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Ely
Ely, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 102143
Experience:  Private practice
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I live in California. Yesterday I got into an accident where

Customer Question

I live in California. Yesterday I got into an accident where a man purposely caused a rear-end accident and try to flee.Once the car accident happened I exited my vehicle and informed the man I was going to call the cops. Since both of our cars were stuck together he rubbed his truck and once his truck became unstuck took off heathen headed forward cutting off a diesel truck and forced to stop at a red light. I followed the driver and the diesel truck driver assisted me by taking a photo of the truck's license plate. Once the man realized we already got him he then made an illegal left turn and proceeded to pull over to a curb. I have the truck driver as a witness and towards the end he finally confessed to the cops that the accident was completely his fault.I have yet to talk to his insurance company but I would like some advice on what I should say. I had to take both me and my son to the hospital. My son had some abdominal pain and headache and I sprained my back and had some head pain as well. During the car accident my airbags did not deploy. Is it true that I have the right to force them to fix my car if I don't like the payout since the airbags did not deploy? Do I also have the right to take my car to any place to have it fixed? Or do I have to go to where the insurance says?Regarding our injuries I would like to know what to say and do to make sure that we get a full payout and covered for the trauma that happened the other day. Since I'm a single mother of two children I have only one car and it will also be needing a rental. Do I have to go to the rental place that they say or can I go to any rental place to get a car?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you think I can ask for? This is a written statement from the diesel truck driver who is my witness
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. Was the police called to the scene? Was the other individual ticketed? This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes the cops showed up and file the report I do not know if he's been ticketed or not. But they didn't for me that he said he had full coverage and admitted and verified my story was true
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was actually surprised he was not arrested. He also had two children in his truck when he cause the rear end accident. I had my son
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The cops said he told them that he was brake checking me and that he said he had no intention and causing an accident.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Please understand how this works. Once someone hits you and they have insurance, the insurance is liable for the judgment that you'd get against the driver if you sue them (in limited amount, but usually pretty high). Ergo, to avoid paying out huge sums from a judgment where their driver is likely responsible, the insurance company likes to settle the claim to avoid litigation. Once an agreement is reached, you sign a release and waive your rights to sue in exchange for the payout. But, how does one reach that settlement? The insurance adjuster. The adjuster's job is to make you miserable. They will ignore you, confuse you, and ask for redundant and seemingly needless paperwork in an effort to talk you into a small settlement or have you give up all-together. And remember, statute of limitations usually only gives you a limited time to file suit, which is 3 years. They know this; they hope you do not. If you miss the 3 years deadline, you can no longer file against their driver, which means they do not even have to work with you. What they are offering should at least cover:1) all medical bills;2) all bills for vehicle repair;3) missed work; and4) pain and suffering. Not that they have to, but because they know that you'll at least get that in Court. The last one (pain and suffering) is the wild card, and there is where they will try to avoid paying much. An attorney usually cuts through this malarkey since the adjuster knows counsel does not put up with this and WILL file suit if needed (whereas here, they do not see you as much of a threat without an attorney since you filing or winning a suit without counsel is unlikely). Then a settlement is usually reached. The attorney should take this on a contingency basis, meaning they do not get paid unless you do. Usual set up is their take is 33% settlement, 40% win at trial, 45% at appeal; plus some office costs. Everything is negotiable. Is it true that I have the right to force them to fix my car if I don't like the payout since the airbags did not deploy? Yes and no. You do not have the right to force them to fix your vehicle. However, someone in your situation has the right to SUE for the money it cost - or would cost - to fix the vehicle. Do I also have the right to take my car to any place to have it fixed? Yes - any shop, provided that their prices are reasonable. Or do I have to go to where the insurance says? No, this is not mandatory. But some insurance companies prefer this because they get a cheaper deal with a shop. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since I currently don't have a car right now can I just go to a rental place and get a car and have them reimburse me?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Not quite. The insurance has to agree to reimburse you. So by simply acting unilaterally, one is taking a chance since his insurance may decide that it was not his fault, and try not to take the blame. Therefore, one may wish to first ask his insurance if they would accept the blame and also provide a rental vehicle reimbursement during the negotiation. Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They can do that even if he admits fault at the crash site
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Yes, although unlikely. If he admitted fault, and it is on the record, then the insurance company will likely too. However keep in mind they want to pay out as little as possible, so they may try to argue somehow that he was not liable after all. So until/unless the insurance company accepts fault, it would not be prudent to assume they would cover anything. Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I end up accepting a settlement do I have to surrender my car or can I keep both?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My mom ended up having to call off of work the day of the accident to help me go to the hospital and to help me pick up my kid from school and take care of my son... is it possible that the mans insurance can cover her Missed day of work?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
My apologies for the wait.
"If I end up accepting a settlement do I have to surrender my car or can I keep both?"
Depends on the settlement.
"My mom ended up having to call off of work the day of the accident to help me go to the hospital and to help me pick up my kid from school and take care of my son... is it possible that the mans insurance can cover her Missed day of work?"
Yes, but it depends on the settlement. Recall my earlier answer:
What they are offering should at least cover:
1) all medical bills;
2) all bills for vehicle repair;
3) missed work; and
4) pain and suffering.
Not that they have to, but because they know that you'll at least get that in Court. The last one (pain and suffering) is the wild card, and there is where they will try to avoid paying much.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.