving in that direction), more people might hear about it and try it themselves, and the companies would soon learn that they had to put a stop to it by fighting unfair claims. Then the word would get out that this scam does not work. But because there are only a few scammers doing this, and most people are more moral, the companies find it cost-effective to settle even though they know it may mean that these scammers will try it again.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who really do have good legal cases but never make them because the expenses for fighting a big company that chooses to fight rather than own up to problems or settle are too great for the little guy/gal. I've never met one of those scammers (though I know they're out there) but I've known a dozen people who might have been in the second category. So the "litigious society" myth is one that bugs me.
You don't work in personal injury law, do you? It doesn't cost people anything at all to file a lawsuit against a "big company" (most of the time). Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee....they don't get paid unless you do. It's not uncommon for the attorney to get anywhere form 25%-33% of the settlement. Don't get me wrong, attorneys deserve to get paid as do injured clients. But don't fool yourself into believing that it's difficult to "win" a case. Insurance companies are more than willing to pay out to avoid the cost of lengthy litigation.

Think about it this way....A client is seeking damages of $10,000 (a tiny amount in a personal injury case). The insurance company would pay their attorneys way more than that just to defend the case. It's not worth it for them. It's cheaper to pay the money and make the claim go away.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:13 AM
 
9,738 posts, read 8,069,520 times
Reputation: 6348
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportrider90 View Post
looking up MAIF, it seems it is for folks who can't buy regular car insurance. That is a big red flag. I doubt you will get any compensation from this woman. Also, the police did not make a report of whose fault it is so it is her word against yours. Why would your insurance carrier force you to pay for damages without any "evidence" e.g. police report, witnesses?

You are responsible for paying your own deductible. Once your insurance carrier gets the money from her carrier, you will be reimbursed.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:21 AM
 
34 posts, read 82,781 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
Do you have any updates on the case? I'm just curious.
My insurance company found me not at fault since they couldn't get a recorded statement from the other driver. They talked, but she kept saying she didn't have time for it. But, if I want my car fixed through my own insurance, I have to pay $500 deductible.

MAIF is a joke. GEICO and I left messages, but no one would call us back. Their office is only open Monday through Friday, regular business hours.

At first I wondered if what totuan said could help me. I know she lived in VA for longer than 6 months. However, since she said I hit her, GEICO would not pay the whole thing under uninsured motorist. I talked to the police officer who helped us exchange information. He said that she did live in MD, and she is using her cousin's address so her kids can go to Fairfax county public schools. So, it's a whole other issue. I doubt she really commutes that far everyday. Her driver's license says she lives in Suitland, MD.

I plan on going to the school and asking about it. She shouldn't have it both ways. Either she lives in MD, and she pays to go to Cunningham Park (I doubt she's doing that), or she lives in VA, and she needs to get her registration and insurance up to date.

I didn't feel like spending that $500 just yet. I did get myself a 5th gen IPOD nano. It records video. I'm using it as a dashboard camera.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:27 AM
 
34 posts, read 82,781 times
Reputation: 15
Well, I reported this woman to the school. Hopefully she won't come to my house and do any damage or crazy stuff.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:05 PM
 
248 posts, read 640,653 times
Reputation: 143
do you still run into her at school?

can you take a letter from a lawyer or so.. or just tell her that you are going to file at the small claims court for the whole $1700 so your insurance doesnt raise your rates.. say something just that it will scare her and she'll atleast pay you $500 to settle it outright!
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:52 PM
 
2,688 posts, read 5,964,549 times
Reputation: 1289
Kt, good for you for reporting her! She will have to retroactively pay the school system for however long her kids have been attending illegally.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:01 PM
 
34 posts, read 82,781 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetruckguy View Post
do you still run into her at school?

can you take a letter from a lawyer or so.. or just tell her that you are going to file at the small claims court for the whole $1700 so your insurance doesnt raise your rates.. say something just that it will scare her and she'll atleast pay you $500 to settle it outright!
I do see her still. I even dreamed about confronting her. She scares me a little bit though. Who knows what kind of connections she's got... Maybe I'm paranoid, but Vienna Park Apartments has that bad rep.
Cedar Lane Shopping Center Category for HistoricVienna.com (http://www.historicvienna.com/crime/cedar_lane_shopping_center/ - broken link)
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