Sometimes, after a car accident, the at-fault driver does not want to report the accident to their car insurance company.
What do you do in this situation?
Why Would Someone Not Want to Tell Their Insurance Provider?
Sometimes the other driver may offer to simply pay for your damages out-of-pocket instead of involving the auto insurance companies. Why would they do this? Maybe the other driver does not have their own insurance. Maybe they have filed too many insurance claims in the past few years. Perhaps it was only a minor fender bender in a parking lot and there doesn’t appear to be much damage.
Whatever the reason, you should be cautious about accepting a cash payment instead of going through their driver’s insurance policy.
Protect Your Rights
Going through the proper channels protects you. Getting a police report documents the at-fault driver and any property damage that is present. If the other driver later tries to deny fault, this report will prove you are telling the truth.
If you do not get a police report, collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Even if you don’t end up reporting the accident to the other driver’s insurer, you should have this information for your reference. Information that you collect should include: other driver’s contact information, insurance information, and policy number.
Collecting this information will protect you if you later need medical treatment. You might initially think that you are fine, but then realize a couple days later that you are injured. If you fail to report the accident to the other driver’s insurance company in a timely manner, they may refuse to pay your medical bills. Protect yourself from this unfortunate situation. Get checked out by a medical professional after any car accident and report the incident to the involved drivers’ car insurance companies.
Know Your Legal Responsibilities
In some states, you are legally required to report an accident. In Nevada, an accident report is required by law if your accident is not investigated at the scene by the police and someone is injured or there is property damage of $750 or more. See NRS 484E.070. Don’t let the other driver convince you to break the law because they don’t want their car insurance rates to increase.
Notify Your Own Insurance Company
The other driver may not want to share insurance information because he or she does not have insurance. Or his or her insurance policy may not cover the damage to your vehicle and/or your medical expenses.
Your insurance company may be able to help you pay for the damages regardless of who was at fault. This will depend on what type of insurance you have and whether you live in a no-fault state. Look at your insurance policy and talk to your insurance agent to determine what type of coverage you have.
Nevada requires car owners to maintain an insurance policy with liability coverage limits of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident; and
- $20,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident (property damage liability).
You may also have other types of insurance coverage in addition to liability insurance that will help you in this situation:
- Uninsured motorist coverage covers damage to your car and your medical bills if you are hit by an uninsured driver or are the victim of a hit-and-run.
- Underinsured motorist insurance covers damages when the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover all of your expenses.
- Collision insurance pays for damage to your car after an accident involving another vehicle. Collision coverage often helps to pay to repair or replace a covered vehicle.
- Medical payments coverage helps pay medical expenses related to an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- Gap insurance helps if you experienced a total loss of your car. It makes up the difference if your auto insurance coverage doesn’t cover the cost of your car loan.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you protect your rights and file an accident claim.