What can happen if I was involved in an accident, no police report was filed, and the other driver decides he wants to sue?

UPDATED: Jan 16, 2011

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UPDATED: Jan 16, 2011Fact Checked

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What can happen if I was involved in an accident, no police report was filed, and the other driver decides he wants to sue?

Now, 2 months later, the other driver decides he wants to sue.

Asked on January 16, 2011 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A police report is not necessary to sue. A failure to make one could potentially lead to certain liability for failure to report an accident; depending on the terms of insurance coverage, a failure to report may be a violation of the insured's duty under the policy; and it may also complicate an effort to sue and/or defend, by denying a common type of evidence--but it's not strictly necessary. All that's necessary is that (1) someone has a good faith belief someone else wrongfully (such as negligently, or carelessly) caused them or their property harm; and (2) that person believes that he or she has evidence to prove the case. If there is a chance you may be sued, you need to report the accident and potential claim to your insurer immediately if you have not done so yet; failure to report suspected or known claims is almost always a violatio of the policy which can deny coverage.

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