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Minor rear ending, parties agreed to mutually sort it, other party falsely claiming physical injury, any suggestion?

Mountain View, CA |

There was a very minor accident where my friend rear ended someone at speed of may be 3-5mph, it was before a stop light. Nothing happened to the other party's car and the other party agreed to just forget it and not mention it to insurance. my friend offered to pay the damage if required. My friend's insurance called him to check if there was any accident and as agreed with the other party he said no. Later this other party seemed to have approach my friend's insurance with attorney to claim that there was a physical injury and seems to be claiming a lot from insurance. And since my friend once said to insurance in a recorded conversation, that he was not involved in that accident, he is sticking to that. There were no witnesses for this accident. My frnd is worried if he shd acpt fault?

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Attorney answers 4


This is not an issue of "accepting" fault or not. Your friend has insurance, so the insurance company will resolve this. If the injuries are minor, the party is unlikely to get a lot of money.

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Obviously, the only option for your friend is to tell the truth to their insurer.

In CA, when you are involved in an auto accident, you must report the incident to the DMV if anyone was injured (no matter how minor).

Also, it is important for an insured to inform their insurance company of any accidents, because an insured has a contractual obligation to do so, and too often some party to the accident (no matter how minor) subsequently experiences or claims to have experienced some accident-related injury.

An insured has a contractual duty to cooperate with their insurer. Here, the insurer should defend your friend (their insured). But, cooperating with the insurer is key.

Because the property damage is so minor, and depending on how long after the accident the other driver claims to have sustained injury, the damages for this claim would likely be very minor and insurance should cover this incident.

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Your friend's insurance company will handle it and likely defend the case if they believe the medical bills are not reasonable.

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You say that your friend was involved in an accident, then, denied to his insurance company that he was not involved.

Your friend needs to call his own insurance company and be truthful. They have a duty to defend him and to indemnify him (to pay for his damages). If he is not truthful with his insurance company, it may be grounds to have coverage denied. Certainly, this untruthfulness will give the "injured" party ammunition for a lawsuit, as it will be used to impeach him.

Leave it up to the insurance company to decide whether or not the other person was injured, that is what they are trained and paid to do.

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