Local News


YOU ASK: Man stuck with repairs after crash

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jun 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-01 21:54:25-04
A local man says he was in a car wreck that was not his fault, but when he went to file an insurance claim he became a victim again.
"I was in shock I was like, 'did that guy just hit me?'" said Robert Ryan.
He was in an accident in April that he said caused almost $1,500 in damage to his beloved Jeep.
"I was traveling northbound on Buffalo, getting ready to turn right, or westbound on Westcliff," said Ryan. "There was a U-Haul vehicle slightly ahead of me, and we were coming up to the light, the light was red. I had the impression that he was traveling southbound, and I pulled into the right turn lane. As I was going past him at the last minute he turned right into me to turn into the stop and shop there on the corner to get gas. He didn't have a turn signal; he didn't give any indication that he was turning."
Ryan said the man behind the wheel of the U-Haul refused to share any information and left before police could get to the scene.
"You are required by law to exchange information at the scene of a collision," said Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant David Jacoby, who serves in the traffic section.
"He refused to show me anything other than his U-Haul receipt," said Ryan. "Wouldn't give me his driver's license or insurance information or anything and so I called U-Haul."
Ryan said U-Haul gave him the information the driver would not. 
However, the U-Haul driver's insurance company, The Hartford, said their client was not at fault, and so they denied Ryan's claim.
13 Action News reached out to The Hartford and got the following statement from their Assistant Vice President of Media and Public Relations, Thomas Hambrick:
"We take the privacy of our customers’ information seriously and as a practice don't discuss specifics of claims or policyholders. I can share, however, that we are reviewing the circumstances of the claim."
When we asked Hambrick if they heard the assertions that their client left the scene before police arrived and would not share driver's license/insurance/registration information, he said they could not discuss specific claims. They went on to say, "Our claims team is reviewing the incident and the circumstances around it. That’s all I can share at this point."
"The citizens all they want is that unbiased expert to come by, make the determination if there's a conflict in the stories and give them the documentation, what they'll need for their private records or insurance," said Jacoby about police response to minor accidents.
He said police serve as an unbiased third party; that can tell insurance companies who is really at fault.
"When we do have the response from the traffic unit, and they respond for those collisions that do have a 'he said she said,' when people are pointing in both directions, (they have) that traffic expert to come out to make the determination," Jacoby said.
He also had advice for anyone who gets in an accident:
-After you make sure everyone is ok, call police
-Make sure you exchange information with the other driver. If they refuse or leave the scene, get a license plate, name, or anything that might help police later.
-Take pictures of the scene and both cars.
-Try going to homes or businesses and asking if they have surveillance that might show what happened.
If you leave the scene of a property damage crash, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. 
If you leave the scene of an accident where someone is hurt, that could be a felony.