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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a week ago I was involved in a fender bender where a woman entered a turn lane that I was traveling in without yielding to me. She got waived across two travel lanes of busy Rte. 1 in Elkridge by a a stopped motorist and basicaly popped out about 10 ft. in front of me as I was proceeding in the empty lane to my turn.

Without getting into all the details, I checked with an attorney friend who said that basically the other driver was 100% at fault since she violated a tried and true law known in MD as the "the boulevard law".

Yesterday I found out that the Geico investigator for the other driver is trying to claim that I was negligent and wants to fault BOTH of us. The matter is now going to a Geico "Round table" for review and and an ultimate decision.

Although this one appears cut and dry in my favor, I can only think that Geico is trying to twist this thing into something that it isn't so that they can justify raising both involved parties rates---the other driver is also a Geico customer.

Anyone ever go through something like this before? Any tips on what I should be doing to protect my interests here?

Thanks
 

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If you have collision insurance on your vehicle, I'd let let the insurance company handle it. In the mean time though, I'd get a police report if there is one, and a copy of the law you quoted, and forward it to my insurance company, letting them know you aren't about to settle for anything less than finding the other driver 100% at fault.
 

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If GEICO ws the other driver's insurance company as well as yours then they pay either way. Sounds to me like they are trying to equalize fault so they can collect higher payment from both of you. I would call my lawyer friend again. I hope you got a written accident report that specifies fault on the other driver. Good luck

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks...

I'll contact Howard County PD for the accident report. Here's a pic showing what happened, I'm in red. Later, on the side of the road, the lady who hit me said that she entered my lane because a guy in another car waived to her and "gave her the right of way".

The guy who waived the other driver across is stating that he saw me traveling in the middle lane for an innapropriate period of time in an effort to get around traffic. This is the basis for the Geico's claim representative to try to put me at fault. All I was really doing was perparing to make a turn into a supplier's place of business. I think the "waiver" feels bad that he because he contributed to the collision. He was also facing the wrong way to see me and should have stopped the other driver if he did in fact see me coming down the turn lane.

The bad thing here is that I don't have access to the other driver's statement nor to the what the witness said. I really can't offer up any defense and am pretty much at the mercy of Geico's decision making process. I am hoping that they'll evaluate the facts fairly and won't let their decision be influenced by any of their own agendas--i.e. to make profits through higher premiums.

Anyone with similar experiences who chimes in on this would be appreciated. I never expected this form this insurer. I've been with with Geico for 22 years and have only had one very minor claim that I took full responsibility for 5 years ago.

God forbid that I got pushed into oncoming traffic, got hit head on and had major medical bills to try to get paid.
 

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A driver of a motor vehicle does not have the authority to grant right away to a second vehicle in that situation. My guess is the driver that waved the vehicle thru was only indicating his intention to stop and didn't take into account other traffic (you) that was there. Clearly, from the circumstances you described, the other driver is at fault for failing to grant the right of way to you and hopefully the police accident report will indicate that. In some situations there are primary and secondary causes to an accident wherein a series of events come into play. But the law is pretty clear on who must grant the right away. Do you know if there were any charges placed against the other driver?? If the police invetigated the accident and completed a report the officer had the discretion whether to write a ticket or not. In which case witnesses would have to be summoned into court to testify since the investigating officer probably did not witness it. But a traffic ticket could have been issued. If so, and you are summoned to appear make sure you are there. The accident report should indicate if a ticket was issued. You need a copy of the report to see what it says and go from there. If you have any questions then you should contact the investigating officer for an explanation.
 

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About a week ago I was involved in a fender bender where a woman entered a turn lane that I was traveling in without yielding to me. She got waived across two travel lanes of busy Rte. 1 in Elkridge by a a stopped motorist and basicaly popped out about 10 ft. in front of me as I was proceeding in the empty lane to my turn.

Without getting into all the details, I checked with an attorney friend who said that basically the other driver was 100% at fault since she violated a tried and true law known in MD as the "the boulevard law".

Yesterday I found out that the Geico investigator for the other driver is trying to claim that I was negligent and wants to fault BOTH of us. The matter is now going to a Geico "Round table" for review and and an ultimate decision.

Although this one appears cut and dry in my favor, I can only think that Geico is trying to twist this thing into something that it isn't so that they can justify raising both involved parties rates---the other driver is also a Geico customer.

Anyone ever go through something like this before? Any tips on what I should be doing to protect my interests here?

Thanks
Yes, I've gone through this. B-mail me with your # if you want to chat (I won't give you legal advice, but I can relay my personal experience.)
 

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Did this other person involved who waved the vehicle into your lane make that statement to the police, and is it on file? If so, and the insurance company tries to have you share the blame, I'd hire a lawyer and go after that person. Sounds to me like his actions caused the accident and in fact he should be held financially responsible.
 

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If you could have prevented the accident... even a 1% chance, and believe me they can come up with some pretty whacky things you could have done.

I hate to say it but it looks like you're screwed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No police report was filed on this and no tickets were written. The police officer did nothing more than make sure that we (the two involved) exchanged information. I will call and ask the officer to file a report. I am not sure though if he will nor if this will be effective in putting the blame on the true cause of this accident, that being the woman who drove her car across two travel lanes and entered my lane without stopping during the height of rush hour. Although I veered as far away from her as I could when she popped out, I could not cross the double yellow line to my left since I'd then be in the opposing lane's traffic. She gave me all of ten feet to try to stop or avoid her. The impact also ocurred in the clearly marked turn lane for Business Pkwy.
 

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The Cave man is a ****. Kill the Gecko!

Write the MD insurance commissioner ,you will get whatever you want from Geico. All insurance companies will cave in when the insurance commissioners office calls them.
 

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No police report was filed on this and no tickets were written. The police officer did nothing more than make sure that we (the two involved) exchanged information. I will call and ask the officer to file a report. I am not sure though if he will nor if this will be effective in putting the blame on the true cause of this accident, that being the woman who drove her car across two travel lanes and entered my lane without stopping during the height of rush hour. Although I veered as far away from her as I could when she popped out, I could not cross the double yellow line to my left since I'd then be in the opposing lane's traffic. She gave me all of ten feet to try to stop or avoid her. The impact also ocurred in the clearly marked turn lane for Business Pkwy.
OOOOOppppssssss :eek:...... Seems you hit her.

It's all in the details isn't it?
 

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Your picture makes it look like she was trying to cross a solid double yellow line, which would make it an illegal left turn.

I had an accident two years ago that I fought to the bitter end, and I ended up being found to not be at fault. Mine was between two different insurance companies, so my carrier was motivated to fight for my case. Eventually, the dispute resolution board determined that the other guy crossed a single solid white line to hit me and was therefore at fault. Got my $100 deductible back... whoopie !

Geico claims the lowest rates. yet spends exorbitantly more than any other insurance company (maybe any other company period, except Coke and Bud) on advertising. Something's got to give, and I've always assumed it was quality of coverage.
 

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The money GEICO is wasting on ads and not paying claims
 

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Here's the important detail - If you and she are both traveling in the same direction, and you struck her....What part of your vehicle struck what part of her vehicle?
 

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As a former claims adjuster at Allstate for 12 years and currently an insurance agent for Nationwide for the past 3 years, I can give you a little insight. Police officers only make reports when there are injuries involved. Normally they will just make sure the two drivers exchange information at the scene and thats it. Usually, even with a police report, the insurance company will still do a complete investigation and just because an officer cited a driver at the scene, does not mean the adjuster will pay or not pay the claim --unless there were witnesses (not in the vehicles involved) that told the officer what happened, or if police officer himself witnessed the accident. Most likely the officer is not going to make a report after the fact now. As far as your report above, it was difficult to understand where the other driver was coming from. The blvd law states that when you are in the main "blvd" and another driver comes from a stop sign, or side street with a yield sign, the driver in the "blvd" has the right of way. But, MD's insurance laws states if a driver is even 1% negligent, they are prevented from recovering from the other driver. Obviously, you were in the blvd and your insurance company will not pay the other driver, since they definitely contributed to the accident. But, if the other claims adjuster can show that you had a last clear chance to avoid the accident or was not driving the way a "reasonable and prudent driver" would act --in other words drive the way most people would in that situation, you could possilbly not get paid by the other driver's insurance. If the other driver had a traffic control --such as a stop sign, yield sign or red light, they are going to have a very hard time showing that you contributed to the loss. Or, if they were coming from opposite direction and crossing traffic traffic, they have to yield to oncoming traffic. I couldn't figure out where the other driver was in your story. If you have collision coverage on your policy, the best thing would be to have your company pay you for your damages, you would pay your deductable, and then they would go after -or "subrogate" against the other carrier for the other driver. They will collect what they had to pay out -damages for property damage, rental car fees, and your deductable. If you were injured -even if you just went to dr for one visit and/or got presriptions, they owe you an injury settlement as well. But, it sounds like you were fine, you just want car repairs taken care of. If, you do not have collision coverage and you feel you were 100% innocent -did everything to avoid accident, and acted as a reasonable driver would, you could do one of two things. You can call MD insurance commisioner office -be prepared for red tape, lots of time on the phone and letters, and see if they can investigate claim for you. This will basically put a fire under the other party to do a complete investigation. They may or may not change their decision based on commisioner decision. The other thing you can do --small claims court. It doesn't cost much to file in small claims, and you do not have to have a lawyer represent you. You seem pretty organized and were able to make a diagram. You want to show the judge that you were on main road, other party had a traffic control (hopefully they did) and just tell judge simply what you were doing and what other car was doing. DO NOT SAY OTHER CAR CAME OUT OF NOWHERE. Worst thing to say, and almost always, that means you were contributing if you didn't see them. Each party's adjuster has an agreement with their policy holder to believe their insured's story, unless they have information to disprove it. I would try asking for supervisor and tell them again your version, and offer to send scene diagrams where you were and where other car was. If it was a lane change thing -both cars going same way, those are tough to say you were totally innocent. But if other car coming from other direction and crossing traffic, and you were moving and not stopped, the other car clearly has to yield to oncoming traffic. They will lose. If I was in your shoes I would do the following in this order : ask for supervisor of other party's claim adjuster to explain your version -if that doesn't work, file a claim with your company and hopefully if you have collision -they will do the work for you, if no collision- call insurance commisioner and if that won't work, file claim in small claims court. (if you feel you are CLEARLY 0% at fault). If you have any other questions, feel free to send me an email [email protected] One other thing, insurance agents like myself hate the Lizard Company :) They only sell price, they don't sell service. If you have an agent, they will work hard for you to make sure you have the proper coverage ahead of time, and if you have a claim, will work hard to make sure you are paid fairly and promptly. If you have an 800# company or worst Esurance, you never know who you will get and they work on salary. They don't care if you leave them or not. I highly recommend getting insurance from a company with agents -it doesn't have to be Nationwide, it could be Allstate, State Farm, or Erie or even an independent agent. They are all great companies and like everything else -you get what you pay for. Good luck to you, and I am glad you were not badly hurt. That makes it way worst. -Andy
 

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Contributory neglance is what they are going to call it. Unless they can prove their policy holder is 100% at fault they do not have to pay. All you need to be is 1% at fault. Then you are responsible for fixing your car , and then they are responsible for fixing their policy holders vehicle.

"The guy who waived the other driver across is stating that he saw me traveling in the middle lane for an inappropriate period of time in an effort to get around traffic"
Sounds like they will claim that you were not fully established in your lane.

If they don't nail you on that one. They will get you in a little thing called Last Clear Chance, meaning you could have avoided the accident.

If that don't work, they can always claim a difference in opinions in the fact of loss, and revert back to "you fix your car, and we will fix ours".

"God forbid that I got pushed into oncoming traffic, got hit head on and had major medical bills to try to get paid."
PIP is a no fault coverage that everyone has, it will pay you medical bills. By law they cannot raise your rates if you choose to exercise that coverage.If the other party is found at fault they pay your medical bills and you can still claim PIP and double dip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Damage

Here's the important detail - If you and she are both traveling in the same direction, and you struck her....What part of your vehicle struck what part of her vehicle?
The damage to her car was to her passenger side front fender, right about where the headlight is. The other driver was, in my opinion, trying to use my northbound turn lane to merge with southbound traffic since it appeared to me that she turned toward me as I approached. Damage to her right side would support this, but....she won't send pics to Geico and they aren't holding her task on this.

She claims to have been turning northbound now which would put her damage on her driver's side, but as mentioned, has not complied with Gieco's request for picture proof.

Irregardless of her intended direction of travel, she entered my lane without stopping. Here's the text of the law that she broke, it's been on the books since the thirties:

The Maryland Court of Appeals coined what is known as the "boulevard rule" early in case history, evident in Greenfeld v. Hook, 177 Md. 116, 132 (1939):
"it is the positive and imperative duty of a person driving an automobile over an unfavored highway, when he approaches an intersecting highway lawfully designated as a 'boulevard' or 'stop street,' to stop before entering the intersection, and having stopped, to exercise reasonable care and diligence to discover whether traffic thereon is approaching the intersection, and, having entered the intersection, to yield the right of way to such traffic, by permitting it to proceed without interruption, and that that duty persists throughout his passage across the favored way."
The automobile that does not have the right of way is so designated the "unfavored vehicle." Consequently, they have a mandatory duty to stop and yield to the "favored vehicle."

The bad thing for me here is that Geico cites and uses legal issues such as the one outlined above when it suits them and then uses un-corroborated statements from biased witnesses in order to justify their decisions. This sort of thing is virtually impossible to counteract and puts drivers at their mercy.

I will contacting the Insurance Comission and the State's Attorney on this if they continue to try to put the blame on me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree...

Your picture makes it look like she was trying to cross a solid double yellow line, which would make it an illegal left turn.

I had an accident two years ago that I fought to the bitter end, and I ended up being found to not be at fault. Mine was between two different insurance companies, so my carrier was motivated to fight for my case. Eventually, the dispute resolution board determined that the other guy crossed a single solid white line to hit me and was therefore at fault. Got my $100 deductible back... whoopie !

Geico claims the lowest rates. yet spends exorbitantly more than any other insurance company (maybe any other company period, except Coke and Bud) on advertising. Something's got to give, and I've always assumed it was quality of coverage.
Had I been pushed into oncoming traffic and been involved in a head on collision resulting in injuries with major medical bills, I have a feeling that they (Gieco) would indeed attempt to use whatever they could to put he onus of "negligence" on me.

I can't tell you all how many times they asked me if I was using a cell phone---I'm suprprised they haven't tried the "negligence by distraction" argument since I had one in the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Fighting the lizard

Thanks Polkster for taking the time offer up that advice. Back up a few posts and look at the diagram in order to see the other driver's direction of travel. The driver came out of a driveway (see the black line marked DG) and attempted to cross two northbound travel lanes and came into my lane without stopping first to see if it was in use.

Although she claims to have been trying to use my lane to proceed north, the damage I saw to her vehilce indicates that whe was really attempting to use that turn lane as a "suicide lane" where she would try to merge with the vehicles heading southbound. To date and after repeated requests she has not forwarded pics of the damage to her vehicle.

The collision occurred in the marked turn lane, a fact that is not in dispute.
 
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