What to do if I was rear-ended and neither my insurer or I have been able to get a hold of the at-fault party’s insurer?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I was rear-ended and neither my insurer or I have been able to get a hold of the at-fault party’s insurer?

I was in an auto accident a couple weeks ago in which I was rear-ended. I got the guy’s insurance information, as well as a police report. However, when I attempted to call his insurance company, I was never able to speak to anyone. At the same time I also spoke to my insurer, who told me they would help take care of it. Fast forward to now, I receive a call from my insurer stating that they cannot get a hold of his insurer either and that they are totalling my car. I will have to pay a $1000 deductible. I need advice on what to do, as I don’t have money to pay that and was under the impression that as the accident was their fault, they should be paying. Also, my company wants me to sign over my power oattorney to total the car. I do not know what that means?

Asked on August 18, 2016 under Accident Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) The accident is no one's fault *legally* unless and until they either accept the fault or a court determines it is their fault. Whether it is, in real life, their fault is different from there being a legal determination. If they rear ended you, then it is almost certain that *if* you sued them, that they would be found to be at fault; but until you sue and a court says it is their fault, there has been no legal determination.
2) Even if someone would be ordered to pay you money after you sue them, until and unless you sue them, they don't have to pay--it takes a court order/judgment, or their voluntary agreement to pay (such as in a settlement) to make them pay. 
3) Therefore, you have the deductible until and unless you sue the other driver and get a court judgment in your favor. For $1,000, suing in small claims court is a very good option--not only can you save a lot of money by suing "pro se" (as your own attorney), but small claims cases move a lot faster than cases in other courts--you will get a speedier resolution.
Be warned, though, that if the other driver has no steady income and little money, even if you win the court case, you might not get money: a court judgment does not make money appear where there is none.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption