Am I at fault/should I tell my insurance company?

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Am I at fault/should I tell my insurance company?

I was recently in a rear-end collision. Although I knew better, I was texting and

driving. I looked up and had to slam on my brakes, barely missing the car in

front of me. However, the car behind me slammed into my car. While I was told

they were following too closely, I can’t get over this guilt of maybes and what

ifs and had I not been on my phone maybe this whole thing could have been

avoided. The police officer responding to the scene knows of the cell phone

usage and seemed to be very understanding and said that no matter what the reason was for me stopping, she should have been able to stop without hitting me. I just cannot stop thinking about this and wonder if my insurance company needs to know that detail or if I’ll just eventually get over this. I’m desperate to have this feeling go away. No one was hurt, by the way.

Asked on October 9, 2018 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you have an obligation to be truthful to your insurer. If you are not and conceal material (important) information from them and that later comes out, they could look to recover from you anything they paid out on your behalf (or if they haven't paid yet, to deny coverage) and possibly even sue you for their legal costs. Indeed, technically, lying to your insurer regarding the facts of an accident would be insurance fraud, which could expose you to additional liability. That's the law; the issue as to what you should do emotionally or psychologically, to "get over" the feelings you are having, we cannot advise you about.


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