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Auto Insurance Claims/Vehicle Collision

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Question
State: Minnesota (No-Fault state)
Vehicle coverage: Liability

Accident: No deaths, minor injuries, 3 car involvement which included a semi-truck and a sedan.


Vehicle damaged in collision by driven other than the vehicle owner. Can the vehicle owner be reimbursed for the value of the vehicle? if so, by whom? I need to figure out if i as the vehicle owner need to acquire an attorney as my vehicle has been totaled and no individual or company is assuming the responsibility for my vehicle.

The accident date was 3/2013. The vehicle driver has hired a lawyer which is currently assisting medical expenses through the drivers insurance company. The accident was ruled out as No-Fault as the state requirement. What actions can i take to retrieve compensation for my vehicle?

Answer
Hi Adam,

This is a tough situation. However, if you have collision coverage on the vehicle, you should make a claim against your own policy. That way at least you will be paid the value of the vehicle less your deductible. Then your insurance company will do a liability investigation to determine who was at fault. If they determine that some other than the driver of your car was at fault, they will seek reimbursement from that person or their insurance company through a process called subrogation.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "no fault" collision. In every case someone did something they shouldn't have or didn't do something they should have. This is called negligence and creates liability for the resulting damages and injuries. In your state the term no fault only relates to injuries. It simply means that regardless of fault everyone goes through their own insurance company for their initial medical treatment. It has nothing ot do with property damage.

If you did not have collision coverage on your policy the situation is much more difficult. In that case you would likely need to file suit against everyone involved and have them all come to court to tell their story to a judge. Hopefully the judge would be able to sort things out and make a liability decision that would enable you to pursue compensation from the responsible party.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbaugh  

Auto Insurance Claims

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Richard Hixenbaugh

Expertise

Auto insurance claims procedure, auto coverage, liability issues, auto damage questions, how to deal with the insurance company, loss of use and diminished value.

Experience

I have been involved in the insurance industry for over 25 years. I have experience in underwriting, sales, claims adjusting, auto damage estimating, auto value appraising and diminished value appraising. I have testified as an expert witness over 35 times.

Organizations
Society of Certified Auto Appraisers

Education/Credentials
Completed all required courses for the Florida Property-Casualty agents license and the Florida claims adjusters license. I have attended various courses on auto damage estmating, vehicle appraising and am ASE certified in collision damage analysis.

Past/Present Clients
My company has done work for consumers nationwide.

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