What is the next appropriate step to take?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is the next appropriate step to take?

I was in a car accident last week; I was rear-ended at a light and I called the cops immediately after it happened. I then waited on the cops as I talked to my insurance company and the lady that hit me asked if we could just exchange information and not wait for the cops. I asked my insurance person if that was okay and they said yes so we exchanged information and left. Now she is not answering calls from her insurance or mine and they cannot determine fault until she responds and I can’t get my car fixed. So not sure if I should go to the police, get a lawyer, or what?

Asked on December 1, 2016 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The police will not help: seeking compenation for an accident is a civil, not criminal matter. What you need to do, if she won't respond is to sue her for the damage to your car and any injuries you suffered--you sue her, not your insurer. If the amount is less than the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims, as your own attorney, is a good option. You could alternately or in addition sue your own insurer (if you have insurance that you have paid for and which should cover you in this situation) for breach of contract (since insurance policies are contracts): i.e. for not paying out a claim when they should. Unfortunately, lawsuits are the only way to force someone to pay when they should, but do not.

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