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3rd party denied claim

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I live in California. My 4 yr old and I were in a car accident that was 100% the other vehicles fault, actually and per police report. My car was totalled and my daughter and I were hospitalized and needed follow ups with doctors. The driver and passenger that hit us parked their truck and ran (on foot) from the scene. Police arrived and upon inspecting the truck started laughing that one of the guys that fled was in such a hurry he left his wallet on the seat. The truck was impounded. Late afternoon of the following day they reported that the truck had been stolen (as if!). However, there was no evidence of any tampering. A man was contacted through receipts that were in the glove box who just happened to fit the description given by witnesses to a tee. The address on the receipts is the precise direction they ran when fleeing the scene. I submitted my bills to their insurance carrier,they sent an assessor who said my car was totalled.
After a month and a half, there was no offer made for my car to be replaced or any bills to be handled. I called the adjuster who told me on the phone that they were going to deny my claim because the vehicle was stolen. It has been 2 mos now and I have still gotten nothing in writing from their insurance regarding my claim.
I went to obtain the police report and found that the police investigation was essentially nonexistant. My witnesses were never contacted, the truck was released from impound with out being thoroughly investigated, and there is no mention of the wallet in the police or impound report.
I have left numerous messages for the officer who wrote the report to please call me. Not only phone messages but I even went to the police station and made requests in person!! Still no contact.
If that isn't bad enough it seems that my insurance expired 9 days prior to the accident.
I need advice on how to proceed~~PLEASE
I am a single mother trying to maintain my 4.0 gpa at a State University Teaching Credential Program.
I now have no transportation, and a stack of bills, as well as an injury that still needs to be addressed!!!
Any advice, directions, links, would be more than appreciated.



I am a law school graduate. What I offer is mere information, not to be construed as forming an attorney client relationship.

This is an example of needing to take an active part in your own investigation and as soon as you get word of "finding wallet in car" or "suspect fleeing and eyewitnesses describing them to a tee", you need to get faxed written confirmation of this.

now, since obviously there has either been a misunderstanding between the recordkeeping section of insurance company and/or police department OR a cover-up, you need to march down to your local aid foundation and ask for some serious help. You can either contact them by calling 411; looking them up in the community guide section of your yellow pages under legal services; or contact your state bar association and ask them to refer you. I think you would qualify for this no cost/low cost program.

Hope this helps.

lars coltrane

The good news and the bad news. Good: you can recover for the damage to your car and the medical bills you incurred; and your daughter can recover her bills and for pain and suffering (general damages). Bad: under CA law an uninsured driver cannot recover pain and suffering damages.

I strongly recommend that you consult with a lawyer right away. The stolen car response is becoming somewhat common. Insurance companies will fold if their feet are put to the fire. So meet with a lawyer and discuss all your options. Don't wait either - 6 weeks have already passed.


Thank you lawrat for your prompt reply!
Could you please elaborate on what you mean by "insurance record keeping mistakes"? Also, I have written statements from witnesses regarding the wallet being left on the truck seat, would that be equivalent to to the "faxed written confirmation" you spoke of?? And just one more thing...
I have attempted to obtain help from legal aid and was told that they don't deal w/ accident cases. Is there any other route, agency, ...etc. where I might find some assistance?? Once again, thank you for your guidance!!!

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