Property Damage from Auto accident

Three weeks ago there was a car accident that damaged approximately 50′ of privacy fence on my property, the accident also destroy a power pole. I received the insurance information from the police from the vehicles owner, and called their insurance company to see about filing claim to replace my damaged property. The insurance company said that they could not file my claim or settle until they received the damaged claim from the power company who replaced the damaged pole the same day as the accident. As of yet the insurance company claims they still haven’t received the bill from the power company and one of the quotes I have received from contractor is $2500 to replace privacy fence. What legal actions do I have to try to get this issue resolved?

Asked on March 21, 2017 under Accident Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can't make the insurer address your claim: another person's insurer is *their* insurer, not yours, and has no obligation directly to you--they may voluntarily settle a claim when they feel it is in their or their insured's interest to do so, but if they choose to drag their feet or simply not settle it at all, that is their choice. What you can do to force a resolution is to sue the at-fault driver (you sue the driver, not the insurer) for the damage he did. Since it is essentially negligent (or unreasonably careless) by definition to hit a stationary object, you would seem to have a very good chance of winning, based on what you write. If you do win, you will get a judgment against the driver ordering him to pay; at that point, either he or his insurer should reimburse you. If the damage is $2,500, suing in small claims court is an excellent option; not only will that minimize your legal costs, but small claims court is faster than other courts, and will get you a quicker resolution.


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