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  1. #21
    Rusty
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    Re: The dump truck driver can post any sign they want,

    I'll agree with you re your point about an object falling from another vehicle and causing damage. Around here now, and if I understand correctly it's a relatively new state law, you can't even haul stuff to the dump anymore w/o it being secured with a tarp or closed cover of some kind. Probably as much to do with littering issues as prevention of accidents. Anway, as you ended up pointing out, this scenario doesn't really have anything to do with Fred's situation.

    But I'm not buying the bit about civil liability from a rock thrown from a tire. Even if that's remotely possible, I would think it would have to be proven that the rock was flung from the other person's vehicle, and possibly involving negligence, and w/o some kind of proof of that, like with a video, I'm not sure there's a case at all. And who's to say that the rock just wasn't lying in the road and thrown up as the tire passed over it. In that case, I'm not seeing anybody at fault. I mean, for criss sake are we supposed to walk the roads and make sure it's clear it of rocks and such?

    And back to Fred's deal, even if the lady did admit to living off a gravel road, that's still not proof she in fact picked up any gravel off that road. Assumptions can be made, but the reality is, and assuming it was in fact her car that threw up the rock, she could have driven over the rock that someone else's car had carried off the road.

    IMHO, this whole thing still gets filed under "stuff happens". And another reason why there's such a thing as insurance.

    Rusty
    '05 330i ZHP in Imola


  2. #22
    s-retire
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    Re: The dump truck driver can post any sign they want,

    You are correct that most often we accept it as stuff happens and it would be difficult but not necessarily impossible to prove. If you actually see the origin source (vehicle tire)of the thrown material that could be enough proof, but from my limited experience, far more often than not, a driverís attention isnít drawn to a thrown rock until it makes noise striking the car.

    Even debris from the road surface would be included if the source vehicle tire could be identified. Cars have fenders and trucks have mud flaps to prevent this type of event and it is the driverís responsibility to maintain them.

    Think of the raised pick-up with large mud and snow tires. It is a rolling vehicle code violation. Enforcement of code is for the purpose of preventing the type of event Fred encountered or other events that could be even more serious, not a means to augment the local government budget.

    Just as you say, it is difficult to prove the source and that is why most insurance companies would prefer it handled under the damaged vehicle comprehensive coverage. That gets back to the old argument in favor of no fault car insurance.

    The GEICO rep could have done a better job pointing Fred that direction.

    Iím pretty sure; most states have had laws governing the safety of loads carried on vehicles for a long time. What is most likely new is the campaign for public awareness and perhaps some tightening of application.

  3. #23
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    Re: The dump truck driver can post any sign they want,

    Having dealt with many phone calls over the years (Iím sure many legit and many just trying to get someone to pay for their damage) saying that one of my trucks thru a rock up and hit their windshield causing damage, I will share what I've been told both from the CHP and Cal Trans, If the truck is legal (mud flaps to the proper length) and yes California does enforce this, it is no fault of the truck, it's an act of god. If the rock is part of a load from a gravel truck that has small rocks flying off then that would be the responsibility of the truck

    I've been going up the Altamont and a car way ahead of me thru up a rock that I could see come up from their tire and hit my windshield causing a chip.

  4. #24
    s-retire
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    Iím not sure we are saying anything different.

    The Highway Patrol is responsible for enforcement of statutory law not making recommendation on civil matters. The only thing I would disagree with is the choice of words, ďAct of GodĒ. If there is no law violation that is the proximate cause of the rock chip damage, they will not take any action.

    More simply said, if the rock fell from the vehicle take a report, if it was kicked up by a tire, ď10-8 CD (computer disposition) civilĒ. Iím not sure the CHP would even take the report if there was a torn mud flap; however, they'll act in a heartbeat over a jacked up P/U.

    All that said, simply because there was no law violation, does not mean there is no civil liability. Even if there is a police report, the findings made by an investigating officer are still disputable in civil action. Iíve been there and own the T-shirt with a tally in the win column.

    Like I said, Fred was correct in contacting the vehicle owner and calling GEICO. GEICO could have provided far better service in the manner chosen to refer him to his own insurance carrier. If I call my insurance carrier to report a damaged windshield, the comprehensive deductable applies. If I can provide the responsible party information, theyíll waive the deductable. Of course that is because Iíve selected a good company.

    I wonder how GEICO would handle a claim.

    Occasionally, you'll see the flying debris, but more often then not it comes as a complete surprise. Take a look at the front of my car. I guaranty I can't identify the source of any of those chips.

    I also wonder if the center mud flap on a bottom dump provides additional liability protection.

  5. #25
    s-retire
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    Canít or wonít, there is a difference.

    Simply stated the value of recovery from GEICO is so small that it wouldnít warrant the cost to seek it. As stated throughout this thread, such a claim would be difficult to prove and if you use the tenor of this thread as a measure of peer survey, the likelihood that youíd prevail is in serious question.

    Best to do as Fred's carrier did, take good care of their customer and I'll bet they treat it as a no fault claim.

    Company practice does not mean there is no exposure. It is just a way to keep the costs lower.

    GEICO could have handled it better!

  6. #26
    MicksZ3
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    Similiar experience

    I drove through a construction site, lots of gravel and the car in front kicked up so much gravel it shattered my windshield. I had Liberty Mutual. I spent 2 weeks calling everyone, all denied the claim, so I took care of it myself. My insurance covered it, but they insisted the contractor was as fault so they wouldn't pay. Anyway, changed insurance.

    While learning to drive, 2 of my kids backed into other vehicles and caused damage. Each case, all I did was make one call, we joked about our kids, I faxed in the police report and never heard a thing back. All taken care, no problems. Another time, a young driver pulled out in front of junior and he hit them. The other driver got the ticket and were at fault. I called my insurance, we joked, faxed in report, they took care of it. My insurance never increased. Thank You GEICO!

    Lets talk about phone calls. I get plenty of calls from people with complaints about various reasons for demanding action. Most people get prepared for the call, get a little worked up and expect an answer that will satisfy them. When that doesn't happen, hell breaks loose. I'm always calm, explain policy and try to reason. The other side gets heated and I am yelled at, cussed out, threatened with my job and I have to hear about how special they are, and the fact that they know the mayor, I should succumb to their demands. Well, the minute I stop kissing their [Oops!], In their mind, I become the rude guy on the phone. I could go on.... I never run with one side of the phone call.

  7. #27
    Pausker
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    Re: Fred... Just scratching my head here?

    Yeah, look at all the chimps that DON'T go mutilating neighbors. But only the violent ones make news. Unfair, huh?

  8. #28
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    The down side to submitting it to his....m

    carrier is that they will track his claims and probably up his premiums.

    It cost me about $225 to replace my Z3's glass and I didn't submit it to insurance for the above reason.

    Steve, how does what you stated apply to the truck with defective flaps that kicks up a rock?

    Scott

  9. #29
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    Uhhh... Maybe a insurance complaint...

    If you have coverage they have to pay it.... Then if subrogation is in order that is their deal....

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
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    Signature to be included in the footer of all your posts. (HTML is ok)
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  10. #30
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    exactlyQ! good point Pausker...



    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
    Signature to be included in the footer of all your posts. (HTML is ok)
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    You may place a link to your own site in your signature if you have a
    reciprocal link to us on that page and follow the guidelines in our Link FAQ.
    Links in violation of the Link FAQ may be removed without warning. Please also
    do not include any pornographic or non-work-safe images in your signature.








  11. #31
    s-retire
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    Good point to keep in mind...

    about the unhappy customer, but I'm not inclinded to make that leap in Fred's case.

  12. #32
    s-retire
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    If you're worried about an insurance company

    increasing your rate over a comprehensive claim, you need to find a different carrier. A citation or an at fault accident is a different issue and would impact any good driver discount.

    I didnít turn my $240 windshield claim over to the insurance company because I carry $500 in comprehensive deductable and was unable to provide the identity of the dead owl.

    The rest should be obvious.

  13. #33
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    I have a great insurance company -CSAA-who...

    has insured everything I own, vehicles and real estate, for over 40 years. Although they have never increased my rates for the umpteen claims (teen drivers) that we have submitted, they certainly could have as all carriers have that right to re-evaluate their policy holders history and adjust accordingly. In fact, they called me once and told us that they were lowering our annual rate by over a thousand bucks due to our good driving (yea, I laughed too) and loyalty. When I added the Z8 and the Vette, they wrote agreed value policies at rates that no one could touch.

    So, change companies? I don't think so.

  14. #34
    s-retire
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    Like I said...


  15. #35
    robertplattbell
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    Thanks for the flame, that wasn't my point


    Of course the sign has no legal effect, [deleted].

    The point is, any reasonable individual should know that rocks can fly off tires and that tailgating a dump truck or any car for that matter is likely to result in a rock chip or starburst or worse on your car.

    The other point is, the odds of you PROVING a case against such a truck or other car are nearly nil, unless you have a plethora of witnesses, a video of the incident, or whatever.

    Yes, there have been cases where brake rim chunks and even wheels have flown off cars and killed people. IN such cases, the police will investigate and it is not hard to match up a wheel or brake rim chunk to the offending vehicle.

    But the Police aren't going to do squat (other than to tell you to get a life and call your insurance company) if you call to complain that a rock flew off a car or truck and scratched your car or dinged your windshield.

    And the insurance company is going to do what GEICO did as well (otherwise they'd have to open a toll-free line just to handle such claims). If you go to court, the "burden of proof" will be very hard to meet.

    It comes down to a "he said, she said" kind of case, and I'm sure once you got this lady on the stand, she'd say she had no idea what you are talking about.

    If you drive a car on a public road, you have to assume some normal wear and tear risks. That's why we have comprehensive insurance.

    Going around trying to "sue" other people for rock chips and starburst dings is not a viable alternative - nor is trying to go after their insurance company.

    You may be "right" but if you don't have evidence, you don't have a case.

  16. #36
    robertplattbell
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    That would leave me with a negative rate.


    ". . . were lowering our annual rate by over a thousand bucks"

    If my insurance was lowered by that amount with GEICO, I would almost have a negative premium.

    That's insuring five cars, four of which are BMWs.

    Still sure you are getting such a great deal? If they have a thousand dollars of headroom in your policy, I am scared to ask how much you are paying annually.

    Yea is it nice to get everything covered in life and never have your rates increased as the result of an accident or ticket or claim, but on the other hand, having lower rates, higher deductables, and taking some risk yourself often ends up a better deal.

    In fact, the highest rewards are usually related to risk-taking. The risk-averse usually pay more and end up with less.

    It may be comfortable and secure at the center of the herd, but the grass is all trampled down and pooped upon. The leading edge of the herd is more dangerous, but that's where all the good grazing is.

    It's like these extended warranties. Yes, they are nice, but no, they are not free. And usually, the same amount of money, put into the bank, will more than cover any eventual repairs. Risk-averse people buy them and get ripped off.

    I prefer to take my chances a bit and rely on my own skills. I don't tailgate - not even near enough so that a rock flung up will hit the car. I find this a much better solution to filing claims, harassing women motorists, and WHINING about how unfair life is.

    But then again, I have a realistic expectation of how the system actually works, not a pie-in-the-sky idea of how I think it should work.

    Your milage may vary.

  17. #37
    robertplattbell
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    No glass deductable for some policies


    "I didnít turn my $240 windshield claim over to the insurance company because I carry $500 in comprehensive deductable"

    I carry $1000 deductable and don't tailgate. I find that a more cost-effective alternative. Yes, there is risk involved (owls), but as you note, it is only $240, or the cost of dinner at a nice restaurant.

    These cars are worth less and less every day - even an M roadster. Spending thousands per year to insure a car worth a few thousand makes little sense.

    Perhaps it is perspective, but I don't consider $10,000 or even $20,000 to be a "lot" of money and worth spending $1,000 per year to insure to the last dollar.

    Funny, but a lot of people insist on cradle-to-grave coverage on their cars, and yet have no umbrella liability insurance. The real risk for indivdiuals is in staggering liability claims (e.g., $1 million or more), not in door dings and parking lot accidents.

    And of course, if the most important asset you have is in your garage, then something is a-kilter to begin with.

    There are SOME carriers who have deductables on comprehensive but NO deductable on glass.

    A friend of mine had that kind of policy - of course I am sure he paid more for it.

    He called the glass company and they came out and did one of those starburst repair kit deals, but did not replace the glass.

    But if the windshield was cracked, they would have replaced it at no charge.


  18. #38
    robertplattbell
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    Re: OK, I'll bite. Where is the libel?


    As I understood his posting, He stated that it was his intention to get revenge on GEICO by going online and harrass GEICO by posting messages in forums denigrating their service.

    That crosses a line between factually reporting events and intentionally trying to damage the reputation of a company.

    Even reporting "factual" events in a manner intentionally designed to harrass or defame could be actionable.

    Stating online that it is your INTENT to harrass and defame is not a smart move.

    Gee, I guess the INTENT part of the case is proved.

    And of course, we are both assuming here that his version of events is factually accurate and not exaggerated in any way.

  19. #39
    robertplattbell
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    Pulling women over on the highway - bad idea.


    "I followed the driver until she stopped, and told her that she had damaged my vehicle - the actual exchange was rather pleasant."

    Fortunately for you.

    Stopping women on the road seems kind of an odd thing to do. With all the hyped stories of women being flagged down and assualted, I am not sure this is a good idea, particularly if it was after dark.

    And a good thing it was not some "good 'ole boy" who would not take kindly to your suggestion that he damaged your truck.

    I would not try this here in Georgia, for example.

  20. #40
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    I may be off on the savings but I don't....

    think so.

    6 cars one of which is insured for a fairly high agreed amount, 4 drivers 2 of which are under 25 and 1 of which has several claims (she lives in LA where they play a large scale version of bumper cars), and real estate.

    My wife handles the policy so I may look at comparative rates.

    Scott

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