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mudbug504

Mutli-car accident & insurers don't want to pay

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I was involved in an multi-car accident when traffic slowed on interstate and the car behind me hit my car, then two other cars hit the car behind me. Of the four cars involved in the accident, the only driver cited by the police was the person that hit my car first. The other drivers were not cited for anything by the police . The insurance company for the driver that hit my car is only offering to pay 33% of the claim. Claims have been filed with all three insurance companies, but the insurance companies for the other two drivers involved that did not hit me say I need to work with the insurance company for the driver that did hit my car. Since only one of the insurance companies has agreed to pay 33%, how do I go about getting compensated for the damages to my car? Who do I go after if I have to sue?

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5 minutes ago, mudbug504 said:

how do I go about getting compensated for the damages to my car?  Who do I go after if I have to sue?

 

First of all, what about your own insurance?  If you carried collision coverage, your insurance should pay for the damage to your car (less the deductible).  If you didn't carry collision coverage, then you'll have to sue the other drivers.

 

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Your own collision coverage will pay, less your deductible.  Your insurer will then subrogate against the at fault driver(s) and, if successful, refund your deductible.  

If that is not an option for you, how many impacts were there to your car?  If only one, then sue the at fault driver in Small Claim Court for your property damage.  If multiple impacts, sue all at fault drivers in Small Claims court for property damage.

If you are injured, hire a PI attorney.

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Thank you for all comments/advise!

 

Unfortunately I don't have collision on this car. The damage was relatively minor (~$3000) and although I went to a 24 clinic to get checked out, there were no injuries involved. 

 

I'm leaning towards filing a claim in small-claims court for this issue.  That said, how do I determine at-fault drivers? The police only ticketed one driver and only appeared to place blame with one driver in the police report. Three impacts were felt though and were noted in the police report. Does that mean I have to sue all three drivers?

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1 hour ago, mudbug504 said:

how do I determine at-fault drivers?

 

As I understand it, you (driving Car A) stopped or nearly stopped on an interstate because of traffic in front of you.  You did not hit anyone.  Rather, your car was rear-ended by Car B, and Car B was then hit (presumably rear-ended but not clear) by Car C and Car D.  To be clear, your original post indicates that Car C hit Car B and that Car D hit Car B, but it is not clear whether there was any contact between Car C and Car D.  In other words, your original post does not appear to describe a typical chain reaction -- i.e., B rear ended A; C rear ended B; and D rear ended C.  Is my understanding correct?

 

 

2 hours ago, mudbug504 said:

Does that mean I have to sue all three drivers?

 

As the driver of the lead car -- and apparently the only driver without any fault -- that's probably the smart thing to do.  Let the other three fight it out between themselves.  However, the driver of Car B is likely primarily responsible.  While the impact of Cars C and D with Car B may have exacerbated the damage to your car, it's likely that most of the damage resulted from Car B hitting your car.

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Thank you for your time!

 

I was driving the lead car (car A) in the accident. Car B rear ended my vehicle when I slowed down due to traffic ahead of me. Car C then rear ended car B, and finally Car D rear ended car C. Vehicles B, C & D only made direct contact with the car in front of each of them. It was not clear in my original post, but it was a chain reaction accident. 

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I agree that it's best to sue all three drivers. It'll create quite a mess for their insurance companies so you might get a settlement without even going to trial. No guarantees. Some insurance companies say no and stand pat no matter what it takes. You've got nothing to lose but a few bucks in fees.

 

The limit is $5000 so you are within the limit with $3000 in damages. If you paid anything at the clinic be sure to add that to your suit plus some for pain and suffering.

 

I've gotten a stiff neck every time I've been rear-ended. It's worth a few bucks.

 

Your local court may have forms and instructions but I found a nice guide on the Shreveport website:

 

https://www.shreveportla.gov/index.aspx?NID=1044

 

Click on the handbook link at the bottom.

 

The small claims statutes begin at RS 13:5200:

 

http://law.justia.com/codes/louisiana/2016/code-revisedstatutes/title-13/

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