Your automobile insurance policy has a clause in it that requires drivers to cooperate with their insurance company. If the other driver will not contact their insurance company this can lead to the other driver being uninsured for the accident in question. The duty to cooperate means that when you have an auto accident, you need to contact your insurance company to let them know your side of the story. There are several reasons an adjuster needs to speak to their insured before accepting liability:
1) For all the insurance adjuster knows, the police report could be wrong. The person who transcribed the police report may have mixed up the vehicles, causing the report to blame the wrong person.
2) The officer may be wrong in their assessment of who is at fault, and the adjuster will want to speak to their driver first to confirm what happened.
3) There may be witnesses that left their information at the scene, but could not wait for the police officer to arrive. These witnesses may reveal that the police report is wrong.
4) There may be "coverage issues" that the insurance company needs to clarify to make sure the accident should be covered by them - and not some other insurance company (such as if the other driver was "on the job" driving Uber or delivering pizzas - they may have another policy that covers "on the job" claims, and their personal auto insurance might not apply in that circumstance).
If the other driver never calls their insurance company back to answer their questions about the accident, many insurance companies will eventually deny insurance coverage. This turns your insurance claim into an Uninsured Motorist Claim
WHAT CAN BE DONE IF THE OTHER DRIVER WILL NOT CALL THEIR INSURANCE COMPANY?
If the other driver has not called their insurance company there are a few things that can be done to help.
Call the other driver and verify that they have contacted their insurance company. If they advise that they have contacted their insurance company, ask if they will send you a copy of any email or text correspondence verifying that they have contacted their insurance company - since their insurer is claiming they have not contacted them. You can then forward a copy to the insurance adjuster to confirm their driver has contacted them. Sometimes multiple people answer the phones at insurance companies, and the adjuster may not have seen the documentation that their insured has contacted them and talked to another person at the company.
If the other driver says they will contact their insurance company, but then fails to do so, you are looking at the possibility that there may not be insurance for the other driver. If this is where your case is now, there are some options for you:
1) Uninsured Motorist Coverage:
If you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage on your own insurance policy, contact your insurance company and let them know that you may end up needing to use your Uninsured Motorist Coverage because the other driver is not calling their claim in.
This helps in several ways. Your insurance company will not be happy with the other driver either. They will start calling the other driver to try and get them to call in their claim to their insurer. This extra push may help. If the other driver still refuses to call their insurer back, then your Uninsured Motorist Coverage will step in and pay the claim. They will then collect against the other driver and their insurance company to get their money back, and get your deductible back.
2) Collision Coverage:
If you do not have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but you do have Collision Coverage for your own vehicle, then use your Collision Coverage. Your insurance company will pay the claim, and then collect against the other driver and their insurer to get their money back and to get your deductible back.
3) If You Have No Insurance: If you only carry liability coverage, or if you do not have insurance, you can try to convince the other driver that they need to contact their insurance company.
You can remind the other driver that they have a responsibility to cooperate with their insurance company, and that if they lose their auto insurance coverage for this accident as a result of not calling their insurance company, they may have their license suspended due to being "uninsured," which is what may happen if they do not call their insurance company.
Your insurance company will pay the claim, and if the other driver's insurance company ends up denying coverage due to the other driver's lack of cooperation, your insurance company will most likely file a report with the State of Texas indicating that the other driver was uninsured (attaching a letter from his insurance company indicating coverage was denied due to lack of cooperation), and this will liaise with the other driver's insurance company.
That "reminder" can sometimes persuade a person to call their insurance company.
HOW TO NOTIFY THE STATE OF TEXAS THAT THE OTHER DRIVER BECAME UNINSURED
If the other insurance company actually cancels coverage because the other driver refuses to contact them, then you should notify the State of Texas to advise that the other driver is actually uninsured for this particular accident. There are some consequences for an uninsured driver. Their license may be suspended, and if they are driving another person's vehicle, the owner's license may also be suspended.
They must then pay back the damages in order to regain their license. If they continue to drive after their license has been suspended and are stopped by police, they will be charged with "driving with a suspended license" each time they are stopped. The fines and criminal penalties increase with each occurrence. They will eventually need to pay what is owed or file for bankruptcy to cover the debt owed for the damage they caused.
A report must be filed with the State of Texas by the victim or the victim's insurance company. Here's what you need to know.
Texas Transportation Code 601:
If the other driver ends up being uninsured:
- 601.151 says if there is injury, death, or property damage over $1000 your license can be suspended if uninsured.
- 601.152 says your license can be suspended if "the department finds that there is a reasonable probability that a judgment will be rendered against the uninsured person as a result of the accident."
HOW TO FILE YOUR REPORT WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS
To get the uninsured driver's license suspended prior to a judgment, the victim of the accident must:
"Submit the following information to DPS:
1. Proof of $1000 or more in damages, which may include vehicle damages and medical bills for bodily injury.
2. A peace officer's crash report showing the uninsured driver as the party at fault or a driver confidential crash report (CR2) with statements from two uninvolved witnesses.
3. If applicable, a denial letter from the at-fault driver's insurance company showing that they were not covered at the time of the crash.
Documents must be submitted in one of the following ways:
Fax: (512) 424-2848
Email: Driver Improvement
Mail: Texas Department of Public Safety
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773
Your license can also be suspended because of unsatisfied judgments related to your accident - see:
Texas Transp Code 601.331 and 601.332 that cover Unsatisfied Judgment Suspensions
The Texas DPS has a good page on suspensions here:
CONTACT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IF YOU WERE HURT
You have no say in what other drivers do. After a car accident where you were injured, you can regain control. If you have been injured due to another driver's negligence, contact a car accident lawyer who will protect your rights, seek the compensation you deserve, and guide you through your case with the experience, expertise, and skill that your case requires.
Call today to learn why our Dallas car accident attorney team
at the Law Office of Doug Goyen has received so much praise from previous clients. Contact us at (972) 599 4100. We understand what you're going through and can assist you. The consultation is completely free. There is no fee unless and until we win by obtaining a settlement or judgment for your case.
We provide free telephone consultations. We also offer a complimentary strategy session. The strategy session includes a summary of your case, legal issues involved, and legal issues we identify as critical to maximizing the amount of compensation owed.
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If we are unable to recover, you owe us nothing. We charge a contingency fee based on a percentage of the amount recovered. Because this is a performance-based contract, the better we perform for you, the better we perform for ourselves. This aligns our interests in the case with those of our client.
By Doug Goyen, email@example.com