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Do I really need to get a police report for a minor crash?

We don’t have to tell you driving in Houston can be rough. There are accidents every single day. If you’ve been in an accident you know the process can be frustrating and complicated. Amy Davis answers questions about what to do after you’ve been involved in a crash.

What if the insurance company just ghosts you after a car accident?

It’s not always cut and dry. You pay your monthly premium for car insurance. So, you expect when you are in an accident, they are there to help. That is not always the case.

Chi Nguyen of Pusch & Nguyen injury lawyers joined Amy for an episode of Ask Amy.

He says about 50% of people who contact them are calling because the insurance company or driver who hit them is not responding to their calls or emails. But what about a deadline?

If somebody hit me, I get the other driver’s insurance, I file a claim do they have a certain amount of time to get back to me?

“No, the deadline you’re talking about is when it involves third parties. That involves first party insurance claims. Meaning first party meeting your insurance policy. They have to get back to you whenever you submit a claim in certain timelines. But when you’re dealing with another party who is not contractually obligated to you, that’s when there is no drill deadlines,” said Nguyen.

“I mean, this sounds crazy because it it’s in their client and their best interest not to get back to you, but there’s nothing in the law that’s requiring them to do so,” said Amy.

“Exactly. The only thing you can really do in that situation is maybe follow the report with the Texas Department of Insurance. Maybe if enough complaints come through there and they’ll penalize the insurance company. But for the most part all insurance companies, their business model is the 3ds deny delay and defend. And it works for them.” said Nguyen.

Nguyen says at first the insurance company will deny the claim based off their liability investigation. Or, they will delay getting back to you or making a decision. And then, when or if they do make a decision they will defend how much you end up getting.

If you are having issues with an insurance company you can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.

Do you need to file a police report if you can’t get an officer to the scene?

Sometimes if you get into a minor crash you have to wait for an officer to arrive to the scene. If you are involved in a crash do you know what to do?

“Before you do anything, make sure you’re safe. And then from there you take pictures of the damage, talk to the other driver, see if they’re going. What are they going to be disputing what happened, whether or not they’re going to, accept liability for or fault for the accident or not. But anyways, just call the police and have the police come. Usually right now the wait times are pretty slow right now, but you have to be patient. It’s very important for you to file that police report,” said Nguyen.

“Okay, so you call the police. And being realistic, I mean, a lot of times it could be, you know, an hour or more and say, this other driver is not waiting there at the scene. They seem like they’re going to be cooperative. You know, they’ve given you their insurance information, but what else do I need to get from them? Like right then? Like, what other information should I gather?” said Amy.

“Trying to get a picture of the driver’s license, the picture of their insurance policy. Obviously, the pictures of all the damage to both cars. And you, you would just either they just that’s the that’s the only duty they have is just to exchange insurance. Insurance information. The other driver doesn’t have to stay there.”

“It’s very important for you to file that police report whether they stay there or not,” said Nguyen.

“You should always try to wait it out for the police to come. But if it takes too long, there’s always the option of going to the police station, the closest one, and following a police report or a crash report.”

The Houston Police Department has this online police report section.

Watch the full Ask Amy episode on car insurance and accidents at 11 a.m. on KPRC 2 +.

Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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