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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116269
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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On sat. 25 July 09, I was working in my shop at my moms rental

Resolved Question:

On sat. 25 July 09, I was working in my shop at my mom's rental home. The tenant
was not present and allowed his young 16yo nephew to do some work on the home.
Subsequently, he had other young nubiles there and one in particular driving a arge jeep.
my mom's car was parked on the street by the curb. This kid can into our driveway, apparently
to deliver something to the other kids. There were witnesses sitting outside on the patio. As he
and his young friend were backing out, windows down, the observers warned him that the landlord's
vehicle was parked across the street and behind him. The young driver then disregarded this warning
and plowed into the parked landlord's automobile, damaging it tto the amount of $2000.00.

The kid hit and run. None of the other kids came forth with information, for they said they did not
know him. The kid did not stop and try to find out whose car he hit, nor did he ask the witnesses,
nor did he leave a conspicuous notice that he hit someone's auto; he just speed away.

As i emerged from my shop, I immediately noticed the damage and started asking questions of the
two of five or six that were still sitting at the patio. They tried to disavow that they knew the person.
I then went in the house and asked the nephew to call this kid and get him right back. His answer
was that the hit and run kid was going to the beach and that he would get up with me on Monday.

Through much difficulty and getting the mom of the nephew in charge, the hit/run kid came back
in around an hour. He provided copies of old rgistration, no driver's license, and was the type of
kid that thought he was above the law.

I talked briefly with his father in the moutain, therreception was bad, and it was hard to conduct
a conversation. I tried to work with the father to help his son. The father said he would take care
of my expenses.

With this in mind, I felt for the father, and said that I would not report the hit/run at this time, so as
everything is paid for. He suggested I get ann estimat, for I told him right then that I thought the
damage was around $2000.00.

The father then called me the next week and asked me to send my estimatesto his insurer, USAA.
I did so in a timely basis. The amounts were slightly under $1900.00. Meanwhile, USAA wanted to
send out an appraiser to view the car, stating that this was their policy. I asked if I would be reimbursed
for my time. They denied. I asked why it was necessary to do this since you have all the information
in front of you to handle the claim, and send full payment in a timely basis.

The USAA rep started yelling at me. I asked who reported the crash and who was driving. She assured
me that it was the father that was responsible for both I assured her that it was the young son responsible
and that he did hit/run. She said no way since it was reported to her. It was not reported to the police
however, as I believe is the proper format.

I let her know that she did not have my approval to send out an appraiser, for I know how their duty is to
cut costs and offer unreasonable claim settlements. I let her know that I would see her in court.

Shortly thereafter, I called and left a message for the kid's father and let him know that his insurer was
giving me a hard time. I let him know that I thought he should call his insurer and straighten this out. If
not, I advised him that I would report the hit/run, false report to his insurer, and that he would leave me
no choice but to handle this matter in the proper forum of law.

The kid knew whose car it was, he and his companion knew the vehicle was hit, and the kid did nothing
but speed away. He had no regard for other property and was more interested in leaving town that dealing
with his responsibility.

Advice on how to proceed and who to sue and in what forum of court? Any other help or ideas would be
greatly appreciated.

Thank you JB
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
First of all, they have every right to send an appraiser out and if you refuse to allow them to appraise the damage, they have every right to disallow the claim. You are being unreasonable with the insurer, it is not the insurers fault the kid hit the car and it is not the insurers fault you did not call the police like you should have to report the accident. You can bring the car to the body shop of your choice and their adjuster can go there to look at it. Lately, most adjusters have been pretty close to the body shop estimates, so your chances are good that their adjuster will be as well. As far as the father being responsible, once the insurer is involved they become responsible.

If you refuse to cooperate with the insurer, then you would have a tought time suing in court because they will point out you refused to allow an adjuster to inspect the car. They do not have to compensate you for your time for the adjuster to come out, but this is also why you bring it to the shop of your choice and get the adjuster to go there. All you are entitled to on a property damage claim is just the actual value of the damage nothing more.

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