Visitor Question

Filing a late insurance claim against the person at fault?

Submitted By: Mai (Sacramento, CA)

I was in a car accident where the lady backed out of her driveway and hit my car as I drove past her. She claims that I was speeding in the neighborhood street, but I was clearly not. After talking to my insurance they believed that this was not my fault and told me that I would have to file a claim to her insurance and do it on my own.

This accident happened at 10am on 2/1/2017. When I called the police they didn’t come but told me I would have to make a police report and exchange information with her. When I was trying to exchange information, she said she didn’t have her insurance card with her and it’s inside her house and she would have to go look for it.

I had to go to work or else I would be late so I told her I would come back after work to get her information. When I came back and got her information, I went home and as I was looking at her information her insurance policy says it’s a temporary policy and the effective date was the day of this accident, 2/1/2017 and it’s expiration date is 4/2/2017.

My questions are, since she wasn’t covered at the time of the accident will her insurance still be able to pay for the damages done? Also, now that the policy has expired, can I still file a claim with them? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Mai,

It seems apparent the other driver feigned having forgotten her insurance information, and sometime in the interim between the accident and your subsequent meeting with her she purchased car insurance. Fortunately, there were no injuries, and the only damage was to  your car, and probably the driver’s as well.

Contact the driver’s insurance company and report the accident. The company will have a record of the driver and her insurance coverage. Unfortunately, it is likely the  insurance company will deny the claim based on the time the accident.

It is curious to know who the driver was trying to deceive. Was she trying to deceive you, or her insurance company? It appears she might have been trying to deceive you both.

In the likely event the driver’s insurance company denies the claim you can do the following:

  • File a claim with your own insurance company
  • Ask the driver to pay for your property damage out-of-pocket
  • File a small claims lawsuit against the driver.
    *California small claims courts have authority to hear lawsuits up to $10,000. If your damages are $10,000 or less, you may file a small claims action against the driver. To do so, read California Courts Small Claims resources.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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