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Rear ended by distracted driver

#1
I was rear ended today in VA by a distracted driver and I know because my car is equipped with front and rear facing HD dash cameras.

I'm posting here as I am afraid that the loss of value in my car and the loss of wages will not be compensated as part of the repair. I'm mostly wondering if I have a case to gain equal compensation for my losses. In other words, I'm not trying to take advantage of the situation.

Some facts:

- My car is on the expensive side > $60,000
- All three cars involved in the accident have XXXXX insurance
- The third car in the accident claimed responsibility and was given a citation
- I have video showing the responsible lifting his head and a phone almost falling from his hand as he hits the rear of my car without slowing (still accelerating 45+ MPH)
- I didn't feel injured at the time of the accident, but went to see a doctor a few hours after with a sore neck and headache - diagnosis, whiplash and possible concussion

Assumptions:

- Car will be fixed and the bill covered by insurance
- Will be compensated for car rental
- Third party options added to car will not be covered by insurance
- Car will be devalued if accident can be discovered on CarFax etc.
- I will not be compensated for lost wages per forced PTO to handle logistics and recover from whiplash

Thanks, I really appreciate the feedback! I just want to know if this is something that I should take on legally.

StiffNeck
 
#2
I was rear ended today in VA by a distracted driver and I know because my car is equipped with front and rear facing HD dash cameras.
Nice to have the cameras but they would not have been necessary. People who rear end other cars are almost always at fault. And those who aren't are so rare as to be irrelevant to this discussion.

Presupposing that you are making the claim against the other driver's policy and not your own. Be careful about that and make sure that any claim document show HIS policy number and not yours and that you are talking to a liability rep and not a collision rep.

Car will be fixed and the bill covered by insurance
Yes.

Will be compensated for car rental
Yes.

But typically just for the basic cost of a basic box on wheels to get you from place to place while your car is being repaired. You won't get paid for renting a $60,000 vehicle so don't even try it unless you just want to pay the difference yourself. And all those optional items that rental companies throw at you. You aren't likely to get paid for those either.

Third party options added to car will not be covered by insurance
Sure they will. The policy of the guy that hit you pays for anything on or in your car that gets damaged due to his negligence. Not so if you are making the claim on your collision coverage as there might be exclusions for certain items.

Car will be devalued if accident can be discovered on CarFax etc.
Yes.

But diminished value is compensable if you are making the claim against the driver that hit you. Where an auto has been damaged but not destroyed and it is reasonably susceptible of repairs, the measure of damages is the cost of repairs and any diminution of the auto’s market value which results from the car having been injured after the repairs; that is, the cost of repairs plus any amount of depreciation in value of the vehicle as repaired. Averett v. Shircliff, 237 S.E.2d 92 (Va. 1977).

Diminished value is not covered by your own collision policy. So, again, you want to make sure the claim is against the other driver's policy.

I will not be compensated for lost wages per forced PTO to handle logistics and recover from whiplash
You would be entitled to compensation for time off from work (including the lost value of PTO) if your injury prevents you from working (like time off to get medical treatment or aches and pains keep you from doing anything).

You are not entitled to the time you take off to take your car to the shop and back, pick up the rental, turn it in, or engage in any other administrative details that the claim involves.

I just want to know if this is something that I should take on legally.
You're already taking it on "legally" by making the claim against the other driver's policy. If you mean hire a lawyer, well, it never hurts to consult one but it's probably premature to hire one at this point if the injury is just aches and pains that resolve themselves quickly.

You are welcome to come back to this thread if you have questions about your claim as things progress. I am a 35 year veteran of the insurance industry and a retired claim rep.
 
#3
Nice to have the cameras but they would not have been necessary. People who rear end other cars are almost always at fault. And those who aren't are so rare as to be irrelevant to this discussion.
While wha you say is true, I can see a definite usefulness when one has front and rear facing cameras to show that one was pushed in to the vehicle in the front by the accident.

But typically just for the basic cost of a basic box on wheels to get you from place to place while your car is being repaired. You won't get paid for renting a $60,000 vehicle so don't even try it unless you just want to pay the difference yourself. And all those optional items that rental companies throw at you. You aren't likely to get paid for those either.
I disagree, to a point. In my case, I drive (what I consider) a mid-sized vehicle. When I was hit, I didn't get greedy...instead of a sub-compact at $19 per day, I demanded a similar vehicle to my own at about $29 per day and the other company paid for it. I do agree that the "extras" won't be covered.
 
#4
Nice to have the cameras but they would not have been necessary. People who rear end other cars are almost always at fault. And those who aren't are so rare as to be irrelevant to this discussion.
Turns out that video is going to be helpful, as the adjuster says that the stories between the other two parties are not lining up. The front car claims that there were two impacts and suggested that I hit her first and then the rear/last driver struck me. Determining liability is being delayed because of this discrepancy.

Diminished value is not covered by your own collision policy. So, again, you want to make sure the claim is against the other driver's policy.
How does one go about making sure that diminished value is also added into the settlement? How is this value determined?

I also just learned that it will likely take 2 months for my car to be fixed. Turns out that just getting the parts can take month...

You are welcome to come back to this thread if you have questions about your claim as things progress. I am a 35 year veteran of the insurance industry and a retired claim rep.
Thanks so much for your helpful answers and suggestions. I sincerely appreciate it.
 
#7
How does one go about making sure that diminished value is also added into the settlement?
You ask for it.

How is this value determined?
Not very easily. The owner thinks big bucks. A dealer will screw the owner on a trade in. The insurance company will think small bucks. If you hire one of those so-called diminished value appraisers, they'll give you a pie-in-the sky figure and you'll pay a fee for it. My own take on diminished value is that it's somewhere between the value of a low mileage car in excellent condition and a high mileage car in good condition. If you keep your car for five years and sell it privately, the diminished value becomes rather insignificant.

You can come up with any figure you want, ask for it, and see what the insurance company offers, then decide if you want to accept it or litigate.
 
#8
Turns out that video is going to be helpful, as the adjuster says that the stories between the other two parties are not lining up. The front car claims that there were two impacts and suggested that I hit her first and then the rear/last driver struck me. Determining liability is being delayed because of this discrepancy.
That's because apparently that driver is inexperienced.

I have been in his position in a collision. I was sitting at a stop light, the person immediately behind me was also stopped. The airhead behind that car didn't notice everyone stopped, and as the car behind me was pushed into mine it certainly felt like 2 impacts. It was not. It's just the way it feels when you're in one of those kinds of accidents.

And apparently the insurance person taking in the information must also be inexperienced. :unsure:

Please make sure you get follow up care for the "concussion", and make sure you are completely recovered (or recovered as much as you're going to) before determining what those costs are.
 
#10
You are welcome to come back to this thread if you have questions about your claim as things progress. I am a 35 year veteran of the insurance industry and a retired claim rep.
The adjuster told me that there is a chance that the driver found at fault may not carry enough liability (minimum in VA is $20,000) to cover damages to both cars and is suggesting that I file under my uninsured. I also want to be compensated for diminished value, so not sure if I can do that with my uninsured. Can I request the policy details of the driver at fault? I'm told that the at-fault policy is to remain private... Considering your recent recommendation to avoid claiming against my own policy, I want to be sure that I'm not being led astray.

Thanks!
 
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