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  1. #1
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    Need Advice- Insurance Claim Wrongful Death

    My father was struck by a truck and killed instantly while on his daily commute to work. No criminal charges were filed, and my family is not interested in filing a civil suit against the driver. But we did want to file a claim against her, through her car insurance company. Before we were able to proceed with that, we received a letter from the driver's insurance company. Apparently, the driver is filing a claim against us for damages to her truck, which is just unbelievable.

    This claim that the driver is filing against us- I don't understand who it's against. Is it us personally, something we would have to pay out of pocket? Is it against our car insurance (why would it be if my dad was on a bicycle?) Is it against our health insurance? Would we really have to pay the driver anything when she was the one obviously at fault?

    We really did not want to hire or involve attorneys. Are these claims something we can handle ourselves? Will our insurance companies handle the claims amongst themselves if we just give them the info? (My family isn't interested in money or anything; we just want this over with.)

    Because my dad was on a bike, not a car, which company would handle both claims (the driver's against us, ours against the driver) for us? Car Insurance? Health Insurance?

    To make matters possibly worse, my mother switched car insurance companies after the crash. How does this affect the situation? I'm unsure how an insurance company would be required to respond legally if we had a policy with one at the time of the crash, but it has since been canceled. Would the old or new insurance company be able to help?

    We are so confused, frustrated, and emotionally drained. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins tagaproject6's Avatar
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    So sorry about your tragedy.

    But you need a lawyer, not internet stranger advice.

    This will only add to your confusion and frustration.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
    So sorry about your tragedy.

    But you need a lawyer, not internet stranger advice.

    This will only add to your confusion and frustration.
    Even though I work in the insurance field I think this case is specially complicated and agree with the statement above. First thing you should ask yourself though is, who's at fault in the accident? If it is her then she should be held responsible for the damages. If it is the other way around then it gets fairly complicated and it trickles down from there.

    Make sure you get a good lawyer (insurance company should provide one if the claim is covered) and since it is a civil suit your insurance company should be able to cover most of the expenses besides deductibles. Very sorry to hear about your loss and wish you the best of luck.
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  4. #4
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
    So sorry about your tragedy.

    But you need a lawyer, not internet stranger advice.

    This will only add to your confusion and frustration.
    Exactly right. No matter how "confused, frustrated, and emotionally drained" the OP may be, he needs to follow this advice and ignore anything else posted here.

  5. #5
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
    So sorry about your tragedy.

    But you need a lawyer, not internet stranger advice.

    This will only add to your confusion and frustration.
    Sometimes you need a lawyer. This is good advice.

    And please accept my condolences.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Notso_fastLane's Avatar
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    I'm going to also suggest a lawyer. I wound up hiring one after my last (motorcycle) accident, since the other guy's insurance company was trying to say the accident was partially my fault, and it was 100% his fault.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharetheroad123 View Post
    This claim that the driver is filing against us- I don't understand who it's against. Is it us personally, something we would have to pay out of pocket? Is it against our car insurance (why would it be if my dad was on a bicycle?) Is it against our health insurance? Would we really have to pay the driver anything when she was the one obviously at fault?
    I suspect that this is an imaginary story, by someone looking to stir the pot. Note that this is the OP's only post...

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    I suspect that this is an imaginary story, by someone looking to stir the pot. Note that this is the OP's only post...
    +1


    And the OP doesn't even provide details in the story like which country he/she lives. Expecting anonymous strangers on an international forum to be able to provide answers to something like this is just laughable.

  9. #9
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    I wish it was an imaginary story. Not sure why anyone would make something like this up. I just joined this forum to ask these questions which is why it's my only post.

    Thank you to everyone else for the advice....

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    I'm sorry... I'm not a cyclist. And I've never used this type of forum either. I didn't realize I needed to prove that my story is legitimate. I intentionally left out details out of fear that this could somehow be used against my family in future proceedings. My dad was an avid cyclist, and I simply thought I could get helpful information from his peers who may have had experience with this kind of thing before. If that is laughable, then forgive me for my idiocy. Perhaps the death of my father has left me with temporary irrational thought. Thanks for your sensitivity. No need to worry about me visiting the site again.

  11. #11
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    Hire Lawyer NOW. And go away. No one here can help you. No more posts until you have hired a lawyer and this is resolved.

  12. #12
    bkj
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    after that (or if you have other topics) please come back. This is a great place, and by the way, welcome. But what you're talking about is so serious that you can't talk about it here. Hire a lawyer.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharetheroad123 View Post
    I just joined this forum to ask these questions .
    Why would you expect anyone here to give you any other answer than 'get a lawyer'?? Laws, insurance, etc. differ depending on which country you're in, and sometimes which part of the country you're in. All anyone here could do is to generally speculate, and that would be a useless and pointless waste of everyone's time.



    It would be the same thing if someone came in here asking for detailed medical advice for an injury or disease ... the responsible thing would be to tell the person to go to a doctor or other medical specialist, not to speculate on a diagnosis.


    Quote Originally Posted by bkj View Post
    Hire Lawyer NOW. And go away. No one here can help you. No more posts until you have hired a lawyer and this is resolved.

    after that (or if you have other topics) please come back. This is a great place, and by the way, welcome. But what you're talking about is so serious that you can't talk about it here. Hire a lawyer.
    +1

    If you want to tell us about your ride last weekend, or what type of bicycle you had, or what your father taught you about cycling, we'd love to hear about it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Get a lawyer is great advice. But I can tell you that the filing by the other insurance company is SOP. They hope to share the cost. Your insurance will deny the claim out of hand because it isn't covered under the typical car insurance in many states. In my State most likely it would be under your home owners policy. But none of that matters at this point if you havent talked to a lawyer. Just as a question did anyone get a police report?
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  15. #15
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Doubtful if the OP is still around, but my two cents:

    -No charges were filed, but was there a citation issued? If the driver that struck your father used the 'sun in my eyes', the LEO should have at least issued something along the lines of driving too fast or inattentive driving. If she was found at fault, then your insurance (auto) will flatly deny the charges. OTOH, if by some reason your father contributed to the event, like failing to stop at a designated traffic stop (light or sign), or some other unlawful action, all bets are off.

    You need the police report. Your health insurance policy shouldn't be involved at all- auto insurance provides for medical payments. Your old and new auto insurers will play hot potato, if it comes to that.

    Beyond that, it sounds like you'll end up with an attorney- either to assist you or defend you.

  16. #16
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Hire a lawyer.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  17. #17
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    If this woman wins a judgement and your insurance rejects the claim, you could be out thouands of dollars! I suspect by not seeking legal help, you're tossing tens of thousands of dollars that your mother DESERVED out the window. Get a lawyer for her! I understand that your mother might be too distraught for a court case. That is why YOU must show strength and fight for HER so that she is not financially broken by this.

    I suspect the driver knows they were wrong is trying to win a small insurance battle in case a much larger one appears.
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 10-22-12 at 09:20 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    I don't think you can be certain the guy needs a lawyer. If it was me I was go along to court and tell them what happened. Surely the legal system is not so hopelessly stuffed that you need to get a lawyer.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    I'm sure you've already been told this:

    Hire an attorney.

    And I am sorry for your loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by sharetheroad123 View Post
    My father was struck by a truck and killed instantly while on his daily commute to work. No criminal charges were filed, and my family is not interested in filing a civil suit against the driver. But we did want to file a claim against her, through her car insurance company. Before we were able to proceed with that, we received a letter from the driver's insurance company. Apparently, the driver is filing a claim against us for damages to her truck, which is just unbelievable.

    This claim that the driver is filing against us- I don't understand who it's against. Is it us personally, something we would have to pay out of pocket? Is it against our car insurance (why would it be if my dad was on a bicycle?) Is it against our health insurance? Would we really have to pay the driver anything when she was the one obviously at fault?

    We really did not want to hire or involve attorneys. Are these claims something we can handle ourselves? Will our insurance companies handle the claims amongst themselves if we just give them the info? (My family isn't interested in money or anything; we just want this over with.)

    Because my dad was on a bike, not a car, which company would handle both claims (the driver's against us, ours against the driver) for us? Car Insurance? Health Insurance?

    To make matters possibly worse, my mother switched car insurance companies after the crash. How does this affect the situation? I'm unsure how an insurance company would be required to respond legally if we had a policy with one at the time of the crash, but it has since been canceled. Would the old or new insurance company be able to help?

    We are so confused, frustrated, and emotionally drained. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    I don't think you can be certain the guy needs a lawyer. If it was me I was go along to court and tell them what happened. Surely the legal system is not so hopelessly stuffed that you need to get a lawyer.
    NOOO.. Maybe you can get away with that in Australia but not in the US of A. Lawyers all the way.
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  21. #21
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    I don't think you can be certain the guy needs a lawyer. If it was me I was go along to court and tell them what happened. Surely the legal system is not so hopelessly stuffed that you need to get a lawyer.
    You have never meet the demon called the insurance industry in the United States of America. It is absurdly corrupt and not easily understood by many educated people. Whenever someone dies in a vehicle accident, get a lawyer. Never go to court without a lawyer, as the lawyers run the courts, and all judges are lawyers too.
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  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lsberrios1 View Post
    NOOO.. Maybe you can get away with that in Australia but not in the US of A. Lawyers all the way.
    You'd need a lawyer in Australia too ... 009jim is just stirring.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    You have never meet the demon called the insurance industry in the United States of America. It is absurdly corrupt and not easily understood by many educated people. Whenever someone dies in a vehicle accident, get a lawyer. Never go to court without a lawyer, as the lawyers run the courts, and all judges are lawyers too.
    That ain't no joke.

  24. #24
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    If the driver that struck your father used the 'sun in my eyes', the LEO should have at least issued something along the lines of driving too fast or inattentive driving.
    Not in Oregon. At least, not in Polk County. No charges, no tickets.
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  25. #25
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    In jurisdictions with which I'm familiar, cops tend not to write tickets for the 'sun was in my eyes' excuse. They can't cite you for being inattentive, driving too fast, or anything else they didn't witness.

    The OP needs a lawyer and I'm sure will retain one. And will listen to their advice. Advice garnered here is indeed worthless, but I understand from personal experience the desire to ask anyone and everyone for advice and input. You're faced with a very traumatic personal situation and thrown into a legal situation with which you likely have no prior experience. It's confusing and frightening and the desire to ask for advice is normal. It's also normal to discard all that advice and do whatever your lawyer says. When you look back on it, you realize the folly of the advice seeking, but it really may serve a cathartic rather than informational purpose.

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