Visitor Question

Insurance company says I’m partially liable after hit and run?

Submitted By: A (USA)

I was a victim in hit and run accident.

I followed the car that hit me and got the car’s make, color and plate number.

It was not possible to get witnesses to the incident.

I reported the case to the police by phone and to my insurance company’s claims department.

My insurance did not call the police but called me back, after a phone interview/interrogation, and told me that they will take 90% liability for the accident, but that they determine that I was at fault (complete lie and no proof).

I know that if I accept this determination, my insurance premium will go up sky-high.

What is my recourse? This doesn’t seem right the insurance company is doing this to me. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear A,

Insurance companies are loathe to pay out money on claims. You aren’t the first person, nor will you be the last, to run into problems with their insurance company’s decision to asses fault where no fault existed.

Get a copy of the police report. Ask the insurance company why they are assessing your negligence at 10%. If they won’t agree to pay you 100% of the claim, you can do one of two things…

Insurance claims adjusters can have over 100 claims on their desk at any one time. Their job is to promptly investigate and settle or deny claims and move on to the next claim. If you tell the adjuster you won’t accept any less than 100% and the adjuster won’t budge, you can refuse to settle.

At that point, your claim will be one of those open claims an adjuster does not want to have on his or her desk.

If you can wait a few months the adjuster may have a change of heart and, in an effort to close the claim may pay you 100%. The downside is the adjuster can also decide to pay you less than 90%. The “bluff” can go both ways.

Be sure not to miss the statute of limitations filing period in your state. If you can’t settle the claim within the statutory period, and don’t file a lawsuit by the limitations expiration date, you will lose your right to file suit and will likely end up with nothing.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 25, 2014

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