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Pain and suffering/illegal insurance practices
My girlfriend rolled her suv when trying to avoid a cow in the road. She was 8 monthes pregnant and had to go to the hospital to have her contractions stopped. Is she owed pain and suffering? My second question is the insurance broker took the vehicle and cut the finance company a check without a power of attorney or approval. One can she sue them, two if so how?
Sorry to hear about your girl friend.
Answer to question 1 is No -- well most likely no
answer to question 2 is no.
1. Let me explain, the theory is that if you cannot avoid an accident with an animal it is because you were going too fast for conditions. Usually, if you hit the animal you have a comprehensive claim, but if you hit the ditch, then you had a collision. In either case, the "negligent" party will be considered as the driver.
You can argue that the owner of the cow had to have it fenced in, but that type of claim is very hard to win. Some states do not allow claims in open range areas, and finding the cow owner can be very difficult. Even then, you would have to defeat the argument that it was the cows fault and not speed, road conditions, etc.
2. When you have an auto policy, you agree to a lien holder clause (most insurance policies have this).
Visit: http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/Financial-Responsibility.html to read more about this clause.
Here, you give the power to the insurance company to pay any lien holder first.
They have to be paid first regardless of anything. In fact, if they give you a check, the insurance company must put the name of the bank in the check so the bank must sign it before you can cash it.
Most bank take the check and apply it against the balance of the bank and you still have to repair the car out of pocket.
I hope this clears up some confusion.
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