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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: General
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Experience:  45 years old, retired Marine Officer, current attorney
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I was rear-ended a couple of months ago I stopped to check

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I was rear-ended a couple of months ago
I stopped to check my damage and see if the other guy was okay
I got alot of damage to my compact car. His van had no damage. They wanted to call the police to make a report but I had to go take my mom to a doctor's appt. So I said forget it. I will pay for the damages myself. After a couple of months, I got a letter from the other driver's insurance company saying that I owed them 1500 dollars because that is what they paid for the other drivers damages. They were saying that I hit the driver instead of me being hit. now I have already donated my car and his insurance company is saying that they want to come and take pictures of my car. What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: General
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Can you tell me, what state is this in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The state is Pennsylvania
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks

I ask since most states have laws requiring reports of motor vehicle accidents

§ 3747 of the PA motor Vehicle Code requires the driver or owner of a vehicle involved in a PA accident to make report to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Even if the police do not investigate an accident, the driver of a vehicle which is in any manner involved in the PA accident shall, within five days of the PA accident, forward a written report of the PA accident to PennDot.

So by not reporting, you (and perhaps the other driver) are in violation of the law.

This can be significant, since the fact you did not report this could be used by the other party (and their insurance company) to argue that you are at fault. This is the legal doctrine of "negligence per se"

In order to force you to pay, they (the insurance company) must prove you are negligent.

What you describe? They hit you from behind? I would think that is not the case.

But your not reporting the accident, and with no pictures to show what happened, it makes the case a bit more difficult for you.

Still...to force you to pay, they have to prove it in court.

So you can refuse to pay, and make them sue you...or you can negotiate with them to try and negotiate a solution. Again, what you describe you are not at fault...so it may be even if they sue you, despite your not following the law, it may be you still win the case.

I would try and negotiate a solution with the insurance company. If you can not, they will have to spend the time/money to sue you to try and force you to pay. But if they do you will need to hire a lawyer to defend yourself...so I would try and negotiate a settlement



Customer: replied 1 year ago.



Ok. Then by not reporting the accident, I violated the PA law but why is his insurance company wanting me to pay them 1500 dollars. Is this what they paid the other driver for alleged damage to his van?
Also, I talked to the insurance company n they said they need to come take pictures of my car? Why do they need to do that? And what if I can't because I already donated my car. Can they still prose
Customer: replied 1 year ago.



Ok. Then by not reporting the accident, I violated the PA law but why is his insurance company wanting me to pay them 1500 dollars. Is this what they paid the other driver for alleged damage to his van?
Also, I talked to the insurance company n they said they need to come take pictures of my car? Why do they need to do that? And what if I can't because I already donated my car. Can they prosecute me even though i dont have the actual car anymore. Where is the proof of an accident even happening
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
The insurance company wants you to pay so they do not have to pay. It sounds like the other driver may have lied to the insurance company and claimed you were at fault.

If you were at fault? Then the insurance company could sue you to recover the money they had to pay.

That is why they want pictures...to help prove the case.

They can not prosecute you. But they can sue you. However, to sue and win they must prove you were the one at fault. Sounds like that is not the case. Which is why you may want to contact them and tell them what actually happened....it may be they will negotiate with you and offer a settlement.

If you can not agree on a settlement, they would have to sue you to force you to pay anything

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. So if they see pictures of my rear bumper smashed in and my taillight busted and my trunk dented and they see that the other driver's van had damages to the front of his car, that definitely shows that he hit me How can they prove anything without pictures of my car or seeing my car? It's basically a he said/she said case.right?
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it is a "he said/she said" case. And yes, I agree with you that it seems like they have no case.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why do u believe that they have no case?do u really think so? This situation has me very worried. That's why I'm asking.for more details. Thank you!
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
I am going of what you are telling me.

If they hit you, unless you were driving negligently, they are liable.

So the fact they hit you is in your favor.

Apparently they lied to their insurance company...so the insurance company is basing its decision on what they have learned from their client.

Again, based on your description, it sure seems like you were not negligent. If they want to sue you and win they have to prove you were at fault. Unless they can do so, the court will not rule in their favor.

That is why I think you have a good case.

P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 27170
Experience: 45 years old, retired Marine Officer, current attorney
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P. Simmons
P. Simmons
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45 years old, retired Marine Officer, current attorney