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 > Another Rear End Accident Story

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Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 08/04/19 05:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The scenario:

On 07.29.19 travelling southbound on I-69 at MP 221.6 outside Anderson, IN. This is in a construction zone, with a posted speed limit in the work zone of 55MPH. There is a Y configuration for the lanes, the right lane going one direction, the left lane going another direction, and the construction in the middle/closed lane. There was a previous/similar construction zone about a mile prior to this one.

A UHaul truck stops suddenly in the middle of the Y median. The car directly behind it, and directly in front of me, brakes to keep from hitting the UHaul, as she has nowhere to go. I also brake to keep from hitting the car, and appear to have avoided it, when I hear a crash behind me, and am pushed forward into the car by a Freightliner semi who rear ended my trailer. We all get out of our vehicles to see if anyone is hurt; there are no injuries. No airbag deployments either, we were going approximately 40-45MPH. We all move our vehicles out of the roadway, and I call 9-1-1 to get law enforcment to respond. We all also exchange information, with the exception of the UHaul driver who left the scene. I take lots of pictures of the damage to my 2007 GMC Sierra SLE 3500 dually and my 2007 Keystone Outback 25RSS trailer.

Indiana State Police Trooper arrives, takes a look at all the vehicles, gets all our information. Provides me with an instruction sheet as to how to get a copy of the report, and states that the driver of the Freightliner is 100% at fault, that he had a duty to be far enough back as to avoid an accident. Driver was cited.

I asked the trooper if he thought it was safe for me to drive my rig, he took a look at it (he's a trailer guy too), said it looked like everything was OK to tow, but recommended a local RV dealer if I wanted to have it checked out. Took it to that dealer, they said the hitch and bumper on my GMC would need to be replaced, and that they could sell me a hitch. They also recommended a local Chevy dealer to check out the bumper. Drove over to them, they said the bumper would definitely need to be replaced, and emailed me an estimate. I asked both of them if the rig was safe to drive, to go back to Colorado, neither would give me a definitive answer. Thought I was going to be stuck there for a few weeks.

I called Liberty Mutual again, they said I could go to a local collision repair place and get an opinion, and gave me the names of 2 in the Anderson area. Went to one of them the following day. Appraiser there said the frame was good, the bumper, though damaged, was still tight, and that the hitch also appeared to be tight, though bent downward due to the angle of the bumper. He said there was a hitch place near by, if I wanted to get another opinion, so went over there as well. Guy there inspected the hitch, said that it looked tight, thought it was missing a nut and that part of a bolt had been sheered off, but was still in tight condition. I asked both if they thought the rig was driveable back to Colorado, both said yes.

The Freightliner driver drives for Watkins and Shepard Trucking/Schneider National Carriers and has Old Republic Insurance. He had already called in a claim when I called them, they said it would be 24-48 BUSINESS HOURS (presumably meaning 3-6 days) before a claims adjuster would be assigned and contact me.

In addition to the damage to the bumper of my GMC, the trailer sustained significant damage. The rear bumper was pushed up and inward, peeling back off the support strut, the spare tire carrier was pushed into the rear wall of the trailer and in to the interior of the trailer, where a step was damaged, along with both of the benches for the dinette. The rear slide out handle was damaged, and the slide out will not slide completely out. Appears that part of the roof support also has come loose, and there is damage to a cabinet in the slide out. Both of the stairs for the door entries were also damaged, making it difficult to deploy the stairs, and the rear door doesn't close correctly. That is what is visible, I don't know if there's damage underneath.

Was able to make it home to Colorado safely (3 days coming back), got back here on Friday, 08.02.19. Now awaiting contacts on my various claims. GMC will be handled by a collision center near by. The trailer will have an inspector come out a see if it's repairable or will be totalled. I'm also going to call a service I've used before and have them inspect it as a disinterested 3rd party, to give me an approximation on repair costs. And YES, I do plan to, at minimum consult an attorney.

My insurance processor said that, in the event that the trailer is totalled, they would pay off the lien on the trailer and they go after the other driver's insurance, for my deductible among other things. They would also pay the collision center direct, again minus deductible, for the repairs to the GMC.

My guess is the trailer is totaled, as the entire rear portion of the trailer would need to be replaced as well as removal of the rear slide out to even make any repairs.

My questions:

My insurance pays off my trailer lien then presumably goes after Old Republic for that payment, plus my deductible for both vehicles. But who pays for loss of use? I've made reservations at a variety of campgrounds for the remainder of the summer/fall, that I will now have to cancel, and will only get a partial refund. Also loss of use, who pays for the trailer storage that I paid for in advance? I have 5 months of storage paid for and nothing to store, if it's totaled.

There is also the "making it right" part of this. Indiana is an "at fault" state, so with the other driver being 100% at fault, it seems to me that his insurance company is responsible to make this right, yes? I didn't ask to be in an accident, their driver was negligent, and now they should cover the cost of a replacement trailer, yes?

Hope to have some answers later this week, but it's so frustrating to be in limbo, playing a waiting game. I know, it's likely to be a long drawn out process.

Opinions/thoughts/suggestions?

* This post was edited 08/04/19 07:23pm by an administrator/moderator *


2007 GMC Sierra SLE 3500HD Dually
2016 Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 243RBS
2007 Keystone Outback 25RSS - R.I.P.

DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 08/04/19 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I first started reading your post, I thought you were referring to this accident with a semi-truck and a 5er just VERY recently in Indianapolis: click here. This was on the news for days, and it's still very disturbing as new facts about the semi-truck driver unearth.

I live near Anderson, Indiana, and if you took your vehicle to Gerber in Anderson, your truck is in good hands. I had a repair after getting T-boned in another vehicle. They restored the vehicle back to GM factory specs. They are awesome. But they do take time, but do it right. Good luck.

About Indiana? I doubt you will recoup anything you payed for your loss at the storage rental, or campsite reservations. Your best bet is the cancel those campground reservations and get whatever money back you can, and work with your storage facility for some kind of agreement, help, or postponed services since you don't have the camper in storage there, now. But expecting the insurance company to cover these types of losses, I doubt very very much that will happen.

The two insurance companies should be battling all the details out. YOU should not contact or touch base with the "other" insurance agency at all. Let YOUR insurance claims division do all the negotiation. Anything you say or do or talk about with the "enemy" could be used against you and undermine any standing or fault on you! So, let your insurance company do the work for which they are paid to do. EVERYTHING you do should go through your insurance claims division.... EVERYTHING.

FYI, I live outside of Anderson, only about 5 miles from the city line, about 8 miles from Gerber Auto Repair, about 5 miles form Modern Trailer in Anderson. So, if you need a friend in this area, I'm very close.

Good luck!

Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 08/04/19 06:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DutchmenSport wrote:

When I first started reading your post, I thought you were referring to this accident with a semi-truck and a 5er just VERY recently in Indianapolis: click here. This was on the news for days, and it's still very disturbing as new facts about the semi-truck driver unearth.

I live near Anderson, Indiana, and if you took your vehicle to Gerber in Anderson, your truck is in good hands. I had a repair after getting T-boned in another vehicle. They restored the vehicle back to GM factory specs. They are awesome. But they do take time, but do it right. Good luck.

About Indiana? I doubt you will recoup anything you payed for your loss at the storage rental, or campsite reservations. Your best bet is the cancel those campground reservations and get whatever money back you can, and work with your storage facility for some kind of agreement, help, or postponed services since you don't have the camper in storage there, now. But expecting the insurance company to cover these types of losses, I doubt very very much that will happen.

The two insurance companies should be battling all the details out. YOU should not contact or touch base with the "other" insurance agency at all. Let YOUR insurance claims division do all the negotiation. Anything you say or do or talk about with the "enemy" could be used against you and undermine any standing or fault on you! So, let your insurance company do the work for which they are paid to do. EVERYTHING you do should go through your insurance claims division.... EVERYTHING.

FYI, I live outside of Anderson, only about 5 miles from the city line, about 8 miles from Gerber Auto Repair, about 5 miles form Modern Trailer in Anderson. So, if you need a friend in this area, I'm very close.

Good luck!


Thank you for your information. It was in fact, Gerber that I took the truck to on the day after the accident. The service guy there was Ryan, he was very good, took time to look over the truck, and when asked if he would drive it to Colorado, said "yes". I appreciated his thoroughness and honesty. Modern Trailer was the place I took it the very first time, the ones that referred me to the local Chevy dealer.

ItsyRV

Desert SW

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Posted: 08/04/19 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is my understanding that you can file a Loss of Use claim for any monetary damages you suffer while your covered units are not usable. Now this is where I found out it gets tricky! Once they settle your claim, all financial loses after that date are on you. The theory is you were made whole and can go out and immediately buy another unit and still use your reservations and storage space. So you claim would probably only be for the period from the day of the accident until they settled and paid you.


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Thom02099

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Posted: 08/04/19 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ItsyRV wrote:

It is my understanding that you can file a Loss of Use claim for any monetary damages you suffer while your covered units are not usable. Now this is where I found out it gets tricky! Once they settle your claim, all financial loses after that date are on you. The theory is you were made whole and can go out and immediately buy another unit and still use your reservations and storage space. So you claim would probably only be for the period from the day of the accident until they settled and paid you.


Thank you for your response and information. My thinking was also along those lines, but wasn't sure. I am HOPEFUL that a settlement will be rather quick. Reality gets in the way however. My guess is this will run far beyond the current camping season here. Good thing I got a bunch of trips in early!

DownTheAvenue

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Posted: 08/05/19 05:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

State laws differ, but the at fault person is required to make you "whole." That would include loss of use, which is clear when your vehicle is in the shop getting repaired- substitute transportation is provided. Establishing loss of use for a recreational vehicle and missed camping trips is not so clear. In theory, the adjuster is to establish everything you lost in the accident including loss of use and cost to repair. In practice, the adjsuter is often paid, and certainly evaluated, by how much he saves the insurance company. When you bring up loss of use of yourr camper, don't be surprised if he says they don't pay for that when you are entitles to be made whole.

If you had personal injuries, your leverage with the insurance adjuster would be much stronger. Isn't your back hurting now from the force of the wreck? Perhaps you should be having pains that require medical attention.

FlatBroke

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Posted: 08/05/19 06:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Waiting for the condensed, shorter version. [emoticon]



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BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 08/05/19 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DownTheAvenue wrote:

Snip...
If you had personal injuries, your leverage with the insurance adjuster would be much stronger. Isn't your back hurting now from the force of the wreck? Perhaps you should be having pains that require medical attention.

Sounds like you are advocating he file a false claim! [emoticon]
Barney


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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 08/05/19 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might have to make sure the loss of use amount is included in your claim to the other driver's insurance company. If they do not agree to include this amount, that's when a lawyer can really come in handy, if nothing more than to write a letter to them showing you're serious. But lawyer hours can add up quickly, killing any advantage to using one, if you need much more than a letter. Since you're working it through your own insurance, hopefully they will amenable and diligent about getting this amount covered for you.

BTW, a lot of lawyers will do a free, short little consultation, especially if they know that all you need is 2 minutes' worth of advice.

Really sorry this messed up your trip. But very glad you are ok healthwise.


Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... (Ecclesiastes 3)
Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 08/05/19 04:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rexlion wrote:

You might have to make sure the loss of use amount is included in your claim to the other driver's insurance company. If they do not agree to include this amount, that's when a lawyer can really come in handy, if nothing more than to write a letter to them showing you're serious. But lawyer hours can add up quickly, killing any advantage to using one, if you need much more than a letter. Since you're working it through your own insurance, hopefully they will amenable and diligent about getting this amount covered for you.

BTW, a lot of lawyers will do a free, short little consultation, especially if they know that all you need is 2 minutes' worth of advice.

Really sorry this messed up your trip. But very glad you are ok healthwise.


Thank you so much, Mike. I appreciate your response and advice. That's what I was hoping for, with a lawyer consult, to make sure I've got all my ducks in a row.

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