My name is Vlad Nastasa and I am dealing with a very unfortunate and unusual situation in Pennsylvania.
On October 12th, 2022 a driver failed to yield at a stop sign and pulled in front of my tractor trailer, which ended up in a crash. Police report came back November 7th, and it listed warnings for both the drivers involved: my driver was warned about an alleged right turn signal being on, and, the other driver was warned for “stop signs and yields.” Based on this purposefully ambiguous police report, State Farm, the other driver’s insurance sent out a denial letter, claiming that my truck’s alleged turn signal has “induced” their driver to depart from the STOP sign right in front of an 18 wheeler moving at 45 mph.
They offered comparative negligence of 75% of the damages. I immediately secured the services of a law firm who assured me that we will be in front of a Dauphin County Court of Common Claims panel of 3 judges in up to 3 months. On November 28th we filed suit for $47,500. ($27500 the truck repair bill + $20,000 in lost revenue). Their policy liability limit was $25,000. My attorney suggested we should sue the other driver, and we did. To this day, I have not seen one single court hearing on this mess, and I am losing confidence about the quality of the legal representation I am being provided.
I believe that State Farm claimed comparative negligence fraudulently in this case. There is no legal instance where a turn signal being forgotten on (as it is alleged here) can be blamed for a clear failure to yield to “any and all traffic in the intersection” by the other driver. Moreover, the Pennsylvania Unfair Insurance Practices manual, Section 146.9 a &b deals with Comparative Negligence. (a) states that they should explain the basis in law – they did not; (b) says that insurance companies cannot use this to delay settlement and drag it through litigation. When I finally have my day in court, I expect the court to rule that this accident was 100% the other driver’s fault. This, in turn would serve as evidence of State Farm Insurance company claiming Comparative negligence was, at the very least, acting in bad faith, and, at the other end of the spectrum, very likely insurance fraud.
Over the past year, I have reached out to the following government entities for assistance or guidance in this matter:- US DOT – they have no jurisdiction, it’s up to each state;
-Pennsylvania Department of Insurance – they rubber stamp insurance decisions, also no jurisdiction over insurance companies or their practices;
-Pennsylvania State Police internal Affairs – Got one phone call back from “a supervisor” who claimed it was “officer discretion” to not specify in an accident report which driver was at fault. Then he tried to intimidate me when I asked if “officer discretion” supersedes the law, and the officer’s civic duty. I reached out again, this time I had an email conversation with a Lieutenant who went on to send me google street-view photos in an attempt to mislead me about trailer length restrictions on that roadway;
-Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau, who also told me they have no jurisdiction.
-Michigan Representative Andy Levin,
-Michigan Senator Gary Peters, and on their offices’ advice reached out to the:
-Pennsylvania Governor’s office : was told that they do not have jurisdiction over insurance either.
DOT leaves jurisdiction over insurance to the states while all Pennsylvania’s relevant departments state they have none. My damages have long passed $250,000, without taking account for the unfathomable humiliation, pain and suffering to see my family business which never missed a payment get default and collection notices because my truck is still stuck in Harrisburg, PA, awaiting repairs.
As I said, at the moment I am only suing their driver. But once that legal panel says 100% their fault, I would like to make State Farm pay for what they have done to me and surely other folks. I would like to win against them so bad that all these paid incompetents in the PA government have to change the laws.
I have detailed written documentation of everything mentioned in this email.
Any advice or guidance is welcome. No, I do not intend to use the same law firm for that suit. Any attorney recommendations would be greatly appreciated.