What happens to an insurance claim if an accident was not properly reported?

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What happens to an insurance claim if an accident was not properly reported?

An employee driving his company’s truck hit my parked truck on the street. I called the owner who said to take it to his buddy’s garage and he would pay for it to be repaired. He also said not to report it to the police or to any insurance company (I have only liability) or he would come after me. Now, after learning it will cost $3000 to repair he told his insurer that he does not believe it happened. His insurer cannot get a hold of the drive;, I suspect because the owner told him to be quiet. It has been a month with no vehicle and no reimbursement. What are my rights and what should I do?

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to contact the police regarding the company owner threatening you.

It would have been a mistake to have relied on the owner's buddy's garage to do the repairs.  Most likely, the place would have used substandard parts.  It is not credible that the company's insurance carrier cannot find the employee who was the driver.  Since it was a company truck, the company is liable for the accident and the insurance company is well aware of that.

To prompt a response from the insurance carrier, you could sue the company whose truck caused the accident, for negligence.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs to your truck.  To determine the amount of damage to your truck, it would be advisable to get other estimates and not rely on the owner's  buddy's garage for the  estimate of $3000 as an accurate amount.  If you incur rental car expense, that amount should be included in the amount of damages you are seeking in your lawsuit.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages and won't be able to select the most expensive rental car you can find.  Your rental car and rental rate should be reasonable.  If you select the most expensive rental car you can find, your damages will be reduced accordingly.  Also, if you have any wage loss due to lack of transportation resulting from the accident, that should also be included in the damages you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit.


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