As some of you may know I was involved in an auto accident on 10/19. Since this claim looks to be relatively complex (a totaled vehicle, medical payments, a question of who is at fault, etc) I thought it might be valuable to talk about this incident from an insurance perspective. The insurance recovery process can be complicated and this is an opportunity to explain what is happening as it is happening.
So to begin, I was driving a grain truck partially full of grain to the grain elevator for our family farm. As I was making a left turn into the grain elevator I was struck by a employee driver of a trucking company as he attempted to pass me on my left driving a semi (box trailer). I hit my head and have no memory of the few seconds before the accident or 15 or so minutes after the accident. I regularly use my turn signals and assume I had my signal on but to be honest I can't remember anything during that time. In my mind, he was at fault and his insurance should pay for the damages and medical bills. I am biased however.
An interesting item, at least one I have never heard of before, is that I have not ever talked to a police officer about this accident. Usually they will come to the hospital. I was taken to one hospital and then transferred to another and maybe they just couldn’t find me. Regardless, I have never heard of that happening before. They did leave me a blank crash report to fill out and send in. When a driver has an auto accident in Illinois if the crash caused a death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 of property damage then they are required by law to fill out a crash report and send it to the state police. If this is not done the driver will have their license suspended. http://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/crashreports.cfm I have no idea if the other driver was given a ticket or cited in any way. My experience with that is that it really depends a lot on the police officer. Some are very quick to assign blame and some almost never do.
In these cases the medical community asks a lot of questions about who is going to be paying for the bills. This could really go three ways (likely a combination of two of these).
I could pay for the medical bills personally (in my case through my Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance).
This could be paid by through a workers compensation claim.
This could be covered by either my medical payments coverage on my auto policy and/or the farm’s auto insurance and/or the other driver’s auto insurance.
This posting is going to be too long to be readable so I am going to break this into a couple of postings. In the next posting I will talk about notifying the insurance companies about the accidents, how that works and things to keep in mind during that process. You can find that here - http://www.schuldt-ins.com/blog/so-let-me-tell-you-about-getting-hit-by-a-truck--part-two.aspx