Articles Posted in Property damage

California Wildfires Hit Taxpayers, Tourism

California Wildfires Hit Taxpayers, Tourism

California Wildfires Hit Taxpayers, Tourism. The 2018 wildfires have devastated the state of California in more ways than one. Not only did the relentless fires claim the lives of dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes, but the blazes have also affected the state’s colossal tourism industry while striking taxpayers hard.

Cleaning Up Rancho Cordova

Sacramento Tree Crushes Car

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Tree Injury Lawyer. A gigantic tree came crashing down on a BMW parked in the driveway of a home at Merritt Way and Clunie Drive in Sacramento. The owner of the silver luxury sedan indicated that she had recently been in the car with a small child when she forgot something in the house and ran in to get it. She said she left her child strapped into a car seat for just a few moments to retrieve and item. She commented on how quickly a situation can turn deadly. It wasn’t too long after that when a huge tree came down on her car. She, and her child, were not in the car at the time.

car storage fees after accident
Sadly, after being the victim of a car accident, some drivers find themselves the victim of exorbitant tow truck fees and related storage yard fees.  After being involved in an accident, people are often in shock and aren’t thinking clearly.  Police and paramedics are trying to get traffic moving and inoperable cars cleared from the scene.  In their effort to get traffic moving, the  police may have called the nearest tow service to get the scene cleaned up and to move your car.  The officer is well meaning and doing his job.

Next thing you know, a tow truck has arrived.  You may even be breathing a sigh of relief when the tow truck arrives as the state of shock may have made you feel as if you didn’t know what to do. Next thing you know you have signed some documents and the tow truck operator has told us that ‘He’ll take care of everything.’  We go home, open a claim with the at fault insurance carrier and it’s not until two weeks after the accident do we get a bill for $700 in storage fees and $300 for the towing service.  What!!??

In a previous blog we discussed California law regarding permissive users.  As already explained, a permissive user is someone not listed on an insurance policy but is a person that we gave car accidentpermission to use our vehicle.  This is a person who does not live with us and does not use the vehicle frequently. Additionally, for permissive drivers to be covered, the insurance policy must not contain an exclusion prohibiting all ‘permissive users.’  Consumers should clearly understand not only who is considered a permissive user but who is NOT considered a permissive user so that they do not have problems with their insurance carrier.

It is also important to remember that insurance follows the owner of the car and not the driver of the car in California so good judgement needs to be used when loaning out your car.

car accidentIt is understandable that after a car accident, we want the responsible insurance company to fix our car immediately so we can get back to our regular routine.  But from time to time it happens.  The responsible insurance company seems to be doing nothing. When we call them and ask what is going on, they state they are dealing with ‘coverage issues.’  It can be frustrating. What does that even mean? Coverage issues?

We have found that in many of these circumstances, the issue involved is, was the person who drove the car a permissive user or not?  The insurance company is saying to us in so many words, ‘the person who hit you was not listed on the insurance policy maintained on the car.’