What to do if you think that the driver of a car that you hit is faking injury?

UPDATED: Mar 8, 2011

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What to do if you think that the driver of a car that you hit is faking injury?

I was in a minor car accident recently. The car I hit is only slightly scratched up at the back bumper, but my car is in pretty bad shape. The driver of the the car that I hit was asked multiple times whether he was hurt, both by me and 2 police officers. He said that he was fine, so no ambulance was called, and he was able to drive off by himself. A few days later his insurance company contacted mine and said that their client was injured. To me this is an obvious liebecause he was laughing and chatting with the police officers the entire time after the accident occurred. Does he have a case?

Asked on March 8, 2011 under Accident Law, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There's no way to tell from what you write whether he has  a case or not. Sometimes, as you suspect, people fake injuries seeking compensation. Other times, injuries do not legitimately show up for a few days (for example, the adrenaline of the accident masks the injury) or requires a medical test to adequately demonstrate it. If you have liability insurance, as you evidently do, your insurance company should defend you; in doing so, they will look into the matter, will review the other party's medical tests, may have him tested themselves or otherwise consult with experts, etc. If his case looks very good, they may settle out of court (but again, the insurer will pay, up to policy limits); if there is doubt or weakness but the other side persists in its claim, it will go to trial, at which time they have a chance to prove their case and you and your insurer have a chance to disprove it.

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