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Weird DMV situation

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by PhatBasstard, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    This is actually a two part question, but I'll try to keep it short:

    In 2002 I was merging from one lane (highway) to another (checked mirrors, signaled, etc.) when a flash in my left eye from behind made me abort and move back over. A 17 year old girl in a white Ford Explorer had zoomed up on me (she had to be speeding as I was already doing the limit) from behind/left lane over and (even according to her two teenaged male passengers) "over corrected" when she saw me, causing her to spin out and damage her vehicle. I (like a BIG dummy) doubled back (saw it in my rear view) to make sure everyone was OK...and promptly got cited for "improper lane change" because she had a "witness".

    I paid the fine (actually half) and found out later my insurance company had paid a claim (even though our vehicles never touched) to her's. I did the Traffic School to eliminate the points, however, was given the wrong date to attend so they wouldn't accept it upon completion (too late) no matter how much I pleaded.

    I get my new policy this year and my rate has gone from about $1400 to nearly $3700 (after being with them 9 years and no claims). I'd had only one speeding ticket previous to this (Dec.31 2001: a last minute New Years Eve gig with a 7 hour notice...425 miles away!) so I wasn't a young frequent offender (I'm 39 now).

    Now here's where it gets weird:
    I go to the DMV and get a print out of my driving record to shop for some (hopefully) cheaper insurance......and the accident and ticket from the 2002 situation are not listed and there are no points against me. The 2001 New Years Eve speeding ticket is listed, but not the 2002 one.

    Is it possible this ticket (2002/unsafe lane change) was forgiven?
    Even though the Officer who wrote it felt bad about writing it (he kept praising me for having the guts to return and felt I unfortunately got caught in a bad situation) I know he didn't "lose" the ticket because they did have record of it when I called about the fine, although the ticket was very late (they didn't have record until weeks after it was supposed to be there).

    I know Judges are real particular about protocol in these situations (i.e. The ticket has to be made out perfectly and such by the Officer). Is it possible the Judge threw it out due to it's tardiness and my insurance company paid a claim unneccesarily???

    Anyone think they know the answer?
    Anyone think they know what I should do about the insurance?
  2. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    It is possible that the ticket was thrown out. The officer may have not crossed a T or dotted an I just in the hope that you'd get a break. If I were you I'd take that printout to my insurance company and demand a recount! Good Luck!

    My wife once got a speeding ticket, never paid it. Years later she went to the DMV to square it away only to find that it had vanished into thin air.
  3. PhatB, while you, I and everyone reading this know you did the right thing by going back to see if everyone was O.K., this gives credence to the old saying, "No good deed goes unpunished."

    What a world. :rolleyes:

    You however, are a good man Charlie Brown! :)

  4. I've been to hell I spell it, I spell it DMV... :D
  5. AHA!

    Mr. Claypool in his pigeon-toed stance! :D

    Mike :D
  6. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I may just do that, although "Progressive" on line is giving me a fairly decent quote at this point...so I may just switch rather than fight.
  7. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I can't really speak for US insurance law, but in Australia and the UK, and insurance contract is based on the duty of utmost good faith between the insurer and the insured. Flowing out of that duty is a duty to disclose all material things to the insurer which would have an impact on the risk being insured against.

    Accordingly, even if the DMV didnt have "records" of the accident and ticket etc, you would still be under an obligation to disclose these to the insurer. Failure to do so could be a breach of the duty of disclosure which (in some circumstances) can allow the insurer to cancel the policy or refuse to pay a claim. Generally an insurer will only investigate those matters when they do have to pay a claim, which is when you need them most. Accordingly, not disclosing things to your insurer is NEVER a good idea.

    Maybe a US attorney could clarify the position in the states, but im pretty sure the duty of disclosure is universal to insurance contracts since they all came out of the UK anyway.
  8. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    My heart goes out to you dude. Insurance companies are in the top 3 of the biggest piles of poo we as humans have to deal with. Somehow I've actually got lucky. I have 6 speeding tickets but the insurance company only knows about 1 of them. :)
  9. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Talked to DMV today and had a search done. It appears this thing was thrown out.
    This means my insurance company jumped the gun and was too hasty in paying this claim as now it's not only actual that it wasn't my fault, but legal as well.

    This girl, even though she and her passengers were fine and walking around, all refused medical treatment at the scene, later claimed all kinds of medical stuff. Her vehicle wasn't even damaged that bad nor did her airbags deploy (damage was to the drivers side, rear quarter panel).

    I wasn't trying to deceive the insurance, but if the charge against me is thrown out, and I am no longer legally at fault, what is my insurance doing paying this without my knowledge or approval, then doubling my rate out of the blue?!?

    Talked to a customer rep (at my insurance) over the phone today and he was wondering some of the same things, so he refered me to the actual claims adjuster that handled this. I should hear from them tomorrow.
  10. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    And I live in Las Vegas, NV. The worst place in the US for auto insurance.
  11. Speaking of DMV, Primus is Coming, WOOHOO!!..

    Ha, sorry :p

    Edit: Woah, I didnt see like half of this page before replying...weird...anyways...
  12. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    YOu may want to check with your "new" insurance company, however most will ask you whether you have had any claims or accidents in the last x years. Whether you are at fault of not is irrelevant as they are interested in your claims history (ie how greater risk are you).

    The duty of disclosure applies at each renewal of a insurance contract or the execution of a new one (although your existing insurance company is deemed to have knowledge of any claims made with them).

    In terms of the insurer paying it without your knowledge, part of the insurance contract is a right of subrogation in favour of the insurer. That means that you give the insurer to step into your shoes and defend / litigate / settle any claim that is made against you without needing your consent. Again, whether you are at fault of not is irrelevant, it is up to the insurer to decide how they want to handle the claim made against you.
  13. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I have reported it (see: "I have not tried to deceive...") on my applications and almost every other company is giving me a lower quote (One was actually almost $1200 a year less for better coverage and half the deductable) than my current insurance now wants to charge me.

    I have no trouble with my insurance paying any claim they want. But if my vehicle doesn't touch anything and I'm ultimately vindicated, don't raise my rate because of it.

    As far as my risk factor: prior to the speeding ticket on New Years eve 2001 (As I was trying to make the last minute job call. Keep in mind this wasn't in a populated area. It was out in the middle of the desert, on a 15 mile straight away, with nobody else but me and the hiding HP, when this speeding occured. I was still only doing 85 in a 70.), I had 9 years of a big fat nothing. I don't think my "risk" warrants this treatment.

    PS. I now own the "State Of The Art" in radar/lazer detectors...and they're legal here, but it doesn't matter as it has detector-detector-detection.:ninja:
  14. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I'm not saying its fair, im just telling you how insurance companies work.

    They should not raise your rate if you have a "not at fault" claim, that is definately something that you should take up with them.

    In terms of risk, they don't care how you or anyone else got a speeding ticket. Its all based on statistics calculated by actuaries and the claims history of the client. Statistically, someone with a speeding ticket is more likely to claim than somoene without, therefore if you have a ticket your premium is higher - likewise if you have made a claim before. The reason different companies quote different premiums is because they have different claims histories for people of your sex / age group / car type / location etc.

    If you think you are being unfairly treated by insurance companies, you could try to self insure and just get third party damage insurance or you could see a specialist insurer who will look at your individual circumstances and rate you accordingly.
  15. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I just traded in my 2001 Dodge Dakota Quad cab for a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab (5.7 liter V8 Hemi :eek: :hyper: )(I couldn't resist the 0% for 72 months. Got a new truck and lowered my payments. :) ) so I don't think that would be possible at this point. I knew the newer, more expensive truck would raise my rates some, but this has been ridiculous.
  16. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Kudos to you Phatbastard.

    I hope everything works out for you
  17. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    "Basstard, PhatBasstard". The other word is....scary!:eek: ;)

    Thanks for the support.

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