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View Full Version : Had a car accident yesterday - guy wants to pay out of pocket?


nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 09:09 AM
On the way home after my husband picked me up from the airport, we were rear-ended pretty hard (the guy didn't even try to stop, my husband said he was talking on the cell phone). He begged us not to call the insurance company, which we haven't yet - he didn't want the police either, but I wanted to make sure we had an incident report.

How long is okay before waiting to call the insurance company? My husband was going to wait and let the guy make payments if he wanted, but I don't agree (and now my husband agrees with me). I said maybe by Thursday he should pay, otherwise we need to call. The bumper itself is $540 or so, but that isn't the retail price nor would it include the service. We may be able to get it done for $1000, but I don't know. I just want to make sure that we aren't out anything.

Does anyone know how long it is okay to wait? I figured a couple of days should be okay, but not longer. I don't want to be hard on the guy or anything (though personally, I think he might have had a drink as I saw him move a cup and what looked like a can to the trunk from the front seat floor area). Of course, it might have been an old can - but I don't know that. I just want to make sure we aren't out anything more than we already will be (as far as time, gas and such to get this taken care of).

Thanks!

Christypl
06-20-2006, 09:12 AM
It is his fault that it happened. I think he hould have to pay. I also dont think you should have to wait around for money to fix your car. Also...what about a rental car while your car is in the shop? I say call the insurance company.

nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 09:17 AM
Oh - the truck is very driveable. In fact, my husband would maybe not have said anything to anyone (and not necessarily gotten it fixed) had it been for the fact that we cannot get to the spare tire now. Of course, if he got hit from the back again, the bumper isn't in the right place to protect the truck - so that is an issue also. (So it does have to be fixed, but I wasn't sure if a couple of days was okay to wait). Either the guy or his insurance company need to cover it, hopefully his insurance is current. His insurance card was older, but I've forgotten in the past to put a new insurance card in my wallet.

Donnask8pro
06-20-2006, 09:20 AM
Fill out a police report to cover your @$$. Than wait to file if he doesnt pay. You need back up

sptddog
06-20-2006, 09:25 AM
:sad2: Seems to me he left his insurance run out and/or has prior history and doesn't want his company to drop him. Did the police run a check on whether or not his insurance was valid when you got the report? Does he actually have insurance?

I'd be okay with him paying - but paying quickly and by cetified check or money order. Don't give him the chance to disappear and leave you out the money or holding a bounced check.

I'd also advise you to go to an auto body shop and get a true estimate. I got rear-ended and it bent my frame, though the car drove fine and barely looked dented. My auto guy said that eventually the bent frame would show up on tire related issues and alignment issues.

Sorry this happened - that stinks!

ntburns22
06-20-2006, 09:26 AM
This happened to us last month. We had the police come to the scene and file a report. On the spot the woman said she wanted to pay OOP. I wasn't to keen on the idea but DH said it would be fine. We went and got 2 estimates for the damage plus rental car fees. We mailed her the reports and she sent us a cashiers check for the estimates plus an extra $100 to cover anything that didn't show up on the estimate.

Belle5
06-20-2006, 09:26 AM
I understand you wanting to b nice but something you should consider...many years ago I was hit like you described. I think it was three weeks after the accident (having shown no symptoms of anything) all of the sudden I couldn't get up off the couch. My neck/back just wouldn't work. I was in a ton of pain. Apparently, these soft tissue injuries can work that way. I was young at the time and knew nothing about these sorts of things. My symptoms literally just "appeared". I ended up going to physical therapy for quite a while. He was careless and he hit you. That is why we all have insurance.

nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 09:26 AM
Fill out a police report to cover your @$$. Than wait to file if he doesnt pay. You need back up

We did call the police, and we have an incident report (I wasn't going to leave without that if at all possible). It isn't a full-blown report, there is a difference - but it shows that it happened and that the police were called (and that we were hit from the back).

I wasn't sure if there was a certain time that we had to call the insurance company - I am not wanting him to be able to make payments, because he could stop doing that (and then we probably won't be able to get the money from any insurance company if we wait too long).

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. :) My husband has been trying to make it as cheap for the guy (or the insurance company) as possible, but I just want to make sure we don't end up being liable.

wrldpossibility
06-20-2006, 09:29 AM
I've been in this situation...from the other end of it. I was a terrible driver when I was younger, and had I think 3 fender benders within a few years at one point. :blush: When the third one happened (my fault, as usual), I asked the driver not to call insurance, since I knew my rate would go up (I DID have current insurance though). They complied, and I told them to get an estimate at the shop of their choice. They did, showed me the estimate, and I wrote a check. It was all decided within 3 days.

So he may be in the same situation I was, or maybe doesn't have insurance that's current. Either way, it's your right to call insurance if you want to. The people I worked with just decided to be nice to me! It sounds like you're doing the same, but don't let it go more than a few days. He could completely skip out on you. I would NOT let him make payments. I'd be afraid you'd never see the money. I'd get a written estimate if you haven't already, call him and tell him he has 3 days to send you/give you the money, or you're calling your insurance company. I wouldn't give him more time than that. Good luck!

BTW, I've learned it's much cheaper and easier to be slow, careful driver now! Something about having kids does that to you! ;)

left210
06-20-2006, 09:30 AM
I handle insurance claims and more than likely he either does not have insurance or doesnt want his rates to go up. A few days is reallly not being realistic. It would take an insurance company longer than that. I would go get an estimate and give it to him and give him one week to pay you and if he doesnt then file with his insurance company. Given the amount of damage, he may have to get a loan or something to pay for it. If that is the case and you see that he is truly working on it then you might give him a little extra time. I would definitely make sure you have an accident report though just in case it has to go through insurance. Good luck.

nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 09:32 AM
He did mention a prior history of an accident or two (one from his wife, I think).

I think Thursday would be a fair day to have the money by - I don't know if we can wait much longer if we need to file a claim? My husbands dad works at an auto dealership, he is getting an estimate. My husband could also buy a bumper and do much of the work himself. However, if we were to go through the guys insurance (and I don't know if his insurance was run by the officer), then we may not have a say on where to take it.

You guys are great! Thanks, it's good to have other opinions, I am just not willing to put the money out for this, of course. My husband thinks he hit us at 15 - 20 mph or so (he didn't even try to slow down, I just have no idea how he was so careless - it wasn't dark, it wasn't wet out, etc.)

nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 09:37 AM
I am a much slower, careful driver now too - no kids, but I almost rear-ended someone myself by trying to get home a bit too quickly, and I decided then I'd just pace myself. It isn't worth having an accident - I stay back, I give tons of room in front of myself now.

Thanks also to the person who works in insurance, and everyone else. It's good to have other views. I don't even know if the guys insurance is current, but I insisted on calling the police since we might otherwise not have anything official saying we had the accident.

Zim
06-20-2006, 09:37 AM
Definitely give him a date to get you the money by and not too far in the future... He may not have the money, but right now you don't have an optimally performing car, and that's the only thing you should be concerned about. Especially if you discover from your mechanic that it's not just the bumper, but the frame that was damaged - the cost goes way up then. Get two estimates, submit them to him with a deadline before you submit the same information plus police report to his insurance company. I think that's fair, if he was that concerned about it. It shouldn't be an additional responsiblity of yours to accomodate him for his poor driving. You may want to run all this by your insurance company no matter what, they should be willing to give you advice no matter which way you go.

sptddog
06-20-2006, 09:47 AM
You could probably call your insurance agent and simply ask how long you have to report a claim. Tell them you had a fender bender and that the other person will be paying out of pocket, but in the event that falls through, how long do you have. I'm pretty comfortable with my agent (he does our car and home insurance) and I'm pretty sure he'd be okay with me asking. Or just call the 800 claim number and ask without giving much information.

jj1403
06-20-2006, 09:56 AM
Of course the laws are probably different as I'm in Canada but I believe you have a up to a week to make a report. I agree at the very least you should still file a police report. And you should go and get a quote from the garage that you'll have service your car. By the way even if you go through your insurance company to file a claim tell them the he wants to pay out of pocket. If they guy pays for it it, it will not effect his insurance because he's not actually making a claim. At least you will be able to protect yourself.

Here you are able to "buy" your claim so that it won't effect your insurane rates. And by buying I mean paying out of pocket.

I hope that made sense!

crl
06-20-2006, 10:22 AM
I was in an accident a few years back that was deemed my fault. I talked with my insurance guy and he agreed that if I could pay out of pocket, it would be cheaper for me in the long run. So I told the guy to take his car to the shop of his choice (on the day of his choice). I met him there and made arrangements for the shop to do whatever was needed and I paid the shop's bill. I'd say to schedule a time to meet the guy at the shop of choice and have him make arrangements for your truck repair bill. If he is unwilling to do that soon, than call the insurance company.

ukwildcat
06-20-2006, 10:23 AM
Here is another thing you may not have considered. Do you live in a "Fault State" or "NO-Fault State"?

If you live in a No-Fault state your insurance will by law pick up the cost of repairs, health care costs, etc. Then your insurance company will go after the other insurance company for re-imbursement.

Also, whip-lash injuries can be late in onset of symptoms. There has been documentation of onset of symptoms as late as 2 years after the rear-end collision.

I would contact your insurance company as well as a lawyer and discuss your options.

I work with this sort of thing all the time, and too many times I have seen the party not at fault lose out in the end. Good luck.

ukwildcat
06-20-2006, 10:25 AM
Just saw you live in the Orlando area. Florida is a "No-Fault" state. It doesn't matter who was as fault. Your insurance company will pick up the costs initally.

Contact a lawyer and file a claim with your insurance company.

ZebraStripes
06-20-2006, 10:56 AM
Also, whip-lash injuries can be late in onset of symptoms. There has been documentation of onset of symptoms as late as 2 years after the rear-end collision.
This happened to my husband when he was rear-ended. It took a week or so and he ended up having permanent damage. The other insurance company ended up covering medical bills, time lost, etc.

madison66
06-20-2006, 12:43 PM
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madison66
06-20-2006, 12:45 PM
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Plantlady
06-20-2006, 01:15 PM
Just a thought, if your husband can do the repair work, you will get to keep the extra money.

Still go and get an estimate from a body shop/repair shop, and ask for that amount. What you do with it, is up to you though. So, your husband could fix it, and the labor money could go into a Disney fund or something.

You have the right to the full amount though, many of us out there don't have husbands that can do much more than put gas in the car.

left210
06-20-2006, 01:43 PM
I agree to protect yourself but I didnt see any mention of injuries like many of the posts are referring to. If this is just a simple property damage claim I would give the guy a fair shot to make amends on your terms and if he is unwilling then go forward with either your own insurance or his. I just think some of the posts have been much more than a simple property damage claim and are giving you advice to get an atty, etc. when that does not sound necessary at this time. I get so frustrated in the insurance setting to see everyone run to an atty when there is really no need. You are basically just paying an atty for something you can generally do yourself. Good luck with it and I hope the guy is honest and pays up and if not then do what you have to do. I see it from both angles - I handle commercial auto claims for a taxi cab company so we have lots of dead beats who hit our vehicles that dont have insurance and we have to pursue recovery but I also see it from the point that if the guy is honest and will pay at your request then give the guy a break (only if there are no injuries and it is a simple repair).

nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 01:47 PM
We don't plan to go to an attny, that isn't necessary to me. I just don't know how long is okay to wait to file a claim with the insurance if he doesn't pay, and I'm thinking we need to report pretty quickly if he doesn't have the money this week. If we wait, and he doesn't come up with it, then we have to worry about small claims and such. That doesn't seem right since we didn't do anything wrong.

My husband has an ex-coworker who has a husband who owns a shop, it looks like they'd give us a good price (around $800). I certainly don't want to be out of pocket for that, it will be a hassle anyway just to get it there, and fixed and such.

familyoffive
06-20-2006, 01:52 PM
What is the Florida DMV law pertaining to damage? Some states require an accident report filed with the DMV for vehicle damage over a set amount($600.00 for an example). You should contact your insurance agent and notify him/her of a possible claim.

vetrik
06-20-2006, 01:53 PM
This same thing just happened to me last week. I was rear ended by a teenager in her parent's car, and her parents called me and they want to pay out of pocket for the repairs to my car, I'm assuming to try to keep their premiums from going up (her brother was in an accident the same day too).

I had the cops come out to file a report, and I also called my insurance agency to report that it had happened and discuss my options. My representative told me I basically had 3 options - I could file a claim with my insurance and they would repair my car and go after the other person's insurance for reimbursement, I could go to the other insurance directly (not involving my insurance), or I could have the other people pay. I confirmed that if they were unhappy with the estimate (more than expected) or they didn't pay that I could still file a claim at that time. I informed my insurance about it right away because I didn't want to get in trouble if I hadn't told them and then needed to make a claim. I don't know what the time limit is to report an accident.

I took my car for the estimate over the weekend, and I'm about to put it in the mail to the people. I think a week to pay before contacting insurance is reasonable. I was also concerned about injuries - my accident was very low speed (we were both stopped, she thought I had gone and accelerated into me) but my neck was definitely stiff and sore the next day and it's finally feeling totally back to normal. It was never really bad, I was able to take Advil, but I wanted to leave the option of a claim open in case it got worse and I needed to seek medical treatment.

It really is the most important to protect yourself. I felt really bad (I got in a accident that was my fault when I was younger and I know how it feels), but I still wanted to make sure I would be able to get my car fixed, etc.

BettyCv
06-20-2006, 03:05 PM
Okay, I'll be the meanie. Why are you so intent on making things easy for a person who "didn't even try to stop" because he was yacking on his cell phone?

Insurance rates go up for certain people because certain people are bad drivers (like the guy that hit you).

There is a BIG difference between someone who takes advantage of the situation by suing for false injuries and someone who just wants to use insurance the way it was intended - file a claim and get reimbursed immediately.

Why do you need to waste this much energy on a person who didn't even want you to call the police! Sounds like this weasel might have quite a past. Maybe making this accident more inconvenient/expensive for him will make him pay more attention to his driving.

My 2 cents...

Betty

veraletta
06-20-2006, 04:21 PM
I was told by my agent that you have 72 hours to file claim after an accident . My daughter was hit two times in one year and it was never her fault. We alway called them right away.
file a claim with your insurance agent. Even if this guy wants to pay you cash.
He can pay cash by calling his insurance agent.
I agree with BettyCv.
Also estimates are just that, estimates can go up or dowm most likely upwards and once you give someone a price and it goes up, they may not be willing to pay more.
So I would call your agent to at least have it on report and isnt that why you have an agent any ways.

nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 07:46 PM
Thanks everyone. I guess I'm just nice, and I could tell the guy was not terrible, and I figured (hoped) he'd learned his lesson and would be more careful next time one way or the other.

Personally, I think talking on cell phones while driving should be banned, period. I almost was hit a couple of years ago (actually, I'd have broadsided the person as he didn't stop for a stop sign at the Orlando Premium Outlet mall). I skidded really hard into the median, thankfully noone was there - and he just drove away, still chatting. That really upset me, I felt like chasing after him.

If we don't hear from the guy in the next day (my husband left a message for him earlier), we are calling the insurance company. From what I understand, even calling the insurance company (I think I heard this on Clark Howard) can cause a raise in rates, even if you just call to ask them if you should pay cash yourself for something (if they know who you are).

Anyway, I really appreciate it. I sort of hope the guy doesn't call back, so we can get the ball rolling.

Cheshire Figment
06-20-2006, 08:28 PM
I would suggest calling your insurance company immediately. Let them do an estimate and go through the whole insurance thing. Normally what they will do is cover all of the repair other than your deductible. Then they will contact the other person (or their insurance company) and when they recover the amount, they will then reimburse you for your deductible.

As long as he is contacted by and cooperates with your insurance company (repays them all costs) there is no need for his insurance company to get involved.

nbodyhome
06-20-2006, 09:15 PM
I would suggest calling your insurance company immediately. Let them do an estimate and go through the whole insurance thing. Normally what they will do is cover all of the repair other than your deductible. Then they will contact the other person (or their insurance company) and when they recover the amount, they will then reimburse you for your deductible.

As long as he is contacted by and cooperates with your insurance company (repays them all costs) there is no need for his insurance company to get involved.

In the end, wouldn't that count against us? If we call his company (if he doesn't contact us tomorrow), and he has a current policy, shouldn't they pay since it is his fault? It seems like telling our insurance company and having them pay would mean that we would get an increase?

Cheshire Figment
06-21-2006, 03:52 AM
I have been involved in two accidents in the last three years. Neither of them were my fault (red light runner and improper turn). GEICO handled everything for me and they were not charges against my record as I was not at fault. In each instance I paid the collision deductible and a few months later I received a check after they collected.

ukwildcat
06-21-2006, 06:48 AM
In the end, wouldn't that count against us? If we call his company (if he doesn't contact us tomorrow), and he has a current policy, shouldn't they pay since it is his fault? It seems like telling our insurance company and having them pay would mean that we would get an increase?

Florida is a No-Fault state. Doesn't matter who was at fault. There is a lot of red tape in insurance matters. Your insurance company will pay for the repairs and then go after the other guys insurance for reimbursement.

You will have to pay your deductible up front, but you will get that back assuming your insurance company determines the other party was at fault (which it sounds like he was).

Your rates will not be affected.

eeyorethegreat
06-21-2006, 07:23 AM
This isn't a bit of advice because my incident was very different though my fault. A friend was here ( it is a long story but she was actually working here with my Aspie son we became friends through her service with my son so technically she was on the job) and I had to leave to pick up one of my other children. She had parked in the area that I back up into do drive out of the drive way. She had never ever parked there before and honestly I never looked I backed up out of habit the way I always did and crunched her car a little bit. There wasn't a great deal of damage a dent but it didn't affect the divability or safety of her vehicle. Still it needed to be repaired and we went through my insurance to take care of it. Well my insurance rates went way up (or way up in my thinking $30 a month more than we had been paying for three years- so i was told and our bill has reflected that). So in making the claim with my insurance we have ended up paying several times the cost of the damage. I wish now that I had the foresight to pay out of pocket..she didn't care where the money came from just so long as her car got fixed. Had I to do over, firstly I would have been more careful and NOT back up into her car secondly I would have not filed the claim and just paid her out of pocket.

This incident is different as it involves a stranger and an acident in a roadway where mine happened on my own property in my driveway .

nbodyhome
06-21-2006, 08:10 AM
I haven't been in an accident in 14 years (that one was my fault), I am very surprised we have to pay to start with. That doesn't seem right to me, that we were just sitting at a light and now we have to pay $500.00. I didn't realize that was what no-fault meant!

I'd not do the same thing next time in the accident - next time, the person will get a ticket if there is damage (if the officer thinks it's warranted) and we'll get a full-blown report. Being nice can cost money, I guess. I wish I'd remembered that I had the camera with me, I'd have taken some photos. My husband called the guy yesterday, and he hasn't called back - so we will call the insurance company today.

Carrie Ellis
06-21-2006, 08:41 AM
My neighbor last year got hit by an uninsured driver. I bites the big one but that is why we carry uninsured on our policies. I believe, if the person that hit you ends up not having insurance, you will pay a $250 deductable. I believe that is what most uninsured deductables are. We have to always pay for the deadbeats in the long run. It is a bummer. I would not have had sympathy for the guy in the first place. That is why we have insurance, for accidents. He caused an accident and should pay. But I even feel less sympathy when you said that he tried to leave and was talking on the cell phone. Oh my I would have been angry!!! I am sure you have the ball rolling now but don't feel bad for that guy.

penguingirlie
06-21-2006, 08:51 AM
My advice is to call your insurance company immediately. This happened to me last fall and the guy wanted to pay out of pocket because he was driving a work truck and didn't want to get in trouble. He left the scene before I could call the police. I had $3000 in damage to my car and $6000 in medical bills. He thought it was only going to be $500 in damage. You never know what will happen later on so call your insurance company now. You don't want to live with regrets later on.

nbodyhome
06-21-2006, 09:43 AM
I guess we will find out soon if his insurance has lapsed or not. He actually didn't drive away (that was another drive who I almost hit because he ran a stop sign and I had to skid into the median, and he kept driving and talking!)

This guy - he definitely was on this cell, not sure if he might have had a drink. I mentioned that I watched him put something from his front seat floor into his trunk - definitely a clear plastic cup, and possibly a can as well. I should have possibly had the police officer go after him at that point, with a ticket for what he did (and maybe checking his trunk). I just felt bad for him, he is going to be out a fair bit of money I think on his vehicle. But I think next time we'll just make sure to protect ourselves.

We didn't file a police report per se - we did have a police officer there, I wanted them called. We exchanged information on an official police sheet thing. I guess I should be glad that we don't have medical injuries, and that the stuff that was damaged didn't include the frame. But it really bites to be sitting there and have someone hit you, and be out time and money for no valid reason.

Oh, well. :) Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all of your suggestions, it makes me feel better about filing the claim today and not feeling so bad for him. It was his fault, he wasn't paying attention.

La2kw
06-21-2006, 11:02 AM
On the way home after my husband picked me up from the airport, we were rear-ended pretty hard (the guy didn't even try to stop, my husband said he was talking on the cell phone). He begged us not to call the insurance company, which we haven't yet - he didn't want the police either, but I wanted to make sure we had an incident report.

How long is okay before waiting to call the insurance company? My husband was going to wait and let the guy make payments if he wanted, but I don't agree (and now my husband agrees with me). I said maybe by Thursday he should pay, otherwise we need to call. The bumper itself is $540 or so, but that isn't the retail price nor would it include the service. We may be able to get it done for $1000, but I don't know. I just want to make sure that we aren't out anything.

Does anyone know how long it is okay to wait? I figured a couple of days should be okay, but not longer. I don't want to be hard on the guy or anything (though personally, I think he might have had a drink as I saw him move a cup and what looked like a can to the trunk from the front seat floor area). Of course, it might have been an old can - but I don't know that. I just want to make sure we aren't out anything more than we already will be (as far as time, gas and such to get this taken care of).

Thanks!

He rearended you while talking on his cell phone, it's his fault. Why are you allowing him to call the shots? Call your insurance company now and report it. Let them deal with him. You may have injuries that you are not aware of yet. You shouldn't have to deal with the hassle.

nbodyhome
06-21-2006, 12:14 PM
Thank you to everyone here, my husband did just file a claim with our insurance company online (very convenient to have that option).

He'd called the guy yesterday and left a 2 1/2 minute message, and never heard back. I am actually glad, I feel better doing the insurance thing instead.