Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 22, 2019

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Insurance Question from Green Oaks, IL

Asked on 05/22/2019

Is it true that if the police investigator of a minor collision purposely does not fill in on the Accident Form who is at fault–that each insurance co. pays for their client's damages under the Collision portion of the policy. This assumes No Personal Damages and No Citations issued. Can an Insurance Agency, after the fact, decide who is at fault?

Answer given on May 25, 2019

While each state and jurisdiction may handle automobile accidents differently, most police departments do not assign fault to an automobile accident if they did not witness the accident and/or if there is no clear cut proof of fault.  However, further investigation by either or both of the insurance companies can determine blame in an accident.  The additional information of witnesses and statements by the parties involved can help the insurance companies determine fault. 

While both insurance companies may not agree, the settlement process can begin with the insurance companies determinations of fault. Statements are usually taken from each side by their insurance company as well as by the other insurance company. Such statements can help the companies determine who they believe are at fault.  False statements by parties can end up being a criminal case, but hard to prove without witnesses. Be sure to fully understand why or how your insurance company has made a determination of fault, since it could affect your insurance rates.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: These answers are for general information purposes only and are provided by the person answering and AS IS. It has not necessarily been reviewed by the management staff of nor is it binding any insurance agent, broker, or other insurance professional or any attorney or insurance company. Insurance laws, regulations and practices vary from state to state and insurance policies and practices differ from company to company, by type of policy, by state and locality and by type of insurance. Tiny variations in the facts, policy language or a detail not set forth in a question often can change the outcome or a professional's conclusion. Although has confirmed that the answer(s) was/were provided for the account of an experienced insurance professional, that professional may not be licensed in the state referred to in the question, and may not be experienced or up to date in the subject area. Unlike the answers provided here, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you consult a licensed insurance professional in your area or retain a licensed attorney listed on to represent you.