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Auto Insurance Claims/Auto Claim Reversal, who is responsible?

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Question
First of all, everything in my situation was mishandled to begin with. The accident report listed me at fault, I received no citation, the police officer did not ask any witnesses (only witness came up to the officer for her statement), the officer also refused to changed the report through stating she couldn't (not wouldn't), and the witness was not in a position to see the traffic light. I also had to deal with an incompetent adjuster at my insurance company who did not contact a witness I had who was working at the intersection, causing them to accept liability. I had submitted a statement to the other insurance company from my witness, and told them the impossibility of the 1st witness being able to see the traffic light, but they still accepted my company's decision without any further investigation.

Later I have gotten with a different adjuster who finally contacted my witness and reversed their decision, but since I only had liability on the vehicle and they have paid the other party, they tell me there is nothing they can do legally, and the other company tells me it is on my insurance company to handle the legal parts of reversing the payment, since mine accepted liability, and their investigation (of reading only the accident report, no following up on the information I provided) lead them to have me at fault.

Fortunately, my insurance company has changed their decision in time enough to prevent the other party from claiming any more money for injury, and they are considering taking me to court, which I have more than enough evidence to support me, with errors on the report, photos and viewing angles to factually discredit the witness statement, and my witness.

I have also contacted the insurance commissioner to investigate the other company's handling of my claim.

What I would like to know, is either company liable at this point, with mine saying they can't do anything because they didn't pay anything to me and have no legal authority to recoup even their payments to the other party, for paying for my vehicle which was totaled and additional expenses, or is my only option waiting for the other party to sue me so that if it is found in my favor, I have that decision that I can use to take the other party to court? And the reason I have not already taken the other party to court is that I do not want to subject my witness to having to drive over 2 hours away and lose out on a day of work on my behalf. Both me and the other party reside in Georgia.

Answer
Hi Richard,

I'm sorry for all the aggravation you have been through. Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this situation. Anything you do is going to be time consuming and possible costly.

First, if you have not already done so, call your insurance company and ask to speak to a claims manager. Explain that the reason you can not get paid for your totaled car is do to his adjusters negligent handling of your claim and finding you at fault and paying the other driver. Further explain that as your insurance company you expect them to assist you if fixing their mistake or you will file a complaint with the state insurance commissioner and possible file suit for bad faith claim handling.

Second, you should start looking for an attorney to represent you. If your insurance company does not fix the situation you may need to file a law suit your self against the other driver to have a judge determine liability based on the evidence and facts of the case.

I hope this helps
Richard Hixenbuagh  

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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