How Car Accident Insurance Claims Work When It’s Not Your Fault
Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be incredibly stressful, but there are certain steps you can take to maintain your cool and get through the process as quickly and easily as possible.
Below is some general information about how insurance claims work when an accident is not your fault—and how you can come out of the claims process with a positive outcome.
Begin by gathering necessary information
The person who crashed into your vehicle is responsible for reporting the accident to his or her own insurance company, but it is a good idea to contact that insurer as well. This helps ensure the report actually happens.
Make sure you have collected information such as the name, address, and insurance information of the other driver, statements and contact information from any witnesses and pictures of the accident scene. This will help you during your discussions with the insurance companies.
You may also get in touch with the police department that responded to your accident and obtain a copy of the police report. This will provide you with some additional third-party evidence that could support your case.
Be prepared for pushback
Even when you are not at fault for an accident, you may find your insurance company is rather unwilling to cut you a break. For example, if you are talking to the other driver’s insurance company, that company may take its policyholder’s side, even if the accident was his or her fault.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company might ask you to seek payment from your own provider because it does not have evidence of fault on the part of its policyholder. This is where it’s important to have collected that evidence early in the process.
If you do discuss the case with your own insurance company first, it might choose to seek compensation from the other insurance company if it determines the other driver to be at fault.
If it turns out you are left to fight the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your own, you will need the assistance of a car accident attorney, especially if you have suffered serious injuries or substantial property damage.
Use your insurance company as a fallback option
Even if you were not at fault for a crash, you can still make a claim with your own insurance company to secure compensation for your damages and injuries—assuming you have purchased that type of policy. You should only go this route if it appears it will be impossible to get the other driver’s insurance policy to provide compensation.
For example, if you have collision insurance, you may file a claim with your insurer to cover the costs of repairs or total loss of your car. You will need to pay your deductible if you take this approach, but you could get your money back later if your insurer is ultimately able to settle with the other insurer.
For more information on the processes associated with filing an insurance claim after a car accident, contact a skilled South Carolina personal injury lawyer at The Rembert Law Firm.