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Trish C.

At-fault party refuses to disclose his company car's insurer

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About a month ago, I was involved in a minor accident that resulted in no injuries and no police report. We both called the local police department, and an officer arrived within minutes. We gave our statements to the officer, who concluded that the other party was at-fault because he impeded my right of way and basically told him that he needs to look both ways before getting onto the main road. I was already in the lane preparing to turn right at a main intersection, and he was trying to get onto the main road from a shopping center. The point of collision was before the intersection. The damage to my car was a few scrapes on the right front bumper and a crack on the right side of the grille, which totalled about $1300 in the estimate the other insurance company sent me (based on the pictures I took of my car and the damage). The other driver's car had more visible damage on only the driver's side fender (it was dented where I had hit him). The at-fault driver was apparently driving a company car that is not covered under his policy, and he flat-out refused to give the information of the insurer of his company car when my insurance company requested it because he doesn't want to be held liable. My insurance company advised me to pay my deductible to get the car repaired, and they would go into arbitration with the other insurance company to recover my deductible. My claims adjuster had already gotten the other party's statement, explained the rules of the road to him, and declared no-fault on my part. Turns out that the at-fault party gave his insurance company a different statement. FYI, this accident occurred in Annandale, Virginia. According to the Fairfax County P.D., an officer is not required to file a police report if the accident is considered non-reportable to the DMV and if damages are less than $1500. If you want to see where the accident occurred, you can look at Google Earth and search for the Braddock Road/Little River Turnpike intersection, then close in on the shopping center across from the Home Depot. Edwards St. and Little River Turnpike is approximately where the collision occurred.

 

My questions are, does the at-fault party have an obligation to disclose the company car's insurer in an accident, and can the at-fault refuse to be recorded via phone by the other insurance company?

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10 hours ago, Trish C. said:

does the at-fault party have an obligation to disclose the company car's insurer in an accident

 

He has to have insurance. He may have been obliged to provide evidence of insurance to the officer. If the officer didn't ask, then that goes a long way toward saying he doesn't have to disclose it. At any rate, your option is to sue him and his employer for the full amount of your repair cost. That's likely to scare up the insurance company.

 

10 hours ago, Trish C. said:

can the at-fault refuse to be recorded via phone by the other insurance company?

 

Yes. Even in civil matters, one has the right to remain silent and the burden is on the plaintiff to make a prima facie (google it) case.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Trish C. said:

At-fault party refuses to disclose his company car's insurer

 

11 hours ago, Trish C. said:

The damage to my car was a few scrapes on the right front bumper and a crack on the right side of the grille, which totalled about $1300 in the estimate the other insurance company sent me

 

I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements.  If "the other insurance company sent" you an estimate, how do you not know who the insurer is?

 

 

11 hours ago, Trish C. said:

does the at-fault party have an obligation to disclose the company car's insurer in an accident

 

The driver likely had an obligation to disclose who his insurer was but not to disclose his employer's insurer.  He might not even know who his employer's insurer is.  If I happened to be driving in the course and scope of my employment and got in an accident, I wouldn't have the slightest idea who my employer's insurer is.

 

 

11 hours ago, Trish C. said:

an the at-fault refuse to be recorded via phone by the other insurance company?

 

Of course he can.

 

 

54 minutes ago, adjusterjack said:

Even in civil matters, one has the right to remain silent and the burden is on the plaintiff to make a prima facie (google it) case.

 

This is not correct -- at least not as phrased.  It is certainly true that, in a pre-litigation context, no one is required to speak to anyone (much less submit to a recorded conversation, although Virginia is a one-party consent state, so the insurer would not need the other driver's consent to record unless there is an insurance law or regulation that requires that).  However, in a litigation context, no one "has the right to remain silent," unless the possibility of incrimination exists.  Probably the most well-known example of this is O.J. Simpson.  After being acquitted in the criminal case, Simpson no longer had the right to remain silent in the civil lawsuit and had to submit to multiple days of deposition, which gave the plaintiffs' lawyers ammunition that they used to obtain a multi-million dollar verdict.

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