Purchased CDW/LDW from AVIS.. Collision occured..Segdwick claiming reckless driving to charge me money

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Mar 4, 2020
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Hi there

I rented a vehicle in Lafayette last year in November and bought the collision damage waiver, I met with an accident (not a major one), When the accident happened, the cop gave me a citation of "Improper Passing Zone" .

The damages as per segdwick is in the range of 2000 to 2500 USD. I rented the vehicle for 15 days and paid a fortune in terms of Collision damage waiver. Now they are claiming that this is reckless driving and I am trying to argue with them show me the document which says "improper passing zone" is called "Reckless Driving". They haven't came back to me but I need some help as I purchased the insurance from them for the worst case scenarios like this only. Now I feel like they are coming up with ways to ding me with the bill.

I need help in this regards. I sent them the copy of the citation that I received from cops at the time of accident. I looked up online can not find the clear definition of reckless driving as mentioned in AVIS contract. In my opinion, if i am at fault and insurance can claim this term and charge me for damages even though i bought the protection.

Please guide me how can I work my way through this trouble. I did not informed my insurance company about the incident as I thought i was covered and window has lapsed. Could any one provide me the path forward.
 
Mar 4, 2020
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Long story short.... I was trying to overtake the vehicle from the left side, that location was a non-passing zone (solid lines) and vehicle suddenly started turning. Nothing happened to that vehicle....car side panel got rubbed against his tire and some damage occurred to the vehicle I rented.... the cops gave me ticket for improper passing zone.... Sedgwick says it amounts to Reckless driving....
 
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Mar 4, 2020
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may be I am biased but every collision occurred due to your own fault is a moment of recklessness or carelessness.... I am trying to discuss with them that had the cop given me a ticket of careless driving or reckless driving... the case is settled...

I can not argue as cops also thought I was careless or reckless.... But in that particular incident I was trying to overtake a slow moving trailer which i was following for a long time and he decided to make a turn when i was in the process of overtaking him.... It is not a head-on collision with oncoming vehicle.... it was sideswipe
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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From the information you have posted, this is what emerges for me . . .

Here are the Terms and Conditions for Avis:
wherein it states . . .

you and any authorized driver will remain liable for damage if you violate paragraph 15, or any of the following apply:

(1) You cause, or any authorized driver causes, the damage intentionally or by reckless or wanton (emphasis mine) misconduct​

When I searched for legal definitions for Reckless Driving, I found words/phrases like:

willful/wanton
disregard of consequences
misjudges common driving procedures
rules of the road​

So the common theme seems to be that an "intentional" (my word) act on your part caused or led to the damage vs. an unintentional act (i.e., an accident). I am guessing that their position is based on your choice to defy the "rules of the road" when you entered an improper passing zone/lane which then contributed to the damage.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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We don't hand out legal advice here, either as to the proper interpretation of your contract (which was drafted by Avis, not you) or as to traffic laws. Does the ticket you have cite to a particular section of the law?
 
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Mar 4, 2020
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I went through the Avis contract I found the same language.

If go by the same rationale every incident is a moment of lapse of judgement and based on this technicality your CDW will always be denied.

reckless means wilful if you get. Citation in an accident then even if you paid 1000 dollars in CDW to insurance company.

You are still at fault and disobeyed the rule that's why the collision occured. That will always be reckless by that definition..
 
Jun 24, 2019
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The legal question you presented is what is the definition of reckless or wanton misconduct in, I presume, Louisiana. We don't provide legal advice here. You may need a Louisiana lawyer to advise you, especially because Louisiana law varies somewhat from the other 49 states.

In any event, does the ticket you received from the police reference a specific statute?

In any event, you requested our assistance if Sedgewick came back to you demanding money. Elsewhere on this site you will find Avis contacts, and you should contact Avis and simply state that Sedgewick is asking for money which you do not owe because you purchased CDW. Do not try to argue what the law is or ought to be in Louisiana. Do not try to argue the facts. From your perspective, the purchase of CDW was for peace of mind that if you got into an accident, you didn't owe anything. In our experience, contacting Avis may have a good result.

If Sedgewick contacts you you should write (do not discuss this on the phone) and state simply the same thing. I purchased CDW and thus any damages from the accident are covered by insurance. Do not debate what happened or what you think the law is or ought to be.
 
Apr 10, 2017
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I went through the Avis contract I found the same language.

If go by the same rationale every incident is a moment of lapse of judgement and based on this technicality your CDW will always be denied.

reckless means wilful if you get. Citation in an accident then even if you paid 1000 dollars in CDW to insurance company.

You are still at fault and disobeyed the rule that's why the collision occured. That will always be reckless by that definition..
It is not the readers of this forum who need to be convinced that your actions were not reckless. I can’t tell you what to do, but it would appear that you need to weigh the costs of an attorney vs. paying the bill.
 
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Feb 24, 2018
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I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of insurance.

You were frustrated with a slow-moving vehicle and steered your own, rented vehicle onto the wrong side of the road to overtake it. It is just unrealistic to expect insurance to pay for that. Insurance does not cover people making consciously informed decisions that are both illegal and contrary to all reason. There is no insurance that covers people making a "lapse of judgement" so severe that it rises to the level of reckless, and I cannot sugarcoat this: There is no argument that pulling your car into the oncoming traffic lane because you are frustrated by a slow vehicle is not absolutely reckless. Insurance does not exist so that people can make reckless decisions without penalty... it exists so that when people make ordinary decisions in the course of their ordinary lives, their lives are not ruined by the consequences.

This is true for all insurance. Don't believe me? Go commit a deliberate crime and see if your homeowner's insurance covers the damages.
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of insurance.

You were frustrated with a slow-moving vehicle and steered your own, rented vehicle onto the wrong side of the road to overtake it. It is just unrealistic to expect insurance to pay for that. Insurance does not cover people making consciously informed decisions that are both illegal and contrary to all reason. There is no insurance that covers people making a "lapse of judgement" so severe that it rises to the level of reckless, and I cannot sugarcoat this: There is no argument that pulling your car into the oncoming traffic lane because you are frustrated by a slow vehicle is not absolutely reckless. Insurance does not exist so that people can make reckless decisions without penalty... it exists so that when people make ordinary decisions in the course of their ordinary lives, their lives are not ruined by the consequences.

This is true for all insurance. Don't believe me? Go commit a deliberate crime and see if your homeowner's insurance covers the damages.
You are being far too harsh on our OP who came here for advice about fighting a claim from Sedgewick in light of the fact that OP bought CDW coverage.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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If you passed another vehicle in a no-passing zone, that's the problem, no matter what the officer wrote on your citation. What you're stating as your citation "Improper Passing Zone" doesn't make any sense ... there are zones where it's safe to pass and zones where it's not safe to pass. If you passed another vehicle in a no-passing zone then the accident will probably be attributed to your doing so. There must be a better description of your violation. Have you contacted law enforcement to get a clarification of what you were charged with? I'm afraid you really do need an attorney to straighten this all out and it will probably be less expensive to just pay for the damages.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Do you have a link to the insurance policy we can review for details? It’s the fine print that needs to be read to see if there is anything in the policy about your circumstance.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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I've read the OP's original comment as well as several of the comments.

My take: This case is beyond the scope of this forum and a consumer advocacy site. Unless the OP posts the entire citation, and the correspondence with Sedgwick (which I still would argue that this is beyond the scope of the forum), everything is speculation.

My take: The OP will need an attorney.
 
Mar 4, 2020
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The legal question you presented is what is the definition of reckless or wanton misconduct in, I presume, Louisiana. We don't provide legal advice here. You may need a Louisiana lawyer to advise you, especially because Louisiana law varies somewhat from the other 49 states.

In any event, does the ticket you received from the police reference a specific statute?

In any event, you requested our assistance if Sedgewick came back to you demanding money. Elsewhere on this site you will find Avis contacts, and you should contact Avis and simply state that Sedgewick is asking for money which you do not owe because you purchased CDW. Do not try to argue what the law is or ought to be in Louisiana. Do not try to argue the facts. From your perspective, the purchase of CDW was for peace of mind that if you got into an accident, you didn't owe anything. In our experience, contacting Avis may have a good result.

If Sedgewick contacts you you should write (do not discuss this on the phone) and state simply the same thing. I purchased CDW and thus any damages from the accident are covered by insurance. Do not debate what happened or what you think the law is or ought to be.
thanks a lot for the suggestion.... i will try to get in touch with the Avis about it and see what they says.... I can only hope that they can reduce the penalty atleast by the amount of CDW (or some part of it) which for whole rental period of 45 days....
 
Sep 18, 2018
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thanks a lot for the suggestion.... i will try to get in touch with the Avis about it and see what they says.... I can only hope that they can reduce the penalty atleast by the amount of CDW (or some part of it) which for whole rental period of 45 days....
That seems to be your best bet for dealing with this situation, based on everything posted. It's a compromise: If Avis isn't going to cover your accident under the insurance you paid for, at least ask it to deduct the cost of the insurance you paid for from the total bill.
 
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Feb 3, 2020
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I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of insurance.
I don't think it's quite accurate to suggest that insurance is not for instances where someone exercises poor judgment. If that were true teenage or other high risk drivers would not be able to obtain insurance at all. Many of us get caught breaking the law (speeding, running stop signs, etc.) and continue to be allowed to drive and get insurance. Indeed, insurance companies compensate for these behaviors by charging higher rates.

It's unfortunate that the OP did not contact his own insurer. Have you tried your credit card company, Aman? There may be some relief available there.

It doesn't seem quite right that the car rental company can charge for the coverage and then not honor it. Good luck Aman (I say this sincerely). I hope they at least reduce the charges by the cost of the CDW.
 
Mar 4, 2020
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the incident occured more than 90 days back and the way customer care at the airport initially discussed the issue told me everything is covered since you have CDW and not to worry. I didnot informed my credit card and insurance company for the same reason.... Now after 90 days they have started contacting me about the claim. Now i have passed that window where i could have informed my insurance.... I was under the impression that CDW would have covered it.....