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?

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption