In the US, road traffic crashes result in about 4.4 million emergency department visits and over 38,000 fatalities every year, according to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). If another motorist crashes into your car, you should file a car insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer. However, while the other person’s insurance company will process your claim, in most cases you shouldn’t hope for a quick resolution and payment. The insurer may want to look into the incident to ascertain whether their client was at fault.
Can You Fix the Problem Using Your Car Insurance?
While you may want to make the at-fault driver pay for his/her error, in some cases you’re better off relying on your insurance, regardless of who is at fault. Here are a few scenarios where you should use your insurance.
In states that have enacted no-fault insurance laws, your first claim should be with your auto insurer. To cover the cost of injury, no-fault states require PIP insurance (personal injury protection). You can only sue the other driver if you meet the given qualifications that are defined in each state. In many cases, you can only sue if there are serious injuries or death. You can still make a property damage claim with the other driver’s liability insurance. In states that don’t have no-fault laws, MedPay (medical payments) and PIP provide similar coverage.
If an at-fault driver doesn’t have adequate insurance coverage to cover your injury claims, you can sue them for the uncovered damages. However, that won’t be worth it if they don’t have assets. In this case, you can turn to your underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage pays for medical bills when the at-fault driver’s insurance is inadequate.
Choosing Not to Deal with the Other Driver’s Insurer
Instead of filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company who’ll often make you jump through the hoops before they reimburse you, you can rely on your insurance to cover vehicle damage. If you have collision insurance coverage, you can use it to pay for car damage resulting from someone else. The disadvantage is that you’ll have to pay a collision deductible. However, you may get your deductible back if the other person’s insurance company agrees to reimburse your insurer.
Car Accident Insurance Claim
If after a crash, the offending driver refuses to admit guilt regardless of evidence, their insurer may support their story to avoid compensating you for the claim. In this case, you can get an attorney and sue the other driver. If the likely compensation is small (about $5,000), you should file your case in small claims courts, which have reasonable filing fees and take a shorter time (one to two months) to hold a hearing.
What Should You Do at the Scene of the Accident?
According to Insurance Information Institute (III), you should immediately call and file a police report on the accident. Additionally, you should note the officer’s badge number and name, as well as ask for a copy of the police report. You should also exchange information with all the drivers involved in the incident, including insurance ID card, vehicle registration info, driver’s license number. Finally, document the details of the accident by taking pictures.
Understand Your Coverage
You should go through your car insurance policy to understand your coverage. Without the right auto insurance coverage, you cannot file a successful auto insurance claim. At McCarty Insurance, our experts will help you find a car insurance policy that suits your needs. Visit us today to get started on your tailored coverage.