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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 12786
Experience:  Attorney with significant personal injury experience
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My insurance company decided an accident I was in was 50 %

Customer Question

My insurance company decided an accident I was in was 50 % my fault and the other ins company said it was 100 percent my fault. I have written proof that the girl I was in the accident with lied to her ins adjsuter. So the case first went to Subrogation and it failed so now the case has to go to Arbitration. The other ins company, that said the accident was 100 percent my fault said that I cannot sue the girl for any amount of money since Arbitration is binding, however, it look me hours of work to compile my written proof that the girl I was in the accident with lied, and I suffered pain & suffering because I knew she lied. If I choose to sue for 500.00 for those specific reasons (pain, suffering, & my time), the fact that Arbitration is binding has no bearing on my lawsuit in small claims, correct ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. What you describe is called "interinsurance arbitration." Basically, most insurance companies have agreed in advance that if they can't agree on an apportionment of liability to decide who pays for property damage, they will submit the claim to an arbitrator to decide fault and the insurance companies will be bound by the arbitrator's decision. Interinsurance arbitration is ONLY binding on the insurance companies that have agreed to it. It is not binding to the individual insureds. So, it is generally possible for an insured to still sue the other driver for property damage if they don't agree with the results of the interinsurance arbitration. If they do, however, any monetary award they receive will be offset by the money they've already gotten through the insurance claims process, and any damages they are awarded will not longer have to be paid by the insurance company. The individual must go after the at fault driver's own personal assets to recover their judgment because the insurance company has no obligation to pay anything more than what the arbitrator required. Pain and suffering due to someone lying about a claim is generally not going to be a recoverable form of damage. This is not to say I don't appreciate how upsetting and stressful it was. I am just telling you that no legal theory would typically allow for recover of that sort of damage. But the thing is, since interinsurance arbitration doesn't bind insureds anyway, you don't need to creatively plead a damage like that in order to sue. You can till sue for property damage itself if you are awarded any less than 100% through the arbitration. You are also still free to sue for any sort of bodily injuries you may have suffered. I hope that you find this information helpful. 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 moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Patrick, Thank you for your reply. You said I cannot really sue for pain & suffering, but what about my time ? Can I sue for my time ? See when i filled out the court paperwork I said I was suing for 1/2 of my deductible and now that the case is going to Arbitration, I don't want the judge to tell me he cannot make a ruling and that the Arbitration panel has the final say
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. The judge won't say that because the arbitration is not binding on insureds, only the insurance companies. You are free to file whatever lawsuit you want. The correct approach is to ask for the full value of the car, less whatever money you have already received. You do not want to ask for just the deductible. This can typically be corrected at the hearing. I hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
two last questions....Even though I asked for only 500.00 dollars, I can change the dollar amount I am asking for AT the trial, I don't have to do it before ?Also, so if my car is worth 15k and state farm (my ins company) paid 9k to get it repaired I should ask for 6k ?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
No problem. Ideally you'd fill out this form and submit it to the court to amend the complaint in advance of the trial. Alternatively, you could simply write a letter to the court, and if you do not have time to do either of these things you can request to change the damages amount at trial. The last option is not recommended if you have time to mail in a formal request. You then ask: "Also, so if my car is worth 15k and state farm (my ins company) paid 9k to get it repaired I should ask for 6k ?" If the car was repaired, then the repair cost plus diminished value is the extent of your damage. You can't claim the entire value of your car if the car was not a total loss. Otherwise, you would be getting more than what your actual loss was. I hope this clarifies things for you. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.Very best wishes.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Was there anything else I can do?