How can an insurance company even question a claim if there is a police report?

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How can an insurance company even question a claim if there is a police report?

I was in an auto accident while taking a protected left turn with a green arrow. The other driver, while talking on her cell phone, ran her red light and struck me. My insurance company concluded their investigation and found the other driver to be at fault. I have a copy of the police report, that states the other driver to be at fault. After a month of my phone calls not being returned, I received a letter in the mail. The letter states that the police office didn’t file the name of the witness he spoke to, so now it is my word against hers. They are willing to only pay 50% of my loss and 50% of my storage fees up to a certain date (which has all ready passed). The letter states that this offer will be withdrawn, if not accepted, in one day. I do not agree and need some legal advise.

Asked on April 11, 2011 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

Richard Weaver / The Weaver Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Did you have your auto accident issue handled by an attorney?

Feel free to call to discuss.


 

Richard D. Weaver

Attorney At Law

 

The Weaver Law Firm

1800 Bering Drive

Suite 305

Houston, Texas 77057

Phone: 713-572-4900

Fax: 713-626-9708

 

www.WeaverLawyers.com

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It can be questioned because the police report is 1) not a trial determination to begin with--it's just the opinion of one or more police officers; and (2) the police officer(s) do not speak for the insurance company. Certainly, the report is good evidenece in your favor, but it doesn't settle the matter.

Also, if the insurer believes that you contributed to the accident--e.g. you were not careful enough--it has grounds to reduce your compensation. Finally, if you violated terms of the policy in any way, that could also provide grounds for reducing or eliminating compensation.

So the short answer is, a police report does not determine who would have to pay in a civil lawsuit or what an insurer must pay, though it is useful. You could try to dispute the insurer's findings and sue them for more compensation, but must weight what you hope to get in extra funds versus the cost (e.g. a lawyer) of doing so.


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