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How long until they make a decision
by dan ward
My veh. was hit by a tour bus that is insured by the above. Both veh's. were driveable from scene. Tour bus was in right lane (for straight),my veh. in the left designated turn lane. Light turns green and I proceed to make my turn and tour bus moves straight in intersection and turns left into my veh. sideswiping it from rear to the front continuing on before coming to stop. I reported it to my insurance and gave a statement to the bus co. ins.
Their adjuster came out and seen my veh. and taken pictures of it. He stated that the ins. co. would be paying it to give 2to3 days to submit his report and I should receive a check in the mail within 5 days. The accident occurred on Oct.11,07 and still no results. Ins. co. claims they cannot get hold of the bus driver for a statement. I feel someone is dragging their feet and it is a known fact that the ins. co. has statement forms that could be mailed out to the driver to retrieve his statement.
My ins. co. contacted them and got the same reason for delay. What other countermeasure I may take to get the ball rolling, besides having my attorney contact them? Is there a specific time limit as to retrieving a statement?
Your case is not unusual at all. State Insurance Law requires that insurer contact their own insurance company and give them a change to explain their version of events. If you are in a car accident, would you want your insurance company paying before contacting you? Probably not.
The problem is that some people, mainly big companies (the driver does not care, it is not his bus nor his policy) do not care, so they will not call or give a statement to any insurance company. The result is that you will be left hanging until the insurance company decides what to do. IF you contact a lawyer, nothing will be done. A lawyer would also have to wait until the insurance company makes a decision.
The general rule is that an insurance company has 30 days to investigate liability. If the 30 days go by and they do not have a decision, then they must explain to you in writing what is their position.
The most important thing is to provide them with a police report. If they have no contact from their own client, they will be persuaded by a police report showing them at fault. If there are witnesses, then they will your case.
You should write a letter (certified) to them telling them that you are waiting on their decision and that you are no longer able to mitigate your damages (i.e. you need a rental car while the car gets to the shop and you cannot get to a shop until they decide if they pay or not). You are basically requesting them to help you mitigate your damages (pay so the damages do not become more expensive). This usually gets them moving.
The bad news is that the insurance company will probably wait the 30 days before making a decision. Write them a letter and pressure them to go by what the police report says.
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