PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Carson Abbey says he couldn’t believe what he heard and saw last month when he walked out of his house. “I hear what sounds like an explosion,” Carson told 3 On Your Side. “It looked like a grenade exploding.”
That noise was Carson’s 2005 Nissan legally parked outside his house, and it had just been torn down by a motorist who was distracted and rammed directly into the back of Carson’s car. “He walked up and down out of his vehicle, and he’s hugely apologetic,” Carson said.
The motorist was an employee of the Paradise Valley School District and was driving a heavy maintenance truck similar to this one owned by the school district.
When you add up all the money 3 On Your Side was able to save or recoup for our viewers for 2021, it comes down to $157,264.
Carson says school officials responded quickly to the scene, a police report was written, and Carson was reassured by school officials that they would deal with the matter. “The supervisor shows up and gives me his business card,” Carson recalled that day. “He then told me and my wife that he would inform the insurance company.”
But it’s been over a month now, and Carson’s wrecked Nissan remains parked outside his house. He says the school district’s insurance company offered to settle with a check for $4,300. But he refused it because he thought the value was too low. Since then, he says there hasn’t been much communication. “Do you feel like you fell through the cracks? asked Gary Harper of 3 On Your Side. “Certainly,” Carson replied.
3 On Your Side contacted Valley Schools Management Group, which insures the school district. Once we did, Carson’s claim was finally settled after a third-party company appraised Carson’s wrecked car for over $9,400, about double the original offer.
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A spokesperson also maintains that the settlement was reached quickly within 30 days, which would be in the industry standard.
Carson disagrees but says he’s glad the ordeal is over and is looking forward to finally receiving that check. “I don’t understand how an insurance company can put something on the back burner and forget about it,” he said.
The insurance company tells 3 On Your Side that this viewer’s claim was handled properly and in a timely manner within 20-30 days, which is just the normal process for resolving a claim.
Valley Metro, the district insurance company, provided the following statement.
“Valley Schools settled quickly with Mr Abbey just 20 days after receiving his Notice of Claim – far faster than the industry average of 30 days. Valley Schools worked closely with Mr Abbey to ensure he received a fair settlement, which included car rental assistance so he was not without a vehicle. Valley Schools is proud to work so quickly to resolve this issue to Mr. Abbey’s satisfaction.
In response, Carson Abbey wrote the following statement.
“Firstly, I’m happy to confirm that a reasonable settlement has been reached. Secondly, I don’t care about industry standards. Thirdly, we received assistance with renting a car in the part of the settlement. This, of course, did not help us during the time we were without a vehicle after the accident. Fourth, we rejected the initial offer because it was ridiculous and insulting. We were told that we would be contacted 2 or 3 days after the expert.The expert left on January 8. We heard nothing from Valley Schools Insurance until January 14.
Fifth, we were unable to contact anyone at Valley Schools Insurance until December 23. It was just by chance that one of the insurance employees had stopped by the office to pick up something. I spoke with Ms. Bergeron that day. She asked if we had completed the Notice of Claim. I told him that I had no idea what it was. She explained, then I asked her how we were supposed to know about the notice of claim since no one from her office had bothered to contact us at all within 9 days of the accident.
Also, their statement that the Notice of Claim was not returned to them until December 29 is irrelevant as we were told they would not be back in the office until January 4.”