Question: Seeking advice/suggestion about dealing with someone else's insurance for a car accident?

CrimsonNagus

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I have never been in a car accident like this and I'm guessing my car will be considered totaled. A Ford F-150, in front of me, and I were slowing down to make a left hand turn and a lady slammed into me from behind, which then pushed me into the F-150 in front of my car.

So, her insurance is with All State. What should I expect? This happened last Wednesday and I have only heard from All State once, they called to take a statement. Right now I have no car. Our budget doesn't not have room for a second car payment, we had no plans to purchase another car for years. My car had plenty of life left in it, it had just under 80K miles on it.

I'm worried her insurance is going to try and stiff me with a low payout. IMO, my personal budget should not have to suffer because this lady crashed into my car. All State should pay me enough to replace the car with a very similar valued car. I have looked at Autotrader, Carvana and Carmax; the few 2012 Toyota Corollas they have are all around 14-16K depending on millage. I'm not looking to get rich or get $50k car. I just don't want to end up with a car payment because this accident wasn't my fault. I also think they should provide a rental until things are worked out but, I've heard so little from them that I'm getting nervous.

I've also got some doctor appointments later in the week, ultrasounds and x-rays, to check for internal damage. My doctor doesn't think there is any damage but he wants to make sure. My side does still hurt some, like a badly pulled muscle.

I know we have some lawyers around here and maybe some insurance folks as well. I would appreciate any advice? Should I contact a lawyer or wait to see what All State does?

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Padreruf

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Let your insurance company handle it. That's what you pay them to do. Did they ticket the person that hit you? Glad you are OK.
That's the best advice anyone can give...tell your agent what you want and let him/her take it from there. However, if you don't like the direction it is taking, you can always hire a lawyer...or threaten to do so. That usually gets action.
 
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B1GTide

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That's the best advice anyone can give...tell your agent what you want and let him/her take it from there. However, if you don't like the direction it is taking, you can always hire a lawyer...or threaten to do so. That usually gets action.
Agreed - be prepared to hire a lawyer if your insurance company does not take appropriate action on your behalf. Remember, their best interests may not align with yours.
 
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CrimsonNagus

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See, I talked with my insurance agent (State Farm) and he said I could file through them but, there may be some initial out of pocket cost until I get reimbursed from All State. Or, he said, I could let All State handle it and wait for their decision and not have any out of pocket cost up front.

I hate this crap, I'm not good at negotiating or arguing.

I'm not sure if they ticketed the driver, I haven't seen a police report. Good ole Alabama, the insurance companies can get the police (State Troopers) report for free but, I have to pay for one if I want it. I don't even know where they towed my car, no one told me and, at the scene, I didn't think to ask. I wasn't thinking straight at that moment.
 

B1GTide

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See, I talked with my insurance agent (State Farm) and he said I could file through them but, there may be some initial out of pocket cost until I get reimbursed from All State. Or, he said, I could let All State handle it and wait for their decision and not have any out of pocket cost up front.

I hate this crap, I'm not good at negotiating or arguing.

I'm not sure if they ticketed the driver, I haven't seen a police report. Good ole Alabama, the insurance companies can get the police (State Troopers) report for free but, I have to pay for one if I want it. I don't even know where they towed my car, no one told me and, at the scene, I didn't think to ask. I wasn't thinking straight at that moment.
Sounds like someone who doesn't want to deal with the paperwork to me.
 
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Toddrn

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See, I talked with my insurance agent (State Farm) and he said I could file through them but, there may be some initial out of pocket cost until I get reimbursed from All State. Or, he said, I could let All State handle it and wait for their decision and not have any out of pocket cost up front.

I hate this crap, I'm not good at negotiating or arguing.

I'm not sure if they ticketed the driver, I haven't seen a police report. Good ole Alabama, the insurance companies can get the police (State Troopers) report for free but, I have to pay for one if I want it. I don't even know where they towed my car, no one told me and, at the scene, I didn't think to ask. I wasn't thinking straight at that moment.
If your agent can get a copy for free then they should get one and make you a copy. Your agent should be able to find out where it was towed. Sounds like your agent is passing the buck. If necessary State Farm should handle your claim and then go after All State to get their money back. You should not have to pay out of pocket to get your agent to do their job.
 

Bazza

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If you have a friend who is a PIP lawyer, ask them to help you.

Your insurance rep, as Seebell & Todd said, should be assisting you. Keep trying with them - ask your agent. Ask someone else. This is what they are supposed to do.
 
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crimsonaudio

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I am not an attorney or insurance expert.

But remember, YOU get to choose when you agree to their offer. Ask for a rental and then stand your ground until they make you whole on your car.

Based on those pics I'd guess it will almost certainly be totaled. If not, demand OEM parts. If so, look up market value in your area and have a number in mind that it will cost to buy a similar car (age, maintenance records, etc).

IME, the insurance company will try to force you along, but until you agree to their numbers, the case remains open.

Nationwide tried this with me a few years ago after their client was at fault. The claimed they were only half at fault since there was construction going on and the lane was narrowed. I told them to give me the $1,200 it would cost me to DIY the fixes myself, but they instead offered a $600 check. So I went over the truck with a fine-toothed comb with their inspector, pointing out all damage and ended up with just over $9k in damage (he nav screen had a scratch from the broken glass and the only option was an entirely new nav unit). At that point, I took the (just over) $4,500 check and thanked them. After the truck was repaired for ~$1,200, the rest was used for a beach vacation.

Insurance companies are generally pretty dirty - it's how they're so profitable - so no matter how nice or friendly they seem, always assume they're trying to screw you.
 

Bamaro

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Allstate is the worst! Beware, they WILL try to low ball you on the value of your car and the free rental may disappear before you have reasonable time to choose a replacement. They gave me the runaround so bad on my car that was totaled by their driver that I finally had to sue them.
 

CrimsonNagus

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@Bamaro Oh don't tell me that, hopefully I have a better experience. Not off to a great start because they said they will only cover $25.70 per day for a rental car, and only from Enterprise, which sounds pretty low. They are sending a letter for me to take to Enterprise and they are suppose to give a special rate. We will see. I don't know why they have to mail the letter though, they have my email address and have already emailed me a couple times. They also said, if the car is totaled, they will stop covering the rental when I receive the payout. So no time to go shopping.


I'm not about to take on unexpected financial burdens because their client slammed into my car. IMO, I shouldn't have to pay a dime to rent a car, repair my car or replace my car with a similar aged car. We would not be in this position if it wasn't for their client's carelessness.

This car was paid off and still had quite a few good years left. My oldest daughter was going to get this car when she starts to drive in a few years. By then, my wife's car would be paid off and we'd where going to consider getting a new car at that time. We can't afford to take on a second car payment, so Allstate low balling us and expecting us to ruin our monthly budget because of their client is not acceptable.

I don't know any lawyers so I called a local attorney and they were of very little help as far as the property damage is concerned. He said they don't usually get involved at this stage for the car damage because it could delay any payout for however long it takes to settle the case. So he told me to work with Allstate and see what they offer. If I feel it is not enough, then they can get involved.

He also sad not to discuss personal injury with Allstate and let them handle the injury claims. I'm not even sure there will be injury claims besides the copays, until I get the results of my ultrasound tomorrow. Of course he said there doesn't have to be physical injury t have injury claims. That doesn't sit well with me because I'm not an ambulance chaser, I'm not try to walk away with a truck load of money. I just can't afford a car right now and want Allstate to cover it. Not a fancy $50,000+ car, something comparable and based on my online research is around $12,000-16,000 depending on the dealership.

If the accident was my fault then fine, I'd be screwed. It is not though I my family should not have to suffer for someone else's screw up. These insurance companies have billion's, they can afford a $16,000 car. I can't.

This is all so stressful. Sorry for the rant.
 

B1GTide

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The minute you went to the doctor, you created an injury claim. Your medical insurance is going to make the car insurance company pay those expenses.

As for the rental car, you probably could use what they give you but keep records and refuse to settle unless you are made whole on your car rental. So, if you are forced to pay something out of pocket, you include that in your settlement at the end.
 

Padreruf

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The minute you went to the doctor, you created an injury claim. Your medical insurance is going to make the car insurance company pay those expenses.

As for the rental car, you probably could use what they give you but keep records and refuse to settle unless you are made whole on your car rental. So, if you are forced to pay something out of pocket, you include that in your settlement at the end.
This...don't settle for less than FULL REIMBURSEMENT. Your case will not bankrupt All State -- and their reputation is as stated.
 

Toddrn

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@Bamaro Oh don't tell me that, hopefully I have a better experience. Not off to a great start because they said they will only cover $25.70 per day for a rental car, and only from Enterprise, which sounds pretty low. They are sending a letter for me to take to Enterprise and they are suppose to give a special rate. We will see. I don't know why they have to mail the letter though, they have my email address and have already emailed me a couple times. They also said, if the car is totaled, they will stop covering the rental when I receive the payout. So no time to go shopping.


I'm not about to take on unexpected financial burdens because their client slammed into my car. IMO, I shouldn't have to pay a dime to rent a car, repair my car or replace my car with a similar aged car. We would not be in this position if it wasn't for their client's carelessness.

This car was paid off and still had quite a few good years left. My oldest daughter was going to get this car when she starts to drive in a few years. By then, my wife's car would be paid off and we'd where going to consider getting a new car at that time. We can't afford to take on a second car payment, so Allstate low balling us and expecting us to ruin our monthly budget because of their client is not acceptable.

I don't know any lawyers so I called a local attorney and they were of very little help as far as the property damage is concerned. He said they don't usually get involved at this stage for the car damage because it could delay any payout for however long it takes to settle the case. So he told me to work with Allstate and see what they offer. If I feel it is not enough, then they can get involved.

He also sad not to discuss personal injury with Allstate and let them handle the injury claims. I'm not even sure there will be injury claims besides the copays, until I get the results of my ultrasound tomorrow. Of course he said there doesn't have to be physical injury t have injury claims. That doesn't sit well with me because I'm not an ambulance chaser, I'm not try to walk away with a truck load of money. I just can't afford a car right now and want Allstate to cover it. Not a fancy $50,000+ car, something comparable and based on my online research is around $12,000-16,000 depending on the dealership.

If the accident was my fault then fine, I'd be screwed. It is not though I my family should not have to suffer for someone else's screw up. These insurance companies have billion's, they can afford a $16,000 car. I can't.

This is all so stressful. Sorry for the rant.
What may happen is that All State will offer you a payout for bodily injury based on how much coverage the person that hit you has. If you get the lawyer involved they will take a third and most likely will not get you any more than what the coverage is. Use the lawyer as a last resort. But if necessary you may need to threaten All State that you are going to hire a lawyer to get their attention.
 
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Bamaro

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CN, Allstate told me directly that there was no requirement to 'make me whole'. I sent them KBB and NADA pricing on my car. They told me 'everybody knows those values are inflated'. They use a special valuation tool (black book?) that is obviously lower. Then they told me to provide them comps which I did. They rejected those too. Because of a special requirement that I had to have also on my new car replacement (my bike had to fit in the trunk), and some physical issues as a result of the accident that limited my time shopping each day, they cut off my rental supplement after a couple of weeks and stopped paying storage fees where my car was towed. After I realized that the person that I was dealing with at Allstate claims was just giving me the run around, I asked to speak to his manager. He turned out to be the most obnoxious and ignorant person that I have ever spoken with. After that I spoke with a lawyer, which I had no previous intention of doing, and in the long run that wound up costing Allstate much more than if they would have just been honest with me on the replacement value of my car.
This was not the first time that I had issues with Allstate.
I hope your experience is much better.
 
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Bazza

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---snip--- After that I spoke with a lawyer, which I had no previous intention of doing, and in the long run that wound up costing Allstate much more than if they would have just been honest with me on the replacement value of my car.
---snip---
As I stated upstream.......anyone who has this type of automobile accident who does not obtain the services of a GOOD Personal Injury attorney is (probably) not going to have a satisfactory outcome.

There are a LOT of Personal Injury attorneys out there. Which is why my suggestion was if you had a friend who is one. I have many friends who are attorneys. heck, I even have a brother who is one. They come in all shapes, sizes, personalities, and capabilities.

The key is to get the right one. The right one will have the expertise to guide you through the entire process. He/she will represent YOU.

My parents were in a severe accident and fortunately a very good friend of mine was able to help them get through it. So I have witnessed pretty much firsthand how it works, when you have a good attorney. He was fantastic.

Lastly, even if you don't know a Personal Injury attorney - ask any attorney with whom you know if they have a recommendation. Having a good referral can be of considerable value.

Good luck!
 

CrimsonNagus

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Well, we already got a lawyer and dropped them in a couple days. I just didn’t like what they were saying. I had told them I was already visiting my doctor who was setting up ultrasounds and x-rays. They were trying to get me to go visit their doctor. I’m not playing that game, I know my doctor, I don’t know theirs. It was the “3 for me” guy, which was probably a mistake. We just don’t know any lawyers.

Allstate is taking their time but we should finally have a rental tomorrow and I was told on Thursday that 3-5 business days we should have a settlement offer on the car. Based on the advice from my State Farm agent, I am gathering listings from used cars for sale in the area of similar age and mileage to give Allstate a chance to give me a reasonable settlement when (if) they try and low ball me.


Anyway, when it comes to finally searching for a new car has anyone had any experience with Carmax or Carvana? The idea of buying online and picking up without having to deal with a salesperson is very appealing. I know they charge a premium but, that might be worth it for less hassle. Carmax advertises a 30 day, or 3,000 mile, return policy, full refund, no questions asked. Are these good companies or sleezy?
 
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Bamaro

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Anyway, when it comes to finally searching for a new car has anyone had any experience with Carmax or Carvana? The idea of buying online and picking up without having to deal with a salesperson is very appealing. I know they charge a premium but, that might be worth it for less hassle. Carmax advertises a 30 day, or 3,000 mile, return policy, full refund, no questions asked. Are these good companies or sleezy?
Carmax is a very safe place to buy a used car from. I used them a couple of years ago for my daughter. Yup, they charge a little premium, but you get what you pay for. They won't screw you over.
 

CrimsonNagus

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I forgot to give a brief update weeks ago. AllState actually came through pretty good, gave us $11,500 for my totaled 2012 Corolla. That was enough to pay off my wife's car and still put down $7,000 towards the 2020 Corolla I bought from CarMax.

CarMax was great, easiest car buying experience I have ever had. I'll definitely look there first next time we have to car shop.
 

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