From the Forum – Motor Vehicle Collision 395 South September 15 – Any witnesses?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Maguire

Motor Vehicle Collision 395 South September 15 – Any witnesses?

“I was rear ended at 7pm on 395 South near the exit for 395 HOV. A Ford sedan hit my red Mazda2 on the rear passenger side bumper. He stopped his car and approached my window admitting fault. I immediately dialed 911 and waited for 30 minutes for DC police, but they didn’t show up. Because I was on the highway, I was told to wait in my car with the flashers on. A Capitol police officer who was driving home stopped in front of me to see if my car was broken down because the guy left after giving me his information (name, phone number, license plate, SSN on a business card). The officer told me the damage wasn’t bad enough for DC police to write a report and that I should move off the highway before someone else hit my car. Today I found out that the other driver lied to my insurance company and told them I had cut him off. It’s a long shot, but I’m looking for any witnesses who can corroborate my story.

Thanks for your help!”

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15 Comment

  • Ugh, that happened to me once, and my insurance took the other guy’s word for it and used it as an excuse to double my premium (nevermind that I’d never had an accident in my life). I hope for your sake you don’t have Geico.

  • This has happened to me three times. FYI, the driver who fails to stop and hits you is almost always at fault, so you have that going for you. Once the guy who hit me tried to say I put the care into reverse and hit him- I won that one because of the rule above. The other time, I had three witnesses and a cop who cited the other driver- the other driver threatened and fought me and the claims agent to the end. He lost. And the third time, the guy created three witnesses, all his friends, to rebut my real two witnesses. It was deemed a no fault accident because the guy’s fake witnesses were interviewed and believable. Good luck and know that karma is coming to these people.

    • I guess I was unlucky/had shitty insurance. The guy that slammed into me was deemed not at fault and I was the one penalized for it. Should have never let him drive away but neither of us had damage to our vehicles so I didn’t think he was going to file a claim behind my back.

    • Accountering

      This exact situation happened to me. She had Geico, I had Geico. She sued me when Geico ruled against her. Turns out she had just finished $4000 of PT for another accident, and needed a fall gut so she could keep taking PT (she had another $4000 in bills by the time we got to court.)
      The judge laughed her out of the court room.

  • I was hit by a car on Tuesday morning on my bike share. He ran the red light and destroyed the front wheel. I luckily jumped off in time to avoid the head on collision so I’m fine. He was a nice guy who stopped and waited for the police to show. After 30 minutes one did and told me there wasn’t enough damage for a police report even though I told her I’d need one for bike share. She refused and scolded him for his car placement after he got it our of the way and scolded me for not dragging the bike off the street all the way. She left me with a broken bike to drag 3 blocks. Hell of a police dept. we’ve got here.

  • I had no idea that “not enough damage for a police report” was a thing. Has that always been the case? Is that even legal? I would think if there’s damage to property (like the bike share bike) they would have to take a police report.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Yes, in every state, not just here. In some states, the “reporting threshold” (that is what they call it) is $500 of damage, in others $1000, in others $1500. Not that police are particularly adept and visually estimating the dollar value of relatively minor damage, but yeah, if in their opinion the damage is less than the state’s reporting threshold, they will not file a report. In some states, the police will not file a report unless a person is injured, regardless of the extent of damage to property.

    • Just so people are clear, MPD will not take a report for property damage, unless the damage is so great that’s obvious that one of the cars can’t go anywhere. The main criteria for mandatory reports are personal injury or death, or involving a government vehicle.

      But if you get rear ended and everyone is okay, just exchange information with the other driver. It’s all the cops are going to do when they arrive, so you might as well not take up more of your time.

  • “rear passenger side bumper”; I think the centrality of the damage on your bumper is a big factor here. If the damage is on the side of the car, then, with your conflicting statements, it’s likely to go down as no-fault.
    Something similar happened to me out in Virginia and though the cops did come (I’m pretty sure in Maryland and DC they don’t come unless a car needs towing or someone needs medical attention, but apparently in Virginia they do), the cops weren’t able to assess fault and the insurance companies adjudicated it as no-fault.
    It’s annoying, but you sorta have to chalk this up to the costs of car ownership. Your insurance will probably cover the damage and it probably won’t noticeably affect your premiums. At least that was my experience.

  • HaileUnlikely

    Also, the probability of this guy getting an insurance payout from your insurance is about zero. Although this received more coverage in the context of David Grosso’s failed Pedestrian and Bicyclist Protection Whatever Act, DC’s arcane insurance principle of contributory negligence will almost certainly shield you here. Even if your insurance company buys the premise that you cut him off, the driver who rear-ends the other driver will never be found 0% culpable, and even in the asinine event that they were to find you 99% culpable and him 1% culpable, he would not get a payout. There are only about 3 or 4 jurisdictions in the entire US that still play that way, and DC is one of them.

    • That’s interesting. I guess it’s worth noting that in my case we were in Springfield and both had VA insurance. Hopefully the OP will have a better outcome.

  • tonyr

    He gave you his name AND SSN! That’s a daft thing to do.

  • Immediately get out and take pics of the damage and cars in relation to each other.
    In July a taxi hit me head on Totalling my Beamer. Later on that month I got broadsided by a guy making an illegal U turn on Michigan ave. They both lied… Pictures don’t

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