Fender Bender (No Insurance)

ObscureCaucasian

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Jul 23, 2006
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I was in Pittsburgh about 6 weeks ago looking at apartments, and while driving down a several lane road, some woman merges right into me. We pull over, look that the damage, and exchange information. My car is an old beater (96 Chevy Corsica with 186k miles), and the damage was a dent to the fender and a destroyed hub cap. Her car was a new(ish) Ford Fusion that had some damage on her fender. I call the police to ask about a police report and they told me (rather rudely) that they aren't going to come out unless there is an injury. Then I ask the woman her side of what happened (I'm 100% sure she's at fault), and she says it's all a blur to her and just remembers trying to go straight right until the impact. I told her it looked to me like she was trying to make a lane change, and she asks me if her turn signal was on?!?! (because she would have put on a turn signal to lane change) So it's obvious to me she has no idea what happened.

The next week her insurance company (State Farm) give me a call and asks for my report of what happen. I recount the way things unfolded and they told me the woman sounded very hazy on details so they were going to cover the damages. At this point I'm thinking wow, that was easy right? Wrong. State Farm calls me back the next day and apologizes for saying that they would cover it, because it's now in question whether this woman has coverage. So fast forward to now, State Farm says she definitely didn't have coverage, and I only have liability on my car so I can't collect my my company.

I'm thinking about calling or sending a letter to this woman asking for $200 for damages out of court, but if she makes me go to court I'll go after $300 or $400. In reality I don't see myself actually pursuing any legal action if she doesn't pay up, but I don't think $200 is unfair. My dad suggested sending a letter in registered mail as opposed to calling her, but I'm not really sure what the best approach is.

Cliffs:
1) Woman drives into my car (cosmetic damages)
2) Woman doesn't have insurance
3) How to I try to get a little money out of her?
 

ebaycj

Diamond Member
Mar 9, 2002
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My dad suggested sending a letter in registered mail as opposed to calling her,
 

Gibson486

Lifer
Aug 9, 2000
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Lesson learned. DO not skimp on insurance next time. If you had uninsured motorist insurance, you would be covered.

Only thing you can do now is pursue it yourself. You can try asking her to cover it. If she says no, then you can bring her to court. Keep in mind that if you bring her to court, she can pay in installments.
 

ObscureCaucasian

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Jul 23, 2006
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Lesson learned. DO not skimp on insurance next time. If you had uninsured motorist insurance, you would be covered.

Only thing you can do now is pursue it yourself. You can try asking her to cover it. If she says no, then you can bring her to court. Keep in mind that if you bring her to court, she can pay in installments.

Er, the car is old enough that it wouldn't be worth it to pay for collision, and from what I understand Uninsured Motorist coverage only covers personal injury and not property damage.

Essentially I'll live if I don't get anything, the cars old and I'm in grad school so as long as it runs I don't care about a large dent, but it's more on principle than anything else.
 

RedCOMET

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Jul 8, 2002
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I was in Pittsburgh about 6 weeks ago looking at apartments, and while driving down a several lane road, some woman merges right into me.

Where about in Pittsburgh...for the accident and for apartments? I went to U Pitt for undergrad and will be attending CMU for grad school, so I am familiar with some of the areas for apartments.
 

eersnherd

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Jan 6, 2008
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On July 2nd I was rear-ended by a SUV on the way home from picking up my son.
I was driving a 05 Altima and they were driving an 08 Pathfinder.
Needless to say my car was totaled and State Farm cut me a check for $9800.
A few weeks later we get a letter from State Farm saying that the at fault driver's insurance may not have been "in force" at the time of the accident.
Because we had uninsured motorist coverage, we get to keep the check from State Farm and have since purchased a pre-owned vehicle. The Pathfinder is still sitting in the junkyard.

Definitely do not go light with insurance coverage. If we didn't have uninsured motorist, we would have had nothing!
 

ObscureCaucasian

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Jul 23, 2006
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Where about in Pittsburgh...for the accident and for apartments? I went to U Pitt for undergrad and will be attending CMU for grad school, so I am familiar with some of the areas for apartments.

Actually it was right on Forbes... I could see the cathedral of learning.

On a side note I was looking for appartments because I'm staring my Masters at CMU (ECE) in the fall as well.
 

SunnyD

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Jan 2, 2001
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Er, the car is old enough that it wouldn't be worth it to pay for collision, and from what I understand Uninsured Motorist coverage only covers personal injury and not property damage.

Essentially I'll live if I don't get anything, the cars old and I'm in grad school so as long as it runs I don't care about a large dent, but it's more on principle than anything else.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can pay for injuries to you and your passengers, and in some locations damage to your property, when there is an accident and the other driver is both legally responsible for the accident and considered "uninsured" or "underinsured."


An uninsured driver is someone who did not have any insurance, had insurance that did not meet state-mandated minimum liability requirements, or whose insurance company denied their claim or was not financially able to pay it. A hit-and-run driver also counts as uninsured as it relates to bodily injury (UMBI).


An underinsured driver is someone who met minimum legal financial responsibility requirements, but did not have payment limits high enough to cover the damage they caused. In these cases, UM or UIM can pay you for your damages. It is important to note that uninsured and underinsured motorist protections are separate, although in many states they can or must be purchased together.

Depends on the location, but usually Uninsured Property Coverage is a separate policy option.
 

ObscureCaucasian

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Jul 23, 2006
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Definitely do not go light with insurance coverage. If we didn't have uninsured motorist, we would have had nothing!

I would usually agree, but since the cars a beater I don't think it's worth the extra money for "good insurance". Obviously you want enough to cover any medical costs that could be caused by an accident though.
 

Vette73

Lifer
Jul 5, 2000
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Get a estimate from a body shop. Send a copy to her with a letter stating that her insurance found her at fault but said she does not have insurance. Tell her that is the amount to pay.

Send it certified.

Also get a letter from State Farm detailing why she is not covered. Was it due to her policy running out or why?

If she does not pay then call up and ask. If she says she is not paying then file a small claims action against her with your certified letter, repair estimate, and The insurance letter.
 

RedCOMET

Platinum Member
Jul 8, 2002
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On a side note I was looking for appartments because I'm staring my Masters at CMU (ECE) in the fall as well.

Well, sir, we need to get a beer sometime, soon. I'll be starting my masters in Information Systems Management. Orientation should be blast, eh?

You can see the Cathedral of Learning quite a bit on Forbes. But I know that area, and it can be tricky switching lanes and such with all the buses, students crossing the streets and the other (stupid) drivers.

But to get back on topic____.
 

Cuda1447

Lifer
Jul 26, 2002
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I thought it was illegal not to have insurance and drive. So how does someone not have insurance, drive.... cause an accident, get caught... and get away with it?
 

Gibson486

Lifer
Aug 9, 2000
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I thought it was illegal not to have insurance and drive. So how does someone not have insurance, drive.... cause an accident, get caught... and get away with it?

different states have different laws. In MA, it is mandatory. In others, no.
 

ObscureCaucasian

Diamond Member
Jul 23, 2006
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I thought it was illegal not to have insurance and drive. So how does someone not have insurance, drive.... cause an accident, get caught... and get away with it?

You know I had the exact same thoughts myself. Seeing as State Farm thought she had coverage and the look of the car/woman I'm guessing it was an accident not having coverage, so I didn't push for any criminal repercussions, however it might be one reason she doesn't want this in a courtroom.
 

Gibson486

Lifer
Aug 9, 2000
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dpodblood

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May 20, 2010
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I thought it was illegal not to have insurance and drive. So how does someone not have insurance, drive.... cause an accident, get caught... and get away with it?

That's what I thought! I would get an estimate on the work and ask her to pay damages. If she doesn't want to pay up threaten legal action. If she doesn't want the charges for driving without insurance she will pay up. Sounds like she was 100% at fault, and you say she has no recollection of the event after the fender bender? Was she under the influence of something? Sound's like she didn't even know where she was going by asking questions like "was my signal on?" Yay for incompetent drivers with no insurance. :thumbsdown:
 

ObscureCaucasian

Diamond Member
Jul 23, 2006
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http://www.autoinsuranceremedy.com/auto-insurance-state-by-state.php

NH does not require it. Not sure where you live, but check it out.

Hmm, well the accident happened in PA, but I live (and have insurance from) Ohio. I'm guessing this falls under the PA rules then.

In Pennsylvania, you are required to carry liability insurance at the following minimum levels in order to operate a vehicle on state roads and highways:
  • $15,000 for death or injury to any single person involved in an accident
  • $30,000 for death or injury to multiple persons involved in any accident
  • $5,000 for damages caused to the property of the state or another person
 

Numenorean

Diamond Member
Oct 26, 2008
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I thought it was illegal not to have insurance and drive. So how does someone not have insurance, drive.... cause an accident, get caught... and get away with it?

But we don't prosecute these poor people who don't have insurance here. Especially if they are in the country illegally.
 

dpodblood

Diamond Member
May 20, 2010
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The idea of having no minimum insurance policy is just insane, but even if she wasn't legally required to have insurance; she's still at fault so it's he job to pay up.