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Filing late auto insurance claim

Atlanta, GA |

I got involved in a confusing auto accident. While making a left turn at a traffic light, the other driver crossed the line and rubbed my front alloy wheel. He was in a rush to leave, and kept talking me out of it, without even stepping out of his car and took off. I stopped to look at the damages (rubber mark on my wheel which removed with cleaner). I made the mistake of not calling the police since I didn't see body damage. I have mechanical damage - a/c and steering - which is hidden. Geico told me they "just" needed a police report in a "timely manner". What? Never been in accident in 20 yrs of driving, never called the police for anything. I have mechanical breakdown insurance, uninsured and collision $250 ded. I want Geico to pay!, but hate dealing with hassles. Suggestion?

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Attorney answers 6


Whenever you are in an automobile collision, no matter how minor, it is important that you (1) get the other party's information, and (2) file a police report.

Without 1 & 2, you are likely going to have to pay your deductible in order to get your insurance company to provide you with funds to repair your car.

Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through this answer.


Most local agencies will allow you to file what's called a "counter report", called that because the person filling it out is the party involved and simply files it over the counter, as opposed to the police investigating it. Most times, that counter report and pictures of the damage is enough to pursue the claims.

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As attorney Hurd explained, you can usually still get a police report, thus, don't delay.

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Contact the Police where the accident occurred and have an accident report prepared.


Go to the local law enforcement office and complete and exchange of information form. Hopefully you at least got the tag number of the vehicle that hit you so you can include that on the form. Otherwise you may have a tough time making the claim because the insurance company may state you are committing fraud. Good Luck.

Legal Disclaimer: Keith Ligori is licensed to practice law in the State and Federal Courts of Florida. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and time lines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Ligori strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in order to ensure proper advice is received. To learn more about The Law Offices of Keith Ligori, please call our firm toll free at 888.254.7119 or visit


The offending party is gone. History. Never to be seen again in the absence of a tag number or some other way to indentify him.

That leaves your insurance with Geico to cover the claim. Are the damages to the car significant enough to want to fool with making a claim on your policy? I can't say this with any certainty, but if you make this claim, Geico might well note you as being an insurance risk of some kind because it deems the claim "suspicious". Or this claim, combined in the future with another against your policy, could possibly result in your coverage being cancelled or a large increase in premium.

Who knows if these things might happen, but I think it's worth careful consideration before you proceed with a claim, with or without a wreck report.

Nothing whatsoever contained in this answer or response should be interpreted to create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship exists.

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