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Thread: Are "portable" car hand controls covered by your car insurance?

  1. #11
    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazierdog View Post
    Are you saying there's no way it can fail by way of design or manufacturing? The risk is always there.
    I am saying there is no more risk that they will fail than stationary installed HC's or many other things on your car. Life is full of risk and things that can go wrong. Your car can fail in the ways you speak of so I am not sure why you bothered to post what you did.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Matters of legal dispute are settled in courts. I'm not aware of any clear rulings that would answer your question. Obviously, if your insurance company refuses your claim and you dispute their refusal, then the courts must decide.

    It is also obvious that if improperly installed equipment is the cause of the accident, then the installer is culpable. Likewise, if the equipment is defective, then the manufacturer is liable. Operator error is independent of the equipment being operated.

    As in most disputes, auto accidents involve a good deal of finger pointing and counter claims. Again, that's why we have courts. "Contributing factor" is a key phrase in determining degree of responsibility. Percentages to which any particular factor is held responsible can range from 0% to 100%.

    Having said the above, I see no reason why a capable driver using properly functioning, correctly installed hand controls of ANY sort would be held responsible for an accident on the basis of their equipment.
    Last edited by Foolish Old; 07-12-2012 at 10:26 AM.
    Foolish

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  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Foolish Old View Post
    Matters of legal dispute are settled in courts. I'm not aware of any clear rulings that would answer your question. Obviously, if your insurance company refuses your claim and you dispute their refusal, then the courts must decide.

    It is also obvious that if improperly installed equipment is the cause of the accident, then the installer is culpable. Likewise, if the equipment is defective, then the manufacturer is liable.

    As in most disputes, auto accidents involve a good deal of finger pointing and counter claims. Again, that's why we have courts.

    Having said the above, I see no reason why a capable driver using properly functioning, correctly installed hand controls of ANY sort would be held responsible for an accident on the basis of their equipment.
    The ultimate question is how can you prove ex ante that portable hand controls were installed properly. You really can't. They clearly work but compared to permanent hand controls they're a joke.

    I think it is a crap shoot. Maybe the insurance adjusters won't notice the difference after an accident. Maybe the manufacturers can be contacted to see if anyone has ever contacted them seeking an expert witness for a case where these controls were determined to be the cause.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patton57 View Post
    The ultimate question is how can you prove ex ante that portable hand controls were installed properly. You really can't. They clearly work but compared to permanent hand controls they're a joke.

    I think it is a crap shoot. Maybe the insurance adjusters won't notice the difference after an accident. Maybe the manufacturers can be contacted to see if anyone has ever contacted them seeking an expert witness for a case where these controls were determined to be the cause.
    How do you prove anything? All court outcomes are a crap shoot. You present evidence to advance your argument and make your case in the most convincing manner of which you are capable. If that fails, you bribe a judge or juror.
    Foolish

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  5. #15
    Senior Member ryano's Avatar
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    I actually had an accident in a vehicle with my portable hand controls installed. Not by fault of the hand controls of course. I totaled out a brand new Honda Accord. Progressive actually paid me more for the car than I paid for it because of the deal I got. The adjuster never questioned a thing.

  6. #16
    Senior Member lazierdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djrolling View Post
    I am saying there is no more risk that they will fail than stationary installed HC's or many other things on your car. Life is full of risk and things that can go wrong. Your car can fail in the ways you speak of so I am not sure why you bothered to post what you did.
    I say that because my portable hand controls are nowhere near the quality of my permanent ones. If the portable ones were, then everyone who makes permanent controls can save themselves a lot of money on materials alone. I don't believe it was the original designers intent for people to use their portables full-time. They sacrificed ruggedness for portability. It was not my intent to call you out on that one, I apologize.

  7. #17
    I don't think insurance company can deny your claim unless the accident is directly caused by the hand control.
    Some guy hit me from behind last month and my car was in the shop for a week. I had to get a rental from enterprise. I brought my own z4 portable hand controls to the rental place. They will not install them for you because of liability issue. They give you an option to pick a car with out the controls and you have to install your own or they will provid one with hand controls.
    From experience, if you want to use a portable hand controls the chevy malibu and impala would not work. The back of those padels are not flat so there's no way for you to slide your clamps onto the padels. So, I ended up with a dodge charger with their hand controls already installed. It was cheap. The design was poor and the installation was not well executed.
    If you're looking for a portable, I do recommand the z4. It's light and slim and very easy to use. It's also safe. The design is simple but very well thought out. The quality is also top notch.
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  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Patton57 View Post
    The ultimate question is how can you prove ex ante that portable hand controls were installed properly. You really can't. They clearly work but compared to permanent hand controls they're a joke.

    I think it is a crap shoot. Maybe the insurance adjusters won't notice the difference after an accident. Maybe the manufacturers can be contacted to see if anyone has ever contacted them seeking an expert witness for a case where these controls were determined to be the cause.
    I have to disagree. Not all portable hand controls are junk. Not all permanent hand controls are safe or easy to use. The permanent hand controls in the rental dodge charger was so poor in quality and unsafe. It was manufactured in Canada. I forgot to take down the name. Everytime I turn the the steering wheel hits the hand controls. Somehow, I manage to drive that junk for 5 days.
    T3 Complete
    to my alarm: "quiet b*tch! I know what I have to do every two hr. Argggggg!!!!"


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