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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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