Help! Accident Situation and how to get the information you need

So here is the situation briefly summarized.

I was on an Interstate Hwy and wasn’t speeding as there was a wreck several yards ahead on the left side of the road. So everyone was somewhat crawling. A car in front of me stops and so I naturally come to a stop. Mind you I did not slam on the breaks as there wasn’t any need due to speed or stopping distance. However, I get rear ended by a person driving a State Dept. car. Now a State Hwy Patrolman shows up. He collects our information but doesn’t suggest we exchange it ourselves. He tells me I have to wait for the report to be filed and I can get all the information I need. He also didn’t issue any tickets on the spot which I found odd. Though I’m thankful I didn’t get one as it wasn’t my fault. I can’t help but think that he may write the report as both parties being at fault which 1. isn’t right and 2. is no good. Has anyone been in such situations like this? Does it seem odd that I wasn’t able to exchange any information? All I have is the vehicle plate number but it’s not doing me any good. I’m hoping to file through the other person’s insurance but I can’t because I was not able to get any information. I’d love to hear any suggestions or reports back as this has me a bit on edge and I want to prepare myself (sans lawyers)).


A couple of months ago, my friend was in an accident in which he was broadsided by a Lexus RX330. I was a passenger in the car, and we never even got to see the other driver, since she finally stopped her car about 1/4 mile down the highway and we were not allowed to walk on the shoulder of the highway. As a result of the circumstances, we never got her license number, her name, and the name of her insurance company until we obtained a copy of the police report about a week later. (The police report was delayed, pending a mechanical examination of her vehicle.)

About one week after we sent the police report to the insurance company, my friend received a check for his totaled car. So, although it is really a good idea to get all of the information that you can at the scene of the accident, my friend’s situation is an example of how you can succeed even without that information.

For the time being, just report what you know to your insurance company and tell that that you will supply the missing information as soon as it is revealed to you via the police report.

Good luck!

State Department as in U.S. Department of State?

I was involved in a minor collision last November. The trooper on the scene took the info from both of us and gave us a printout right then and there. My NY taxes at work, I guess.

It would be hard for the trooper to assign blame to you in such a case. Being hit from behind in heavy traffic is pretty much automatically the fault of the driver in the rear car.

I would also contact my own insurance company, they will probably also request a copy of the police report.

Don’t be too alarmed with the lack of “fault” determination. I had a co-worker get rear-ended by a county sheriff a year ago, and I’m pretty sure he was in the same boat (left wondering what the heck was going on). I don’t know the details but essentially he was reimbursed through county government sources, which took a relatively long time but eventually came through. He called his insurance company (USAA) and was told there was nothing he could do, other than basically contact the local government to check on the status.

Also, there is absolutely nothing that can be contested with you being rear-ended. It is 100% the fault of the party that rear-ended you. It sounds like you were not given a police report, but as long as the officer had written down damage was to your rear (and the offending party’s front) then there is no chance of fault being assigned to you. Even if you had slammed on your brakes, that is his/her fault for “following too closely.”

I agree don’t worry about the fault issue. The trouper got the information and will file a report. Just call the patrol office and ask them where you can get a copy of the report when it is filed. Even in a major accident though it can take a few days to a week for the report to be filed and available.

In Minnesota at least, you also need to file your own accident report if damages are over something like $1500. You can probably do it on line once you have the info, or get the form when you pick up the trouper’s report.

I agree, when you said state department, does that mean the feds, an agency of the state, which state, and so on? States will have both owned vehicles by each agency and vehicles from a central motor pool. Most are self-insured but use a clearing agency to process claims. Once you have the info on who it was and who owned the car, just call the appropriate office and ask for where to file the claim. Or your agent can help you through the whole thing.

I’ve got to say though, that unless there is some significant damage, beyond paint chips, sometimes it just isn’t worth the hassle.

Contact your insurance agent immediately and report it. You can also contact the Highway Patrol and ask how to get a copy of the accident report. The license number can be used to identify the registered owner of the vehicle through the state’s department of motor vehicles.

Hey everyone!

Thanks for the reassurances. State Department meant NC State owned vehicle that I believed was for NC Department of Highways. I have the plate number but the NCDOT/DMV would not release what department the plate belonged to due to a Right to Privacy act. I should be picking up the report today. My insurance company seems a bit disgruntled that I haven’t moved one way or another on whether to file through them or through the other driver’s insurance (which I think is Traveller’s … I believe the state is covered under that). My insurance company went ahead and did an estimate and it’s only a few dollars less than what Kelly Blue book lists as the Trade in value of the car in Fair Condition. I need to find out if the frame is bent and what things determined the estimate. Now, the adjuster didn’t say the car was totaled as he gave me a dollar estimate.

If I decide to go through the other person’s insurance could they determine differently? Is it possible to get their estimate and what they would provide while I wait for my car to be taken care of or would that just be yanking people around? My insurance involves a little green lizard for a mascot.

If I go through my insurance, they will take care of everything and pay for hte rental (gas aside) but I may lose my deductible. I don’t know what benefits there are of going through the other person’s insurance. Ideas? Thank you again for the feedback and support.

I have dealt with this situation a couple of times and I always go through my own insurance company, and pay the collision deductible, to get things rolling. The other insurance company may initially deny you proper benefits or play silly games with you. I have personally seen both techniques used to slow progress down to friends’ claims.

You will get the deductible back when the two insurance companies settle. Advantages are you are dealing with people you know; the benefits you have are defined and not questioned; you can use your preferred auto body shop; and your insurance company does all the claims work. They will seek reimbursement for their expenses from the at-fault insuror, but in the meantime you get your car fixed, and move on with your life. I would strongly urge that you invoke your rights to do so and get on with it. My deductible cost is low, so this is a no-brainer for me.

My deductible is more than 300 but less than 900. So if that is low so be it. :slight_smile: I need to get in touch with my insurance agency and the adjuster to make sure what is making the amount he gave me what it is. I was advised that if the frame is bent than to cut my losses and move on. The only thing I’d be worried about again is if for some reason they claim that it was mutual fault. Thanks again :slight_smile:

I should also state that now the State Hwy patrol says it won’t be until thurs. Perhaps I should speak with the officer’s supervisor? Does anyone know why it would take so long for a report to be filed and available?