If I was rear-ended and the driver agreed to paybut nowrefuses, can I file a civil suit even though I did not file a police report?

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If I was rear-ended and the driver agreed to paybut nowrefuses, can I file a civil suit even though I did not file a police report?

I did get hurt and went to the ER. The guy said he was going to pay to have my car repaired at the scene of the accident. He didn’t have insurance and his license was suspended. I didn’t have uninsured motorist coverage just liability. He has given me $50 since. Now he denies ever even hitting my car. I have voice recordings and text messages of him saying that he was going to pay for the damage he caused b/c he knows it was his fault. Can I still take him to civil court and win? Can I use the texts and recordings to prove fault?

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Accident Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, you can file a civil suit. A police report is not a requirement for suing someone in civil court for damages from an accident.

2) You may be able to introduce the voice recordings and text messages as admissions against interest (technically, they are hearsay, since they are not your own statements, but they may fall under one of the exceptions to hearsay--that for when a party admits something against its own interests). It's certainly worth bringing them to court and trying.

3) To recover, you will need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the other driver was at fault (e.g. negligent or careless) in causing the accident. Fortunately, there is a presumption that the rear driver in a rear end collision is at fault--the idea is he or she either was following too closely or too fast, or was not paying attention and did not brake in time--so you should have a good chance of proving this.


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