What are my rights if I was rear-ended in a 3 car pile up and my insurance claim against the at fault driver has not been honored by their insurer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights if I was rear-ended in a 3 car pile up and my insurance claim against the at fault driver has not been honored by their insurer?

I was the middle car in a 3 car pile up. The woman who hit me told her insurance company that she herself was the victim of a phantom hit and run. The police report cited her and wrote that there was no damage to the rear of her car. Her insurance company claims they looked at her car and now there seems to be damage (seriously?). They completely disregarded the police report and denied the claims. I’ve now filed with my own insurance company and will have to pay the deductible. This seems so unfair, and to me, it looks like a scam or fraud. What can I do?

Asked on November 29, 2015 under Accident Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can sue her to recover your deductible (and any other out-of-pocket, or not paid by insurance costs) you incurred: the other driver's insurer's opinion as to fault is just that--an opinion. It is not legally binding. They do not have to voluntarily offer you compensation (and evidentally will not), but that is their choice...but if you sue and win, they or their driver will have to pay. (You sue the at-fault driver, by the way, not the insurer.) If you're talking about the typical deductible of $500 to $2,000, a good option is to sue in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees.

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