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Complaint 5 of 13 in "Rear Ended"

Insurance Carrier: Coast National Ins./ Bristol West Group
State: Mississippi

Consumer Complaint:

March 6, 2008 I rear ended a stopped van on the passenger side. I was uninsured at the time. Was ticketed for no proof of insurance. I paid the ticket amount in full prior to the court date. Few weeks after accident I was contacted by phone from the insurance company of the person I rear ended. They advised me they would be contacting me with information as soon as it was available about what would be owed by me for this accident. Finally on June 2, 2008 I received a certified letter from insurance company saying for me to contact them to proceed with investigation. I called everyday for weeks. No one ever called me back. Finally quit calling and leaving messages. On July 23, 2008 I received a phone call from yet another company saying they are a subrogation firm and will be filing an ESR-21 License Suspension Form with the DMV on July 25th effective July 28th if I do not either pay a settlement amount in full or make arrangements to pay claim amount with down payment and monthly payments. Please help. I need to know if I have any rights.

Insurance Expert Answer:

This is a classic situation in which an uninsured driver (you) hit someone else and caused property damage. The traffic ticket is a criminal-type penalty for your failing to obey the law and having insurance in force. That does not take you off the hook for paying for the damages you caused. You are liable for the damage you caused. If the other driver's insurance company paid those damages, it takes over the claim the car owner had against you by subrogation. It can sue you or use other means to collect provided by your state's law. That's not an insurance question, it's a matter of what laws your state has to permit collection. You'd be best off speaking to an attorney to get information on MS laws.