Reporting Kurtis Ming
A Stockton driver, shot and killed in a suspected gang shooting, crashed right into the back of Jeff Morales’ truck and boat.
When, after months, he couldn’t get that driver’s insurance to cover the damage, he called Kurtis.
“All of a sudden I was hit and knocked out into the intersection,” said Morales.
The driver, seconds after Morales heard a gunshot, crashed right into him, while stopped at a red light, he said.
CBS13′s Andrea Menetti and Laura Cole covered the suspected gang shooting Nov. 14.
“He hit [the boat],” Morales said, lifting the three-foot metal rail he said broke off his trailer upon impact.
The driver, 29-year old Matthew Jesus Bosa, died.
Jeff said the crash caused $3,000 in damage to his truck and boat, but he only had liability insurance — not uninsured motorist insurance — so his insurance company denied his claim.
So who is responsible?
Jeff said he thought the dead driver’s insurance should pay.
“I was an innocent victim,” he said.
But Farmers Insurance, which insured the car Bosa was driving, refused to cover the damage, saying the driver wasn’t to blame.
“Our insured was announced dead at the scene of the collision,” Farmers’ letter to Morales read, “as a result of the fatal gunshot wound prior to the accident.”
“We, therefore, respectfully decline your claim,” it continued.
A spokesman for Farmers Insurance confirmed the company believes Bosa had died prior to the accident.
But consumer attorney Eric Ratinoff isn’t so sure Farmers was correct.
He said insurance companies often come to the wrong conclusions.
“More often than not, there are denials that are made that are simply wrong,” he said.
A CBS13 producer pulled the coroner’s report and found Bosa was “unconscious” at the scene, with emergency crews performing CPR and then rushing him to the hospital for “advanced life-saving measures.” Bosa wasn’t pronounced dead until more than 30 minutes after emergency crews responded to the crash.
“The real question is whether he did anything that was negligent that caused this collision,” Ratinoff said.
If the driver is not at fault, Ratinoff said the gunman — who investigators still have not identified — should pay for Jeff’s damage.
Farmers tells us it’s reopened the case, but the investigation could take months.
If Morales had purchased uninsured motorist insurance, also known as collision insurance, his own insurance would have covered the damage. The company then could have fought the other driver’s insurance company to get paid.
Morales has hired an attorney.
“I’d just like the insurance companies to do right on things like this,” Morales said. “Right now they’re not doing right.”