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Insurance fraud..?? Car accident..

Olympia, WA |

Had an accident June 06. Within months before statute of limitations, we settled the case. The other party was at fault. The person driving the car, did not own the vehicle. However, there was insurance verified at the scene. At some point, we were informed there was no coverage, so, I had to sue my own insurance co. Last year, my mom and I were talking & it donned on me that I got a call from THEIR insurance carrier asking me for a statement. I remember specifically telling her that I didn't think I should be talking to her, I was under the impression they had no coverage, she left it at that. Since it was based on my coverage, I didn't get as much as I was told I should. Now, I know I should have. If it be the driver, the owner or the bank, someone had insurance coverage. Thoughts??

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Given the amount of time that has passed, I question whether there is really anything you can do at this point. It is entirely possible that the adverse driver had insurance, but the insurer denied coverage because an exclusion applied. Plus, if your insurer paid any money out it likely contacted the adverse driver's insurer and either confirmed that the declination of coverage was correct, or protested the declination and obtained reimbursement for whatever monies it paid out to you.

This response is general legal and business analysis and not legal advice; thus, other attorneys may analyze this issue differently, particularly if there are undisclosed facts. I am licensed to practice in CA, but I am not your attorney and this response does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Please review Item 9 of avvo.com’s terms and conditions, which is incorporated by reference as it if was reprinted here in full.

Asker

Posted

If they were able to do that, wouldn't I have been entitled to better coverage, a better settlement, etc? I know it has been uite a long time, which is why I asked. However, the call from their insurance company (after mine began paying for bills) came after we were told they had no insurance. And, as I said, the case was settled pretty close to the s of l. So, it was something that had never crossed my mind after more than two years.

Janice Rourke Hugener

Janice Rourke Hugener

Posted

Unfortunately, the statute of limitations may bar whatever claim you have or think you have based on fraud, misrepresentation, etc. Just be sure, you might want to consider compiling all of your paperwork and having a local attorney who specializes in insurance disputes take a look at it. Avvo's Find a Lawyer webpage is a good resource for this (many attorneys offer a free consultation). Good luck!

Asker

Posted

I will definitely look there.. I've tried to find some looking in Google but haven't had much luck. Also, one other thought, wouldn't their insurance company be liable for that? Considering, when I told her what I thought she left it as is and let me continue to think that?

Janice Rourke Hugener

Janice Rourke Hugener

Posted

Since I don't have all the facts and haven't seen any documents, I'm sorry but I have insufficient information upon which to base a response. Your best move is to have a local insurance coverage attorney review all your paperwork to see if there is any wiggle room left for you to pursue further relief. Best of luck ;)

Posted

It is difficult to impossible to address the facts of what happened here without going through the circumstances from start to finish.

But, in my experience, no insurance company will ever even think about considering the possibility of initially setting up the file on an uninsured claim without doing a scorched earth search for other coverage.

Another way to put this is that it is standard internal insurance policy and procedure to make a determination if there is any other potential coverage from any source prior to opening an uninsured claim.

Again, none of us on this side of the computer screen can answer in the specific context in which you've presented the issue. If you had an experienced aggressive attorney representing you this would have been one of the first matters addressed.

Posted

In my experience, recoveries in first party UIM claims are much higher than third party claims against the liable party's insurer. Hopefully, you had an attorney to navigate you through the claim and take advantage of your rights under your policy of insurance. The statute of limitations in an action against your insurer under your policy (contract) is 6 years pursuant to RCW 4.16.040. If the case has been settled and a release signed, you have most likely given up your right to additional compensation. However, a competent attorney could look at the facts/documents in minutes and give you an opinion.

Asker

Posted

For as much research as I do, that is something I definitely did not know. Have you ever dealt with similar cases?

Richard James Milham

Richard James Milham

Posted

Yes, many times. I think it would surprise you how many people drive without valid insurance, or if they have valid insurance, they are underinsured. That's why it is so important to have good first party coverage including UIM and PIP, with adequet limits. The law in Washington controlling first party claims took a turn in favor of insureds with the passage of IFCA: http://www.insurance.wa.gov/consumers/insurancefairconduct/index.shtml I would be glad to discuss your situation for no fee.

Asker

Posted

That would be great.. It would be nice to finally be able to find someone who can look at the details with me. Most of my things are packed up, given my current situation, but, I'm almost positive I know where my files are, in which I have all of these things available.. When all of this first crossed my mind, I went to my local insurance agent and she also agrees with my thought and copied the information she thought was pertinent to the situation - so, regardless, I have access to the paperwork I would need. Would be great to discuss this..

Asker

Posted

Also, have some paperwork from my previous insurance for a class action suit. Maybe if we can make a meeting work, you could go over it with me and give me your thought.. No pressure, just want to be clear on things. Thank you again =)

Richard James Milham

Richard James Milham

Posted

I'll be back in the office on Tuesday.

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