Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
The PA statue of limitations for personal injury is 2 yrs and for contracts is generally 4yrs. So if ELCO communicated with you in Feb of 2007 saying that they had settled, and their right to obtain money from you is based on a contract then the statute probably does not expire until after Feb 2011.
However, a better question is how did they settle on your behalf without informing you first of the settlement terms? What is ELCO? Did you not have independent liability insurance of your own for your own vehicles? That insurance company should have been notified so they could step in a provide a defense for you.
Also, if the majority of the medical bills are chiropractic bills, they probably have a week case as they should not have agreed to such a large PI settlement based on the property damage of $800.00
ELCO Administrative Services Wayne NJ is the office that handles liability claims for Enterprise. I do not understand how they settled on my behalf without first informing me of the terms. I have reviewed the fine print of the enterprise contract and its so vauge that perhaps the language within allows for this - - - I am not sure. At the time of the accident I did not have personal car insurance as I live in the city and do not own my own car anymore. I typically purchase liability insurance from enterprise each time I rent but unfortunately on the day of the accident I did not realize that I had not checked off this box on the contract. I am a super frequent renter too and usually do get this coverage but it was an oversight on that day. My credit card that I used to rent the card has coverage for any damage to the rental car that I incurred but it did not cover the other persons car.
The majority of the medical bills are a combination of diagnostic tests plus physical therapy expenses. I found it strange that ELCO initially informed me that I owed then $4200 for property and bodily injury (driver) and then in later communications told me I owed close to $8000 with no explanation as to why the amount jumped up. After questioning them I learned that they had also now settled on bodily injuries for the passenger as well. When I review the medical records that they did finally share I also see that both the driver and passenger have a sketchy background - - - both in their 30's, alcohol and drug abuse -- unemployed- - -- - - etc. It just feels like I am being taking advangtage of and I am not sure what I should do next.
There are a couple of things you should look into. First, see if it legal for a car rental company to rent a car to you in your state without first showing proof of liability coverage or purchasing liability coverage.
Second, contact ELCO in writing and have them show you the written clause that gives them authority to settle a case on your behalf without your consent.
Third, ask them to show your the written clause that says that that they have a right to recover the amount they paid in settlement from you.
If they will not point these clauses out to you atleast get the copies of the documents that contain them so you can read them yourself.
Once you get more info, you will have a better idea of how to proceed. I would approach it in a manner that conveys the message that implies that you will pay if it can be verified that you have a legal obligation to pay the claims in the amounts asserted.
I hope this helps.
With kind regards,