I stopped for a red-light and was rear-ended, but the other driver said I backed into him at the same intersection. I suffered only a banged up bumper. The other driver's insurance company-Access Insurance-refused to pay because of our conflicting views of who caused the accident. We exchanged information but the other driver's address turned out to be a vacant lot. I only have liability coverage, not collision, but I do have coverage for an uninsured motorist.
I have no way to do a service of process on the other driver for a small claims suit, because the address he gave me turned out to be a vacant lot. When I contacted the respective city, their building dept. said the address was a former apt. building that was demolished a full year before our traffic accident.
Since you have the name of the other driver and his insurance information, give same to your carrier when filing for an uninsured motorist claim and they will ascertain if he had insurance.
It sounds like you may be a bit confused on what "underinsured/uninsured motorist" coverage provides. If I am reading your question right, I am guessing you are looking for coverage to repair your vehicle. Underinsured/Uninsured motorist coverage is not for this purpose, but rather for claims of personal/bodily injury. Therefore, collision would have been the coverage that you could rely upon. Now, at least in Florida, you would absolutely have a liability suit with a strong chance of winning. In most states, when a rear-end accident occurs, it is presumed that the rear driver was liable. I would speak with a lawyer about bringing suit against them. Insurance companies are ALWAYS going to say they aren't responsible, especially when the "accounts" of what happened are conflicting. Don't let them! It sounds like you are totally in the right and should pursue all available remedies against the driver, for property and (if any) injuries. Best of luck!
You should contact your insurance with regard to your uninsured motorist coverage and provide them with the other person's information. Hopefully they will be able to determine whether he was insured and determine liability.
This communication offers general information based on the very limited information provided, and does not constitute the giving of legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship.
Your uninsured motorist coverage will only come into effect if the other party does not have insurance. that does not appear to be the case here.
hopefully you wrote down his driver's license number and info and got the license plate number off of the vehicle. If so, give it to your carrier and ask them to run the info for you.
Also, sometimes if you file in small claims court and use the Sheriff to serve the complaint they will run a check to see where the guy lives now, they do it as part of their warrant check when serving. Hopefully you have enough info on him to do a little skip trace.
Good luck. make sure you let the small claims judge know the guy gave you the wrong address. That might help for credibility attacks if he disputes liability.
This is a bizarre situation, but not unique to drivers everywhere. Surely Access has the correct address for its insured, but it may be difficult to have them cough it up. This is not an uninsured motorist case. YOur recourse if to file and serve a complaint, either in small claims court or Superior Court, and proceed from there. Serving the defendant is the sticky wicket, for sure, but the judge may allow you to serve by publication, given the facts that defendant is hiding from responsibility. "Backing into him at the light" is not a credible defense. Once the suit if filed Access has the responsibility to defend its insured, and may be more wiling to be cooperative. You can also file a complaint with the Commissioner of Insurance.
This response is a general one, and does not constitute legal advice. There is no attorney client relationship absent a written agreement.
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