How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question

Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 6697
Experience:  Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Type Your Personal Injury Law Question Here...
Patrick, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I own a small taxi business. Long story short‘ish, there was

Resolved Question:

I own a small taxi business. Long story short‘ish, there was a head on collision when a driver turned left at an intersection into the path of one of my taxis which was trying to go straight on through the intersection. The other driver was cited by the police and her insurance has claimed full responsibly. Both drivers are okay and my driver's ER hospital expenses are being paid.

This happened at 4.00 AM on the 14th of September last. An assessor came to look at my vehicle and on the 30th of September they offered just over $3,000 compensation for the damage which I agreed was a fair amount. I signed and handed over the title as the vehicle was totaled.

I also claimed for lost business. Thankfully I keep good records. I was able to prove to their satisfaction a loss of $605.00 per day.

Today being the 7th of October I was visited by an agent of the insurance company with an offer for lost business. By my calculations I am due from the 14th of September to today (the 7th of October) which equals 23 days. So 23 days times $605 equals $13,915.

They offered $5,868. I’ll tell you how they arrived at this number. It’s in two parts.

1, They say that they “Settled” on the 30th of September which is the day I agreed to the $3,000 for the lost car. They say I am not due for any additional lost income after that date. I say I’m due for an additional 7 days up until today (the 7th) being an additional $4,325.00.

2, Next, they say that as I pay my drivers 40% of whatever they earn in fares, they should deduct 40% from the daily $605.

So they say from the date of the accident (the 14th) to the 30th of September is 16 days multiply that by $605 equals $9,680 then minus 40% equals their offer of $5,868.

So far I have signed nothing except the title over to them. I have not received a penny, not even the $3,000 for the car. They say the check for the car is in the mail.

I refused their offer and made an appointment at their office tomorrow to sort this out.

Do you think they are correct?

Do you think I should take the money and run?

How would you suggest I argue this?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will do everything I can to answer your question.

Whether or not the property damage settlement you made now precludes you from making a "loss of use" claim would depend upon the specific wording of the waiver you signed. However, the fact they are willing to offer you anything at all indicates to me they don't believe what they're saying about you having waived your right to such claim. Insurance companies don't pay out money to be nice, so this is most likely just a negotiation tactic to get you to accept something low. Also, for what it's worth, it would be very unusual for the property damage waiver to waive your right to "loss of use" as well, as that is usually delt with separately.

As far as deducting the 40% you would have paid your driver, the insurance company is actually correct here. Victims of negligence (as you are here as the owner of the cab which was hit) are entitled only to that compensation which puts them in the position they would have otherwise been in but for the neligent act of the at-fault party. If your cab had never gone out of commission, you would have given up 40% of its revenue to the drivers, and so to provide you with the entire 100% now would be a windfall of that additional 40%, putting you in a better position than you would other wise have been in if the accident never occurred. This is beyond the insurance company's legal obligation, and so they are entitled to deduct.

 

If it were me, I would argue that the waiver I signed does not expressly preclude my loss of use claim (and force them to cite the specific provision they contend states to the contrary) but be willing to concede the 40%.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.


Thank you for your answer. I have not totally digested what you have written, but one point springs to mind. I have not signed any waver. I only signed over the title of the vehicle to them, nothing else.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Tom,

Thanks for your reply. If you didn't sign a waiver, that puts you in an even stronger position, since there is no possible way you could have expressly waived your right to "loss of use," which is what they would need to demonstrate.

These are all typical insurance company tactics. Do not be bullied or mislead into thinking you have somehow forfeited this claim--you haven't.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 6697
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Patrick, Esq. and other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Infolawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    784
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    784
    Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    466
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    363
    I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    335
    Personal Injury & Wrongful Death experience includes judgment for $10M & $3M settlement
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    333
    I provide basic personal injury advice to my clients in my own practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    328
    20 years experience in personal injury law - both plaintiff and defense
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    321
    25 years of experience helping people like you.