I was heading north on a major street and the person who hit me was turning left onto a cross street (from opposite direction heading south) and caused a "T-Bone". The police report placed them at fault, yet Infinity sent me a letter saying I was found 20% at fault for not stopping in time and being inattentive. How can I recover the rest of the 20% property damage? By cashing the check the sent me (80%), am I waiving my rights to recover the additional 20%? I can't believe Infinity, this clearly was not my fault. Please help!!!
I should add that it was a left-hand turn yield light, and, yes, I was injured. They deemed my car a total loss. I went to E.R. just to document my injuries, immediately after the accident, I didn't want to incur an Ambulance Bill at the scene of the accident. I consulted with my Chiropractor because a few days later I started to REALLY feel the symptoms of whiplash, he referred me to an attorney as well. I want to settle the property damage portion myself, and leave the P.I. to the attorney. I just want to know if I am able to cash this check for 80% of my property damages, and then maybe go to small claims (I am eligible for a fee waiver too) for the remaining portion. I argued and argued with Infinity adjuster, and showed them the police report, gave them a diagram, took pictures of the intersection, and they SMACKED me with their decision. Seriously, how do they do this to people? insane to me... Any help based on these additional facts?
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
You need to consult an attorney ASAP because it does not appear based on the facts that you were at fault but instead that the other driver violated your Right of Way. We're you injured?
Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at www.serviceandjustice.com.
Get a lawyer to renegotiate the liability split or get the rest paid through your collision coverage.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
Do not cash the check until you understand the consequences. Based on your description, this collision appears to be completely the fault of the other driver. I assume Infinity insures that driver, not you. You may have the option to use your own automobile insurer to repair your vehicle and then your company can pursue Infinity. Review your policy or check with your agent. If that is not an option for you, then you will need to convince Infinity that you were not at fault. The police report should help, but Infinity has likely already seen it. They are trying to save the 20% at your expense, which is not right, but it happens all the time. If you were injured in this collision, then you should consider consulting with a local attorney who may be able to pursue your property damage claim at the same time as your personal injury claim.
Right now, you have the right to go to small claims court to sue (for up to $10,000) the other driver and establish your right to full compensation. You may waive your right to sue by cashing the check if language on the check or accompanying documents provides for that - look carefully before cashing. Before you cash the check, at the least you can call Infinity and explain why they are wrong and why you demand 100 percent compensation. You can advise them that if they don't pay in full, you'll sue their insured. That might inspire them to pay more.
You don't say what dollar amount is at issue, so I can't say whether or not it would make sense for you to pay an attorney to negotiate for you. Note that in small claims court you are not entitled to use an attorney - you must represent yourself.
Your attorney should handle this as part of your PI case. This is just Infinity BS, the do it all the time and figure they can save money. Going to small claims is probably not an option, since you are required to bring all claims you have against a defendant at the same time and your injury portion isn't ready. If you have insurance go through them to fix the car.
Don't cash the check, and call one of the above lawyers in your state for representation to resolve this for you.
I deal with these types of cases all of the time. You are prejudicing yourself and your case by dealing with this on your own.
With that being said, this apportionment of fault is a scam that seems to be happening more and more by the major insurance companies. The police report is irrelevant at trial, but a person making a left is almost always 100% at fault.
The insurance company is hoping you will be a fool and settle for what they give you rather than hiring a Car Accident Attorney such as myself to help you.
Do not cash the check. Give me a call this weekend for a free consultation to discuss. I am on call this week, 800-816-1529 x. 1.
You can also read about these cases on my website here: http://thepersonalinjury.com/practice-areas/car-accidents/
No attorney/client relationship is or shall be created by this response on Avvo to non-clients of The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez.