PERSONAL INJURY LAW
LIFE & THE LAW
(813) 259-0022 | www.distasiofirm.com
An Attorney Gets Into a Car Accident Part 2
In a recent edition of this newsletter, I detailed my experience with being rear-ended. To refresh your memory, I was at a stoplight when my car was hit from behind, resulting in noticeable damage to my bumper. It seemed that all would go well when the driver of the other car claimed full responsibility, pulled out his phone, and filed a claim right then and there. This was a good sign, so we went our separate ways. But his insurer called me a few days later to say they wouldn’t be covering the damage to my vehicle because they couldn’t reach their insured, and they advised me to instead use my own insurance for the damage. I told them I would do no such thing, because then I would be using my deductible to cover damage caused by their negligent driver. Instead, I gave them a date by which they needed to cover the repair costs, or else I would be forced to take legal action. Thankfully, the issue is finally being resolved after a long twomonths of frustration. This took so long because my reasonable stipulation seemed to go in one ear and out the other. I never heard back or saw any movement on their end, so I followed through and filed a lawsuit against their driver to force them to take responsibility. To no one’s surprise, they didn’t like that. When I turned up the heat, they finally contacted me. The adjuster demanded to know why I had taken such “drastic action,” and I explained that I had given them plenty
of opportunity to do the right thing, and they had failed to. The adjuster backpedaled and offered to pay for the damage to my car. This would have been the right course of action two months previously, but things had progressed, and I’d reached deep into my pockets to cover many more costs since then. Not only did I have to pay for car repairs, but I also had to pay for a rental car, a court filing fee for the suit, and fees for a process server to locate their insured. Plus, I had to account for the diminution in value of my car because it was no longer worth as much now that it suffered damage. I explained these additional costs, and they agreed to pay for the damage and the rental car, but nothing else. That’s when I told
them I would be hanging up so I could move forward with serving their insured, which is exactly what I did. It took every tool in my belt to communicate that I was serious. Only after all those grueling steps over the course of two months did they finally agree to pay for every new cost that would have never existed had they just done the right thing from the beginning. The lesson in this incident is that you should never be discouraged from fighting for what you’re entitled to. If someone causes you harm or damage, hold them accountable. This story is proof that insurance companies will try to take advantage of you if you let them, but if you take a stand, they’ll often give you what you’re after because you hold more power than they care to admit. I wouldn’t wish a situation like this on anyone, but if you find yourself in the midst of one, make the choice to fight. I’m glad I did.
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