On my way to work one day I was traveling west bound up until I reached a road I needed to make a left turn on. Once the green arrow was given to me I preceded left started traveling south-bound. As I finished my left turn a few short moments passed and a small car pulled its way out in front of me. I tagged it’s back drivers side door. Even though my car still ran it appeared the crash caused about $2000 worth of work. This was about 5 years ago. I was driving a 1995 Nissan Maxima with a pearl white paint job. When the police got there, they measured my tread marks for the report. I then made the claim and some time later got a call from the other drivers insurance company. The Insurance Company then stated they would only pay 80% of the damage done to the car. The reason for this was because they decided my skid marks measured too long for a my car to be traveling the speed limit. I asked, “now how do you figure that?” The insurance company then decided to read me out this bull-snot formula that figures what the speed of a vehicle is with the measurement of skid-marks.
Speed = the quare root of (30) X (Skid distance) X (Drag Factor of .75).
They figured I was going a whole 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit. I mentioned back to them, “Look, I am not about to pay 20% of the damage to my car because your not so good driver pulled out in front me. Throughout the next couple days I did some research on this skid formula and found proof it wasn’t 100% accurate. I then went onto Pima County’s Map Guide and printed an above view of the crash scene with contours (lines of elevation) turned on showing the slope of the road. I then went to the crash site and took some pictures. Once I got this all together I sent them all the information I had which showed their case to be a poor one..Below is a photo of the map with some of the information I mentioned posted on the photo. I faxed this along with photos, other arguments and my overall “not so polite attitude”..
If you could not read, on the photo, some of the listed reasons I felt the guy’s Auto Insurance Company had no case I reslisted them below:
.1. I BARELY TURNED ON TO THAT ROAD FROM A STOP. NOT ENOUGH TIME TO START SPEEDING.
2. ROAD HAS A SLOPE WORKING AGAINST YOUR INACCURATE FORMULA.
3. THE CAR ISN’T BRAND NEW WHICH IS ALSO WORKING AGAINST YOUR FORMULA (USED TIRES AND EQUIPMENT).
4. LAST BUT NOT LEAST LAWYERS WHO SPECIALIZE IN THIS TYPE OF CASE HAVE BEEN CONTACTED. THEY STATE THE FORMULA IS NOT 100% EXACT, IF THIS IS TAKEN TO COURT I WILL COUNTER-SUE FOR 100% OF THE DAMAGES, MY TIME AND THEIR SERVICES.
After a couple days I received a call from the insurance company. They decided to go ahead and award me 100% of the money I needed to fix my car. They probably figured If I went to this much trouble to prove them wrong, I probably would not stop there. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe an insurance company is trying to take advantage of you, don’t give in. A little research can go a long way and save you from any undeserved debts and penalties.