Fraudulent injury insurance claim against me?

by Angela
(Racine, Wisconsin)

In April 2015 I was in a minor fender bender in a grocery store parking lot. I am the one that hit the guy after he started to make an illegal maneuver and changed his mind. He then hit the breaks and I wasn't fast enough to hit mine. I did not know until I called my husband that our insurance had expired at the time, which I know is the big issue.

That being said, I called the police and they sent an ambulance because the guy said I "jarred his neck pretty badly." However, when they offered to take him in, he said he was fine. While the driver stated that the car was a friends and not his, the police officer also informed me that he did not have a valid drivers license and should not have been there in the first place.

I was 6 months pregnant at the time and did not know whether I was supposed to go to the hospital after something so minor, but my doctor said to go since I was so far along. I went and sat on a machine for 2 hours to monitor my baby, luckily, he was fine.

I hadn't heard anything more for about 2 months. Suddenly I started getting calls from his insurance company saying that they paid him $11,000 in compensation for medical bills and that now I had to pay them back.

They said there was an investigation and that he had bills to show. But an investigation requires both parties be spoken to, and I was never contacted about anything. When I did research the man's name, I found that he had just gotten in trouble at the end of 2014 for operating without a license.

I have been told that I rolled over too easily on this and that something does not add up. What can I do about this? Can I fight it? Thank you for any information or perspective you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Fraudulent injury insurance claim against me?":

Angela (Racine, Wisconsin):

You can fight the driver's insurance company, but to do so will require evidence of the driver's contribution to the collision. From the facts you present, it appears the other driver may have partially caused the collision.

The State of Wisconsin is a Contributory Negligence state.

Under Wisconsin Revised Statutes Section 895.045, two drivers involved in a collision may share responsibility according to their percentage of fault.

The statute holds that a victim in a collision (or other action resulting in injuries) may recover compensation from the other driver, but the compensation can be reduced according to the driver's percentage of fault. However, the statute says if the victim's percentage of negligence reaches 51%, the victim loses his or her right to recover compensation from the other driver.

In your case, you will need to convince the driver's insurance company their insured contributed to the collision, and is therefore not able to recover the full amount of compensation the driver is demanding.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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TYPE OF ACCIDENT
AUTO ACCIDENT
PERSONAL INJURY
WORKERS COMPENSATION
MEDICAL ERROR
YES! I WANT FAIR COMPENSATION