Do I Need a Lawyer if the At-Fault Driver Won’t Respond After an Accident?


Fault Determination After an Accident: What You Should Know ...

So far, it seems that you’ve handled all aspects of your car accident appropriately and responsibly. After the crash, you approached the other driver and collected their personal information, along with proof of insurance. You made the police report and filed a claim with your insurer. Yet, in the days following the incident, you can’t seem to get a hold of the other driver. It dawns on you that they have no intention of responding and working with you to resolve your case.

If this reflects your experience with a recent car accident, then you are in need of a lawyer. Why? The compensation that will cover your medical expenses and repairs for the damaged property should come from the insurance provider of the negligent party. If they have “ghosted” you, so to speak, your efforts to resolve your case will be made significantly more difficult. A good car accident lawyer will ensure that your case is resolved quickly and fairly, so you can get back to life as usual.

What is a “Non-Cooperation” Clause?

Insurance providers must follow specific state and federal laws in the way they approach the receipt and management of claims. In the state of California, for example, insurers are expected to acknowledge, initiate investigations into, and provide assistance for claims no later than 15 days after receiving notification of its filing. If that insurance company fails to do so, then they are guilty of violating state laws and neglecting their services for policyholders. 

Just like their insurer, the guilty party is also held to certain standards regarding their behavior after a car accident. These standards are enforced by the insurance provider, one of which is the “duty to cooperate” clause (this is also known as the “non-cooperation” clause). This clause requires that the policyholder participates in the investigation proceedings of the claim as conducted by the insurance adjuster. If the policyholder refuses to cooperate with the investigation and related processes to resolving and closing the claim, the insurer has legal grounds to deny them coverage. 

Although this seems as if it should motivate even the most stubborn policyholders into cooperating with insurance processes after an accident, it is not always effective. Guilty drivers may still wholly opt out of participating in the investigation, and the insurance provider may not put up much of a fight in refusing service to them. After all, they are still a for-profit business, and if non-cooperation means that they avoid a payout, so be it.

How a Lawyer Can Improve Your Circumstances

You are not out of options if you cannot get a hold of the negligent party in the days following your car accident. If the other driver is found to be guilty of non-cooperation, you may still be eligible to make a claim under an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. Even without this option, a car accident lawyer can provide you with more avenues through which you can receive compensation for the damages incurred. 

Your lawyer can still use your evidence to build a strong case that thoroughly demonstrates your innocence and grounds for compensation. They will secure eyewitness and expert testimonies, and may even obtain video evidence showing the other driver’s negligence. You don’t have to accept being ignored by the negligent party. Get in touch with an experienced lawyer today to get the justice you deserve.