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"Sorry" Does Not Mean Responsibility

Photo of Lena B. Laurenzo

Time and time again, we have helped people injured in car wrecks who thought they did not need to call the police or 911 after a wreck. The other driver is apologetic on scene. The damage seems manageable and luckily the at-fault driver seems to have insurance. No one seems hurt - nothing broken or bleeding - as everyone goes through the motions of exchanging information after being in a wreck.

So why bother involving the police when the other driver says they will take care of everything? That's what insurance is there for, right?

It's natural to want to take what appears to be the fastest or cheapest course after being involved in a wreck. But, unfortunately, it is quite common that failing to call the police and file a report may end up costing a lot of time, money, and stress. Just because you plan on making a claim through your respective insurance companies, that doesn't mean the insurance companies will work with you. It doesn't even mean the at-fault driver's insurance company will accept responsibility when fault was admitted at the scene (or later again in a recorded statement).

This is all assuming the at-fault driver keeps his/her story straight.

If the police are called to a scene of wreck, make sure a report is actually filed. Sometimes the police may instruct the drivers to just report the claim to the insurance companies, but the wreck needs to be properly documented. Taking photos with a smartphone helps but having an independent witness like a police officer investigate and confirm fault for the wreck only improves the chances of recovering a fair settlement value when dealing with the insurance company.

If nothing is bleeding or broken, that doesn't mean you are not injured. If you call 911, you do not have to leave in the ambulance, and not leaving in an ambulance does not mean you are injury-free. If any pain or issues develop after a wreck, never hesitate to visit a doctor, clinic, or hospital. Medical records are necessary to prove any personal injury case, and the at-fault driver should be held responsible for those medical bills.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car wreck, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-9584.

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