A Favorable Police Report Does Not Always Mean That the Insurance Company Will Pay for Your Damages or Personal Injury Claim

by Bernadette J.
(Washington, DC)

Police on the scene of an accident.

Police on the scene of an accident.

The police report says that the other driver was at fault for the accident, so why was my personal injury claim with his insurance company denied? Jordan W., DC

There could be a number of reasons why the claim was denied:

• The other driver’s insurance policy may have lapsed or terminated prior to the accident.

• The other driver may have failed to meet some policy requirement such as cooperating with the investigation of the accident, which would give his company basis for denying coverage.

• The police officer may have written an erroneous report (they’re human too and sometimes things get twisted around).

• The police officer may have documented conflicting stories from each driver, and then checked one or the other as being at fault for the accident without indicating what evidence he used to make that finding. There always needs to be some evidence to support a decision to pay or not pay a claim.

• Other evidence was considered that the officer did not have when the report was written, such as a witness who came forward later.

• The insurance company may have found evidence that showed that your actions contributed to the accident (since you live in DC, which follows the contributory negligence rule).

The insurance company is obligated to notify you of the reason why they denied your claim. If it was because of a coverage denial, then you may pursue your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage for compensation for your damages and personal injury claim.

If it was because they simply do not believe that their policy holder caused the accident and you strongly disagree and have evidence to support your case, you might consider legal action.

This article is written for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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