Is the Defendant Responsible to the Insurance Company?

A driver rear-ended me, lied, and said I backed into him (I told the story on the forum). To recap, I got a Claims Rep at my insurance company with a nasty attitude who placed me at fault. I had enough evidence, but she would not accept any of it (nor would her manager). I waited months to see if she would come to her senses, contacted the California Department of Insurance (they are of no help), my attorney, etc. In short, I was patient, but nothing came of it. The other driver’s insurance company also placed me 100% at fault, and my Claims Rep said she did not know.

Knowing I had the evidence, I got fed up and finally went to small claims and easily won. The guy continued to lie in court yet produced not a single piece of evidence (I mean, he did not even bring a piece of paper - his only proof was he was an honest man). It was the first and only time I sued someone. I sued for the total damage, but when I received the judgment, the Judge decided to award me half the amount of my deductible (not the repair cost – as to why who knows or can do anything about it?). During the hearing, she asked why the original estimate changed during repair (like I had any control over that). I answered appropriately and showed where the repair shop added the increase due to everything costing more (i.e., parts, labor, inflation). I had the original estimate written five months prior. My insurance company approved the increase without issue – but for some reason, it was an issue for the Judge.

So I win, and the guy does not pay – not unusual but weird as the amount is so little. However, his insurance company told me that if I succeeded in court, they would be responsible and pay the judgment. So they sent the check, but it is so little money I have not cashed it. It also releases him of the decision as if he paid it himself, which does not sit well with me.

I know some work or have worked in auto insurance here – is this guy going to see a rate increase or more because they had to pay me? Will they make him pay them what they paid me? A private investigator friend found that he sold the car he hit me with two days after the hearing and his wife’s vehicle. Those were owned (not financed), so I could compel them to sell them to pay me; thus, I assume they got rid of them for that reason. But what upset me is that he (the private investigator) found they purchased three new cars after the hearing (brand new, 2022s), which I did confirm. So the guy had the money to pay me. I know what I want my next step to be, but I am just wondering before I get into it, is he going to suffer any consequences for lying to his insurance company, or is he just going to walk away (again)? The court ordered this piece of work to pay ten percent of what I was asking (I did not add a penny more – it costs to prove your case, serve, etc. – I wanted none of that). Some people genuinely baffle me. Again the money is now so tiny (thank you, your Honor), but the guy is a liar and a jerk, so I [may be] doing it…

seinfeld-for

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I have no idea, but great story so far!

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I doubt the insurance company will do anything to him. Anything you do, as you I think already acknowledge, will be a waste of time and money, but might be worth the satisfaction to you.

What exactly was the evidence that the insurance company didn’t accept but the judge did?

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I’d scream for 25+ seconds, and let go.

"Saturn comes back around.
Lifts you up like a child or
Drags you down like a stone
To consume you till you choose to let this go
Choose to let this go

Give away the stone
Let the oceans take and trans mutate this cold and fated anchor
Give away the stone
Let the waters kiss and trans mutate these leaden grudges into gold
Let go"

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The Judge accepted dashcam footage, pictures of the accident scene, and testimony from the witness who was in the car at the time.

My insurance company would not accept any of what I presented in court. And what I did, the Claims Rep said it was not enough.

I suppose I am still upset. But I guess it is best to let it go. I despise liars.

Why would the insurance not accept dashcam footage?

what did your attorney say? i can’t imagine he wouldn’t be salivating at suing both your and his insurance companies.

i’m confused as to why his insurance didn’t end up paying when the evidence was presented by your attorney?

Your guess is as good as mine. The Claims Rep told me that she did not want it because it did not show the rear of my car (where the accident occurred). I recorded the conversation for documentation. So I tried to reason that you could still see the impact of the collision, that I was not moving, sounds, and conversation between myself and the passenger (we verbalized what transpired within a second of it happening).

I sent the footage anyway (to some other part of the company that deals with evidence directly), and her manager (who I was trying to avoid) sent back an email stating they were not using it as evidence. My attorney contacted her twice, and she still refused. After that, I am not sure what happened, but it went into intercompany arbitration, and I never heard from my company again. That was in April. The last correspondence I received was from the Claims Rep, which literally made zero sense.

“Based on the available facts, we have determined that our insured is not liable for your damages. As a result, we will be unable to make any payment to you at this time.”

Yes, it was addressed to me and had the correct Claim Number, Loss Date, etc. However, I chose not to reply as I felt it was to bait me into a needless argument. Furthermore, I am their insured (the other party and I do not share the same insurance company). The Claims Rep appeared to delight in getting me to call and being of no help, so I decided not to give her the satisfaction.

By the way, the California Department of Insurance is a joke of an agency. I waited nearly two months for them to side with my insurance company because they do not handle fault complaints. Documents proved that the Commissioner took money from insurance companies (mine in particular). Yet, he still won his reelection primary in June.

My attorney dealt with my insurance company. They ignored him.

The other side’s insurance company would only accept evidence from my insurance company and not from my attorney or me – they rejected it. Then, when I asked my insurance to submit the proof, they refused.

I found my Claims Rep used to work for the other insurance company, but I have no idea if that has anything to do with the oddness of everything. I still can sue my insurance company but have made the choice not to at this time.

The above scenario, my first suit, made me realize how time-consuming, stressful, and uncertain they (lawsuits) can be.

you need to find and talk to a different attorney. this whole thing reads like a horror story.

You hired a private investigator to see what this guy is doing and what cars he sold and bought?

You’re crazy bro. You got this guy living rent free in your head

You were in an accident. You were made whole in court. Sorry your attorney sucked.

Move on with your life.

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You have said multiple times how the amount is small and we are talking fractions of an insurance deductible . Is this really worth your time to continue to pursue ? You have probably spent many multiples worth of your time doing all of this, talking to both insurance agencies over and over, talking to lawyers, going to court. What exactly are you gaining here ?

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I don’t get why they wouldn’t accept your evidence, their whole goal is to not pay. They should love it.

This sucks. I’m going to ask a few questions to you. Reading your story and looking at this completely objectively:

(1) Were you injured?

(2) Was your passenger injured?

(3) Was your car fixed?

(4) Did your insurance rates go up because of this incident?

(5) Have you looked into switching insurance companies?

I did not hire a private investigator. I have no interest in what he is doing. I am very much interested in his assets. The inquiry was for a debtor’s examination.

I am a woman. But yes, I might be crazy not wanting to allow someone to get away without paying a cent.

I was paid $250 for a repair that cost $2,400. So I would not call that being made whole. Also, an attorney cannot represent you in a small claims matter.

Some might say continuing to right the wrong is moving on. However, it is all a matter of individual perspective.

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We both had some issues, but nothing long-term (I can only speak for myself).

Yes.

Yes.

Yes, and my rates doubled when shopping as the accident was placed with me at fault to LexisNexis. I filed a dispute, and they told me my insurance company had 30 days to reply. If they did not, LexisNexis would remove the designation. Unfortunately, my insurance company never responded, and LexisNexis did not change the tag.

I said the same. I have no idea what happened.

I think I am just angry that he got away with it (which was the basis/ask of my post). Had the Judge ruled on the amount of the repair, I would no longer be thinking about it. It is not as if he was obligated to pay anyway (I made it clear by letter that his insurance company agreed to pay if he lost during the hearing). Had she given the entire amount, his insurance company would have had to pay if he did not. I asked for not a penny over the repair cost and would have been fine had I been given my deductible back. And I only asked for the repair cost because you usually get what you ask. I was anticipating the Judge possibly giving less, but not as little as granted.

I still have options.

My attorney has been my parents’ attorney since 1980-1981(?). I contacted two (perhaps three) other lawyers, who were less helpful.

I learned the power of insurance companies, that is for sure.