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A woman hit me on my bike. Her insurer rejected the claim. What are my options now?

Providence, RI |

a woman hit me as she was turning (right) onto a side street. i was going with traffic straight and she didnt see me. i took her insurer info. we both noted that my bike was pretty toasted , bent wheel handle bars and frame. she said shed pay for it, felt bad, apologized she didnt see me. now her insurance co BIG SURPRISE wont pay to replace bike, says shes not at fault. after the accident everyone said dont be nice! she totalled your bike and you got banged up but i dont lke to make a fuss. i shouldve listened and got a lawyer. i just want her to pay for the biike and not sue her sue her. can i do small claims court (bike = $900)? can i sue just her and not her insurance company?

Attorney Answers 8

  1. You would sue her. Her insurance may or may not cover her but they will probably defend her against your claim. If you win and she is properly covered, the insurance company would pay - but none of that changes the fact that you sue her.

    Rhode Island is a very small jurisdiction so it's important that you consider the possibility that people who you know may see your question or that the facts discussed here may be subject to discovery requests if you become involved in litigation. Please remember that it is not possible to give proper legal advice without a thorough consultation and this answer is meant only to provide you with some guidance. Contact an experienced attorney at your earliest convenience to discuss your case thoroughly. The above was provided purely for informational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and the attorney.

  2. I've never known an insurance company to do something because its "nice". Small claims will hear your claim. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff

  3. I would recommend that you speak with an attorney in your area immediately. There are some insurance companies (I won't say which ones) that are very aware their insured was to blame, but won't pay simply because you don't have someone representing you who will fight for you, so they think they can just sweep the whole incident under the rug. Do not feel bad about suing her; you are really asserting your rights against the insurance company, and she will just have to understand that. As an example, there are wives who sue husbands just for the sake of winning against the insurance company. Don't hesitate to call someone who deals with them on a daily basis, and don't stop treating for your injuries just because the claim was denied. This doesn't end here.

  4. Yes, you can sue her directly in small claims court. Sounds like you would win. Good luck.

    Mr. Crosner is licensed to practice law in California and has been practicing law in California since 1978. The response herein is general legal and business analysis.. It is not intended nor construed to be "legal advice" but rather it is analysis, and different lawyers may analyze this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  5. Small claims court

  6. If the insurer rejects the claim, your only options are to attempt to persuade them to accept, which is almost always a losing endeavor, or file suit. Given the relatively small damages, small claims court is likely the place to go. Make sure to ask for costs if you file pro se.

  7. Yes, small claims is likely the best forum for you to handle a straight claim for the property damage this woman caused to your bike. You would sue her directly (name her as the defendant) but send a copy of the complaint to her insurance company as they would, under her contract with them, defend it (or simply appear in court) and they would be responsible to pay any judgment you get.
    If; however, you were injured, I would urge you to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance. They deal with this type of issue very often and can direct you in the right direction.
    Good luck!

  8. Sounds like small claims court is your best option. Below is a link to information that will help you sue her there.

    I am giving you general information about the law. To give you legal advice I would first have to learn more about the facts and circumstances of your particular situation. (401) 383-7550 or I am not your attorney and I am not giving legal advice. The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law. The court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any particular field of practice.