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

a head on collision when...
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?
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
10/8/2013
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,398
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Verified

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I 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.

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Customer reply replied 4 years 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.

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.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,398
Experience: Attorney with significant personal injury experience
Verified
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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,398
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