If my wife’s vehicle was hit by another vehicle and the other party has insurance but they refuse to answer calls or even speak with our insurance company, what can we do?

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If my wife’s vehicle was hit by another vehicle and the other party has insurance but they refuse to answer calls or even speak with our insurance company, what can we do?

My wife and our 3 children were on their way to school 6 months ago when a man, who was driving a pickup, turned into a left hand turning lane. My wife continued on in the normal traffic lane and as she approached the pickup, he made a right hand turn into the front side of my wife’s car. Pictures were taken, a policeman filed a report, and documents were exchanged. We contacted his insurance company and were told they would assign an adjuster to the case and he would contact us. About a week later, we had not heard and were able to get the adjuster’s phone number from our insurance adjuster. When we finally spoke to the other adjuster, he was extremely rude and told us that his client’s story and ours did not match up and that the claim was closed. He said that it was being sent to arbitration. Our adjuster has not heard anything from him and said he hadn’t returned any calls. He also said he had not received any notices for arbitration. At this point, he does not return calls from us and is basically ignoring us. All we are looking for is compensation for our $vehicle damages, which amount to about $6000.

Asked on July 6, 2017 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your recourse is to file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit would be the cost of repairs ($6000) for the property damage to your wife's vehicle.
Depending on the maximum amount small claims court in WA allows, you might be able to file in small claims court.  If that is beyond the jurisdiction of small claims court in WA, you would have to file your lawsuit in a higher court in WA.
After prevailing in the case, your wife can recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.  A monetary judgment in your wife's favor in the case can be enforced with a wage garnishment against the at-fault party.


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