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Mohit

Drunk driver hits parked car

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Hello everyone,

 

A drunk driver hit my car a couple of weeks ago. It was a major accident. Police has the report which clearly says that the guy was drunk and is charged with 'Driving with Influence' and 'Reckless Driving' and that my car was parked and I wasn't even present at the spot.

The guy's insurance company has deemed my car totalled but they say they can't go ahead and make a payment or put me in a rental car unless their insurer (drunk driver) calls them and take liability.

 

I dont understand what I can do now. Just wait without a car?

 

P.S. I just had liability and hence my insurance wouldnt help me much.

 

Thank you in anticipation

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6 minutes ago, Mohit said:

I dont understand what I can do now. Just wait without a car?

 

Well...now you know why only having liability coverage is a bad idea.

 

If I were you, I would contact the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance and make a complaint about the insurer's baseless denial of the claim.  If an insurer could simply punt on a third-party claim because the insurer has not "call[ed] . . . and take[n] liability," no insured would ever do that.

 

In the meantime, you need to do some cost analysis regarding buying a new car before you get payment from the other driver's insurance, renting a car, or filing suit against the other driver.

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Thank you pg1067. Lesson learned. Never get just liability even if it's 14 y.o. used car.

Also, his insurance isnt denying the claim. They're saying I have to indefinitely wait with no support (until he takes responsibility). It's a good idea contacting Banking and insurance dept. just that this car was registered in Pennsylvania so I think I should look for similar department in that state.

 

Thank you again for your help.

 

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Won't do you any good. With all due respect to PG1067 the other driver's insurance company owes you nothing until a court of law says the driver is responsible and for how much.

 

Meantime the other driver's insurance company has a contractual obligation to it's insured to properly investigate the claims against its insured and that includes getting a statement from him.

 

No insurance department will get in the middle of that. While you are free to file your complaint I predict that in about a month you'll get a letter back from the insurance department saying that the insurance company is doing no wrong.

 

Your time would be better served by finding yourself a replacement vehicle and, as quickly as possible, serving a lawsuit on the other driver which, hopefully, will scare him into contacting his own insurance company to move the claim along.

 

It's unfortunate that your car got wrecked by an irresponsible drunk but you'll just have to wait until the other insurance company does what it has to do.

 

 

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Sue the drunk driver in Small Claims court and recover your property damages.  Notify the insurer of the filing of the complaint, service upon the insured and hearing date.  Bring your estimate for repair and rental car to prove your case.  The insurer will pay a judgment against its insured, unless the insured has failed to cooperate.

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1 hour ago, Mohit said:

Never get just liability even if it's 14 y.o. used car.

 

While your 14yo car probably isn't worth much, the cost of collision and comprehensive coverage is likely very low, so it's worth it.

 

 

33 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

Won't do you any good. With all due respect to PG1067 the other driver's insurance company owes you nothing until a court of law says the driver is responsible and for how much.

 

. . .

 

No insurance department will get in the middle of that.

 

I disagree.  Yes, the insurer has a duty to investigate the claim, and that includes attempting to obtain a statement from its insured.  However, and while I cannot speak with specificity about NJ, I can think of a lot of DOI's who would not look kindly on an insurer who indefinitely suspends investigation of a third-party claim solely because its insured won't give a statement.  Moving vehicle hits parked car is about as close to a no-brainer as it gets.  That said, "a couple of weeks" is not necessarily enough time, so maybe the DOI complaint is premature at this time.  I also agree that filing and serving a lawsuit and promptly notifying the other driver's insurer that you have done so may do more to grease the wheels than a DOI complaint.

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