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By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 26, 2013
Pfeifferhorn via North Ridge

!


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Jan 26, 2013

You could probably sort through it piece by piece and salvage lots of it. If it were me though, yep, it's totalled and "brand new" and every bit of it (and more) would be on the report to the insurance company.

They probably have a limit to the amount of things in the car they'll replace but the gear is probably not even close to that.

Also, in a month or two, you'll get a letter from his insurance offering you a few thousand to sign something to the effect that you will not pursue them for anything related to your whiplash in the future. Make sure you've talked to a doc about this before you take the deal.


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Jan 26, 2013
Axes glistening in the sun

HOly FUCK!! Blessed you are!! I think you'll need to talk to your insurance company, as I believe they will be the ones to go after his company for damages. Make sure you have the police report and all of the other driver's info. Call your insurance company. I could be wrong but that would be the first step.


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Jan 26, 2013

If you have homeowners or renters insurance it should cover your gear.


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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Jan 26, 2013
old 1/4" bolt.

J Red......really glad to hear that you survived the accident. You pose an interesting question about your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company replacing your gear, but it really depends on your policy (fine print). Regardless, the agent will ask for receipts for everything you claim. Sucks, but I save every receipt, having gone through this with numerous burglaries. Good luck.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jan 26, 2013
Stabby

Get a lawyer. If the insurance company knows you don't have one they deal with you way differently than if you have one. He'll typically add his compensation on top of what you'll deserve to get. Meanwhile, it is the person at the insurance company's job to do everything possible to screw you. Assuming the culprit was insured, you didn't say. If he wasn't, get a suit filed asap.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Jan 26, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Glad you're OK.

As already said, lawyer up.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jan 26, 2013
Stabby

I'm a little curious on the destroyed gear though. Crushed and bent? Oiled? Seems a little weird.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Jan 26, 2013
You stay away from mah pig!

Mike Lane wrote:
I'm a little curious on the destroyed gear though. Crushed and bent? Oiled? Seems a little weird.


Why would it seem weird? A rear-ending at 80mph could easily rupture the gas tank and get fuel on everything.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jan 26, 2013

You have to get your own lawyer to sue/threaten to sue for compensatory (gross medical regardless of whether your own medical insurance paid for it) and punitive damages (usually 3x compensatory).

Also, medical issues from whiplash could show up later and last a long time. Don't even talk to the other guy's insurance about medical issues, tell them you're getting a lawyer and hang up.


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By JLP
From The Internet
Jan 26, 2013

First, it looks like you are lucky to be alive. What a shitty way to die, and looks like you were 5 feet from it.

Second, there is a lot of bad advice in this thread.

An auto policy covers the vehicle and medical, homeowner's covers personal property and personal liability. So, there are 4 policies here, in the best case, 2 each side. You should file no more and no less than 2 claims, preferably with your own insurance companies. Your company will contact his company and a bunch of people who deal with this shit 100x a day will deal with it.

If you hire a lawyer, all that will happen is he'll walk away with a piece of your share, and then some. The only reason to get one is if you find you have serious medical issues or dealing with professionals over the phone intimidates and/or confuses you. Simply get on the phone and get those claims moving.

If there is no homeowner or renter policy on either side, then you are left suing him for your climbing gear. You'll win, no problem. However, my advice would be to consider not even bothering in this case, as preparation and collection can be and usually is an epic - all for a couple grand, really. Hardly worth it unless you have no value for your time - and more importantly, your self-esteem. The small claims process is for white trash, IMO, to put it frankly.

If he does have a policy, I suggest you put the fuck to it - both for your car and your gear. They'll obviously total your car and offer you a check. Don't accept it until you have what you are very comfortable and happy with as a 1:1 replacement for YOUR car - final cost to get it in your driveway. You do NOT need receipts for all your climbing gear, just reasonable proof you own it. Add a few cams and slings - for sure - everyone does. Get smart and learn all the rules, ask lots of questions.

Also - on the medical - it sounds like you have medical insurance, if you are into PT already. Nice work. All you have to do is notify your company of the person responsible for the injury. Your insurance company will put a team of pros on that one as well, to recover money. You shouldn't have to do anything, except fill out a couple simple forms.


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By caesar.salad
From southern Maine
Jan 26, 2013

Listen to what JLP said. He is right on. Lawyer is unnecessary unless they try to screw you. Don't accept a check until you have accounted for EVERYTHING. You should not have a pay a CENT.


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By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Jan 26, 2013

My oldest friend (known him for 31 years) is a personal injury lawyer. Get one, get one that doesn't require a fee and takes from the settlement. You are lucky to be alive but don't sign anything without legal consultation.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Jan 26, 2013
modern man

J Red wrote:
I unfortunately have the cheapest insurance available with Geico. Because Utah is a no fault state the car insurance companies pay out of pocket for medical but there is a cap (I think it is $3000). I already had to be put on a stretcher, taken to the hospital on an ambulance, talk to the doctor and have had xrays done PLUS I had to go to a specialist in auto accident chiropractor who has adjusted me, consoled and has done xrays. I most likely over the cap. As for the car because of the lowest form of insurance I dont have collision coverage. I have to pay out of pocket until the other insurance company takes responsibility for the accident. It will take as much as 10 business days to get the police report. So for the next two weeks I am going to have to pay for a rental car, pay for the car to be in the lot, etc, etc. To top it off I am missing work due to this. Plus I have the car and the gear to replace. The good news is there was a witness who saw the whole thing. In fact, he almost got hit by the truck that hit me a few minutes before and was already calling the cops for reckless driving. So with so much at stake I am really considering a lawyer just cause there is so much at stake.


lawyer up man, this is your gear we are talking about. who cares if he/she pockets some, I bet you'll be happy if you do and you will get some to help pay for all of your time dealing with the incident which the ins. companies dont give a shit about . I despise frivolous BS lawsuits but this is NOT the case.

and I'll take the damaged rack too.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jan 26, 2013
El Chorro

J Red wrote:
I unfortunately have the cheapest insurance available with Geico. Because Utah is a no fault state the car insurance companies pay out of pocket for medical but there is a cap (I think it is $3000). I already had to be put on a stretcher, taken to the hospital on an ambulance, talk to the doctor and have had xrays done PLUS I had to go to a specialist in auto accident chiropractor who has adjusted me, consoled and has done xrays. I most likely over the cap. As for the car because of the lowest form of insurance I dont have collision coverage. I have to pay out of pocket until the other insurance company takes responsibility for the accident. It will take as much as 10 business days to get the police report. So for the next two weeks I am going to have to pay for a rental car, pay for the car to be in the lot, etc, etc. To top it off I am missing work due to this. Plus I have the car and the gear to replace. The good news is there was a witness who saw the whole thing. In fact, he almost got hit by the truck that hit me a few minutes before and was already calling the cops for reckless driving. So with so much at stake I am really considering a lawyer just cause there is so much at stake.


I've been through this before. No climbing gear involved but I ended up in the hospital in bum fuck Arizona, and with a totalled truck in the junk yard. We had to pay out of pocket for everything (rental, flights home, etc) and it was months before anything got paid for. In the case of my hospital bills - it was nearly two years.

I agree with most of what JLP said, but in my experience expecting your own insurance company to fight for you is wishful thinking. The driver of the car I was in in Arizona had a reasonable policy and his insurance did nothing for us. They were part of the reason I waited so long to get my hospital bills paid. They kept saying they were handling it when in fact they were doing nothing. In the end, I called up the company of the other guy (faulty party who hit us) and threatened to sue them. Nothing happened until I said the words "this is the last phone call I will make. The next one you get will be from my lawyer." A week later there was 3 grand my bank account.

Like someone else said, the insurance agents are paid to screw you. That is their number one goal. They will give you the run around and lie to you until you give up or until statue of limitations has passed (2 years in Arizona). Like JLP said, get everything rolling ASAP and don't take no for an answer. Learn the rules, do some research, and consider it your job to get this shit taken care of. Make a phone call or two every day - DO NOT wait for them. The minute you stop calling your file goes on the bottom of the stack and sometimes it even goes in the trash.

If you have any questions shoot me a PM. My brother does this for a living and is damn good at it. He'd be happy to give you some advice.


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By JLP
From The Internet
Jan 26, 2013

So you have no insurance. I agree with Ryan, but realize what's going on is your insurance company will generally be reliable in acting in your interest to the extent they are liable to, or to the extent they have a financial interest. Since they are basically liable to provide you little to nothing in this case, you'll be doing the work on your own.

There is a pile of money waiting for you at the other driver's insurance company and you don't need a lawyer to get it. This money has a cap. You probably haven't exceeded it, frankly - you're still alive and will be walking in a few weeks. Find out that cap. Call them. Find out who you are dealing with. YOU need to do this, not some fucking lawyer. Find out what they will and will not cover and what the process is. Get very clear on it. THEN...make your decision.

The moment you get a lawyer involved is the moment you give up and lose control of the process. You also slow it down. Way down. Instead of talking to the person who could have cut you a fucking check, you'll be making depositions and statements for the next several months, possibly years, all basically so that lawyer can feed his family off OUR insurance premiums.

Here's another piece of advice - don't expect to get money from this person above what his policy can provide. Unless this person has a large home, a family and a really good job - just the kind of person who drives 80 and crashes into people - you won't get shit from him. Ever. Just forget about it. You'll win in court, for sure - but have fun actually getting the money. People with no money won't be sending you money. Google it - for a laugh...

Also - don't go to court. Ever. For anything. Losers who can't manage their own shit go to court. Everyone loses in court.


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jan 26, 2013

Yup, like Ryan said the other guy's insurance will only try to screw you. Like a friend of mine who was rear-ended last week and had them calling her saying "We'll give you $300 to sign away rights to recover, this is a one-time offer, take it or leave it." Bullshit.

After some further research, I now realize the 4.8k settlement I got in college was probably fully compensatory damages ie
$1,200 for my gross medical expenses and $3,600 (3x medical) for pain and suffering.

I had a lawyer for free from Student Legal, I suppose you could try to work it out on your own and avoid a 30% contingency fee; depends on the complexity of the medical issues and expenses and how the other side is behaving. I'm sure these kinds of suits can be filed quickly, but I would still watch the statute of limitations and give yourself a little breathing room to find a lawyer if the negotiations go south.


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By Eric Krantz
From Black Hills
Jan 26, 2013
smoke break, pitch 5 or 6 (or 7??) of Dark Shadows

Look like the front of the car is OK... should be no oil on the gear. Gas? Yeah, maybe. If it's not crushed or bent, I'd salvage it. Cams - new sling. Carabiners- no bend or marks? They're OK too. Gas won't hurt the metal.

Craziness. What a ride. Hope you heal up and don't have long-term issues with your neck.

I love it that you're so super concerned about your climbing gear to post up right away. True climber!


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By jlt
Jan 26, 2013

I was in an accident three years ago in Colorado. Here, they divide the claim into two parts: One is the cost of the vehicle etc. I asked them to replace my parks pass (hey, it was $60), and add in the $800 in repairs I had just put into my car. They second part was the medical claim/loss of work. Document EVERYTHING, hours missed etc. The best move I made was getting an attorney. Yes, they take a percentage, but I know I got much more than I would have on my own. Plus, it was so good to have someone to take over so I could focus on healing and getting my life back.


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By TWK
Jan 26, 2013

After a reasonable amount of time without aa acceptable response elapses, I've almost invariably found it instantly productive to tell the insurance lackey about your weapons, specifically naming the type of firearms and detailing the loads. It's as if insurance companies don't won't to deal with crazy dangerous people.
But only as a last resort.

Glad you're alive. I'm sorry for your misfortune (been there).


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By Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Jan 26, 2013

I didn't read through the whole thread, but just wanted to mention that I have a friend who had gear destroyed in a car accident (some of it was merely "questionable" post-accident) and it was replaced by the insurance company. Don't know any of the details, but definitely pursue it and best of luck!


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Jan 27, 2013

Christian wrote:
You have to get your own lawyer to sue/threaten to sue for compensatory (gross medical regardless of whether your own medical insurance paid for it) and punitive damages (usually 3x compensatory).

Everyone is so quick to sue. Granted, lawsuits do have their place; but, if the truck driver made an honest mistake and he is a reasonable, honest and genuine dude, then there is no reason to try to take away his house, car and belongings in a lawsuit because of an accident that anyone, including you, could easily make.

OP: That is a crazy photo. I am glad you walked away. My advise would be to try to deal with the insurance companies, and get an attorney you want, but understand that he will take a portion of the claim and pocket it. The truck driver's carrier will not cover your attorney fees, and neither will your carrier unless your carrier appoints an attorney to you. If you want to sue the driver's insurance company, fine. But dont go after the driver personally unless you truly believe he was being grossly negligent. Also, keep in mind that if you do go after the driver, and you win a huge settlement, you probably wont ever get the money (Truck drivers dont exactly drive Ferraris.)


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jan 27, 2013
El Chorro

JLP wrote:
...but realize what's going on is your insurance company will generally be reliable in acting in your interest to the extent they are liable to, or to the extent they have a financial interest. Since they are basically liable to provide you little to nothing in this case, you'll be doing the work on your own. There is a pile of money waiting for you at the other driver's insurance company and you don't need a lawyer to get it...


This is probably the most important part of the whole thread. Your insurance company will only work to cover their own asses. If they are going to have to pay you something because of a clause in your policy, then they will work damn hard to get the OTHER company to pay for it. But if they don't owe you any money then there is no financial incentive for them to do any work for you. In that case, like JLP said, you are on your own. But in my experience (and at the advice of my brother) the threat of a lawyer was enough.

It always seems like a safe bet to hire a lawyer, but even if you're paying a lawyer a lot of money, he is still not on your team. The legal system in the US can best be described as organized crime and that is more evident in insurance and small claims cases than any where else. It is a shit show, plain and simple. No one is going to win accept for the lawyers and maybe the judge who gets a kick-back or a campaign contribution.

Think about it this way: You wouldn't see a defense attorney in some stupid TV commercial saying "have your murdered someone? Just call the offices of Dumb, Fuck and Shit and we'll get you off!" It is because murderers MUST go to court. You don't have to - but the lawyers sure as hell want you to.

I think that if you just get the ball rolling and let the truck driver's insurance company know that you mean business, you should be fine. They have to pay you - but they are going to try every which way possible to delay payment. If someone was trying to get me to fork over $5,000, I'd do the same thing.

It's a long and shitty road, but at the end you will get your money. Just don't be patient - be annoyingly obsessive. The more you pester them, the more tired they will get and in the end they'll just give up and pay you your money.


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By mcarizona
From Flag
Jan 27, 2013

I don't think Geico needs to know anything. It is the other guy's insurance you will deal with. I got hit on my bike and he had Allstate. I talked with them a couple times with the amounts of my damage and they sent a check (even 200 for 'pain and suffering') I got lucky like you did with minor injuries.
Steve


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By JLP
From The Internet
Jan 27, 2013

Ryan Williams wrote:
...they are going to try every which way possible to delay payment.

I disagree with this. There are 100's of accidents exactly like this in the US each and every day. They have to process these claims. If anything, they'll try pay you as little as possible, as quickly as possible. That is their incentive.

When there are delays, there is probably something missing that is preventing them from acting - no receipt, no documents from the hospital, a defect in the police report, etc. If you are on top of what's going on, you can eliminate these delays. There are very clear rules that need to be followed for every dollar they pay out - learn these rules.

Dealing with shit like this, IMO, is a valuable and necessary life skill. Passing this off to a lawyer will make you a weaker and poorer man in the long run. This situation – really – just isn’t that complicated.

mcarizona wrote:
I don't think Geico needs to know anything.

This is a mistake. Unless you are willing to assume 100% of their liabilty to your own bank account, you are required to notify them so that they can act - otherwise legally they don't have to. Think about that. There is no loss, "ding" or otherwise to your standing until they cut a check.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Jan 27, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Legal advice from a climbing forum...what could go wrong?


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