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Car accident: part 3!

I guess I wasn't expecting worst-case scenario, but the stakes have gone up so everyone else is trying to spread some blame.

The driver, and three passengers of the car I was pushed into are now all attorney rep'd for personal injury.  They spoke to the EMTs for a good 30 minutes, who then left without doing anything.  The police officer talked to them afterwards.  He stated on the accident report 0 injuries. 

The car that rear-ended me claims to have been pushed into me by the car that rear-ended her.  This directly contradicts what my passenger witnessed as well as her police report statement "could not stop because the road was wet".  Nonetheless, they are accepting 0% liability.

I feel like the biggest loser for just telling the truth.  Maybe I should have this ache in my neck looked at...
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 9:08am
What, were you in the middle of 15 car pile-up.  So if someone rear-ended you, then you rear-ended everybody in front of you gets injury lawyers.

Gotta love this country.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 9:34am
Call up your insurance company and tell them whats going on.  And ask them if they want to subrogate.
Permalink xampl 
July 16th, 2007 9:46am
Ooh!  A word I don't know!  "Subrogate"?  What does that mean?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 9:47am
""The car that rear-ended me claims to have been pushed into me by the car that rear-ended he"

How in the world could the first car (car in front of the accident) have sustained injury.  Oh my god.  Some basic physics would complete make this person's argument silly.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 16th, 2007 9:49am
> What, were you in the middle of 15 car pile-up

A 15 car pile up means there were at least 3-4 idiots driving too close.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 16th, 2007 9:50am
Subrogate means that the insurance company takes over legal responsibility for the case.

Whenever there's a chance of their losing serious amounts of money, they typically do this.  But if you only have the required minimums on your policy (as most drivers do, it seems) they're not so eager to do this, as they're on the hook for only $200k or so (anything over that, you're the one paying the difference)
Permalink xampl 
July 16th, 2007 9:59am
Thanks!
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 10:16am
>> Call up your insurance company and tell them whats going on.  And ask them if they want to subrogate. <<

Yeah, once the personal injury claim came up I decided I'd better leave it to the professionals.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 11:09am
>> How in the world could the first car (car in front of the accident) have sustained injury.  Oh my god.  Some basic physics would complete make this person's argument silly. <<

I don't understand what you mean.  How couldn't she have been injured?
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 11:10am
I think the implication was if YOU weren't hurt, then the person in the car in front of you must have sustained even less injury, because of the physics of the energy absorption going on in the collisions.

That's probably incorrect, since how the energy was transferred (and how the person was sitting) are not that simple.

On a side note, my wife will still laugh at the physics joke that says "Let's consider a spherical cow" -- since ridiculous simplifications to make a problem "solveable" are common in physics.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 11:23am
also, people with different physical conditions attain injury differently.  ie. someone with a chronic spinal problem could be injured far more easily and severely.
Permalink Kenny 
July 16th, 2007 11:29am
As well as auto design.

I think it's Saabs (maybe Volvos?) that have the pivoting headrest.  If you get rear-ended, it pivots forward to support your head to help reduce the chances of whiplash.
Permalink xampl 
July 16th, 2007 11:31am
>> I think the implication was if YOU weren't hurt, then the person in the car in front of you must have sustained even less injury, because of the physics of the energy absorption going on in the collisions. <<

The impact I felt didn't cause me the least bit of discomfort (except for the sinking feeling for the forthcoming deluge of paperwork).  I've hit pot holes that rattled me worse.

My vehicle's airbags and anti-whiplash system didn't deploy.  I'm reading about the make of the car in front and it appears hers was equipped with both a airbags and a whiplash-lessening system as well, neither of which engaged.

I suppose injury is still possible, I just find it a bit incredible.

I suspect it's not in anyone's economic interest to discover the entire truth.  I imagine if you get to court and are arguing over spinal cord injuries and physics with experts you've already shelled out six figures so a five figure settlement looks mighty attractive.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 11:34am
Interesting study on the topic

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9455663&dopt=Abstract

...

Fourteen male volunteers (aged 28-47 years; average 33.2 years) and five female volunteers (aged 26-37 years; average 32.8 years) participated in 17 vehicle rear-end collisions and 3 bumper car collisions.

...

No injury signs were found at the physical examinations, computerized motion analyses, or at the MRI examinations. Only one of the male volunteers suffered a reduction of rotation of the cervical spine to the left of 10 degrees for 10 weeks.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 11:39am
These people aren't hurt.  They're looking for easy cash.

Many years ago my then mother-in-law fell while walking in a parking lot that had some loose gravel on the pavement.  She sprained her ankle.

The injury was completely covered by her medical insurance.  She was financially well off.  Nonetheless, she and my father-in-law sued the owner of the parking lot and received $10,000.

I was disgusted that they took advantage of the system like that.  And these are generally fairly ethical people, conformist, law-abiding, all of that.
Permalink AMerrickanGirl 
July 16th, 2007 12:30pm
>> Nonetheless, she and my father-in-law sued the owner of the parking lot and received $10,000. <<

Did they make sure to reimburse their health insurance company for covering the sprain?  Yeah, didn't think so.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 12:43pm
I'm sure they only sued for "pain and suffering", since the actual injury costs had already been taken care of.

Yeah, pretty bad behavior.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 12:49pm
I dunno, getting injured at all is a gigantic pain in the ass.

You have to miss work, cancel leisure time, go to doctors, sit in waiting rooms, take drugs, sleep, endure some pain, post-pone some luvvin, talk to more doctors, deal with insurance companies, maybe walk on crutches, inconvenience your family/friends, etc.

Why not put a dollar amount on all that bullshit?
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 12:56pm
Well, there ya go, Mike B, since you now think those suits against you (or your Insurance Company) are completely justified, you should feel much better about paying them off.

No?
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 1:28pm
Oh, wait, AG's aunt WAS actually injured.  But the people in the car in front of you might not be.  I guess you don't feel better after all.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 16th, 2007 1:29pm
Adrenaline's a funny thing. I went to the ER a few weeks ago and when the triage nurse asked me how much it hurt, I actually admitted to a pain level of 0, because I felt perfectly fine. Of course 2 hours later I was moaning and groaning in pain.

Also if you have less than idea health insurance you won't take a $800 ride in the ambulance unless absolutely necessary.
Permalink Send private email strawdog sobriquet 
July 16th, 2007 1:41pm
I actually have no idea if they suffered any injuries.  I'm not privy to all the facts.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 1:43pm
Most likely everyone has no real injuries, but that doesn't matter. They have personal injury attorneys and they WILL all be getting big settlements, and that's a fact. The attorney will get 95% of the settlement, but they don't realize that yet and it doesn't matter to you.

Here is what will happen.

You are getting blamed because you're the one without a lawyer. Hopefully you haven't lost any of your rights by waiting so long. Your insurance company will assume you are at fault because you didn't report the accident to them. They will accept fault, pay the others a million dollars to make it go away, then charge you a separate incident for each car involved, cancel your insurance, and put your name on the list of people whose insurance has been cancelled. Then, you'll have to pay $3000/month just to get basic coverage.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 16th, 2007 2:21pm
I did report it to them.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 2:28pm
Also, you're crazy.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 2:29pm
Maybe not so far-fetched.
Who are you insured through?
Permalink xampl 
July 16th, 2007 2:31pm
It's totally far-fetched and PE is a shut-in crackpot.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 2:37pm
So, who are you insured through again?

Hopefully not the "good hands" folks, or the "state farmer" people.  Both have a history of mistreating their customers.
Permalink xampl 
July 16th, 2007 2:40pm
The good hands ones are the ones blowing me off and accepting 0% liability even though their insured admitted fault in the accident report.

My insurer even said that those guys are bitches so if I get the run-around I should call back and have them subrogate.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 2:44pm
To keep my cognitive dissonance in check, I thought I'd offer a positive counter-point.

About a year ago while heading east-bound, a car driving west-bound made an abrupt left-turn.  I took evasive action by swerving right, but we still made contact.  The left side of the car was scratched.  Since he made a left-turn without looking he was technically at fault.

The driver got out of the car, apologized profusely, admitted total fault, filed the claim, accepted 100% liability and called us a few hours later and sent us the claim number.

His insurance company called us immediately and scheduled us to have the car inspected and then cut a check the day after.

The world has nice people in it; the obnoxious ones just demand more attention and emotional energy.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 2:56pm
"It's totally far-fetched"

About 20 years ago I was in an accident almost the same as yours. I was not at fault at all. Guy stopped in front of me. I stopped behind him. The person behind me was turned around trying to stop a fight between her 2 kids and she barreled into me at about 40 mph, totaling both cars, and plowing me into the guy in front. She had no insurance. I was at fault for the guy in front since that's how the law is, it's my job to sue her. But she had no insurance. So there were 3 claims against my own insurance and my insurance was cancelled for having 3 claims in a year because they can do that. The result was that the only policy I could find with coverage for a new car cost $3000/month. I had to buy a clunker and go with minimal statutory coverage under a state program that guaranteed insurance to the 'uninsurable'.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 16th, 2007 5:10pm
> Hopefully not the "good hands" folks, or the "state farmer" people.

Mine was State Farm. They are vile fuckers.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 16th, 2007 5:12pm
Freak shit happens.  I've had plenty of it happen to me.  Read this, for example:

http://www.crazyontap.com/topic.php?TopicId=18149#209471

It's easy to only remember the nasty people in life.  And according to opthamalogists golf is a very dangerous sport. 

Anyway, if I become uninsurable it'll give me a reason to stop driving a car in NY that wifey can't argue with.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 10:14pm
>> So there were 3 claims against my own insurance and my insurance was cancelled for having 3 claims in a year because they can do that. <<

Can someone teach insurance companies math?

The accident you got into was clearly freak and totally not your fault.  The odds that it would keep happening to you are just the same as they were the first time they wrote you the policy.  Possibly less-so because you've had the learning experience.

Canceling it on you because of one bizarre incident is like the gambler who doubles down because he just KNOWS he's due for blackjack because he hasn't had one in awhile.
Permalink Michael B 
July 16th, 2007 10:28pm

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