A million thoughts cross your mind when you are in a car accident. Among these thoughts, you may wonder, do I call my insurance if an accident is not my fault?
The short answer is yes. Even if you were not responsible for causing your accident, you must still contact your insurer to report it; however, hiring a car accident attorney in New Port Richey to handle this communication is beneficial, even though it is your insurer.
After a car accident, do not hesitate to consult with a skilled car accident lawyer about your claim and how to be compensated for any injuries. An attorney can take the guesswork out of a motor vehicle accident claim and give you confidence and peace of mind.
Am I Required to Notify My Insurance After an Accident?
Most insurance companies require their policyholders to notify them after an accident, regardless of fault. Many people are unaware of some of the requirements for reporting an accident. The timeline given to you by your insurer depends on the insurance company itself. Your policy information typically contains this information.
Some insurers are vague, simply requiring their policyholders to contact them promptly after a crash, while others give stricter timelines, like within seven days. While you need to know when your insurance company wants you to tell it about an accident, they likely won’t cancel your insurance if you miss it by a little bit.
Whether you played a part in causing your accident or you were completely innocent in the whole event, insurance companies still want to know when the vehicle they insure has sustained damage in a crash.
The Role of the Insurance Company After an Accident
The primary reason drivers have car insurance is to protect them after a collision. Therefore, after an accident, the insurance company can provide the compensation you need and deserve.
If you’re the victim of a collision, you should not pay for your medical bills and other costs out of your own pocket. For this reason, you can file a collision claim with the insurance company for money to cover the damages stemming from your collision. Depending on the policy, car insurance can help pay for injury-related expenses and property damage.
Regardless, insurance companies can be challenging to communicate and negotiate with. A car accident lawyer has the skills and resources to deal with insurance companies and fight for your right to monetary recovery.
How Do I File a Claim With My Own Insurance if I’m Not at Fault?
After an accident, you’ll need to file a collision claim with the insurance company. However, which insurance company you file your claim with depends on your state’s fault laws.
States can either operate under fault or no-fault rules when it comes to vehicle collisions.
If you’re involved in an accident in an at-fault state, the at-fault party is financially responsible. Therefore, you will file a third-party insurance claim under their insurance to seek compensation.
Conversely, if your accident occurs in a no-fault state, you can file a collision claim under your own insurance policy.
Even though certain states follow no-fault rules, it does not mean the responsible driver gets away scot-free. If, after careful investigation, you have no fault in your collision, your insurance company can later pursue reimbursement from the responsible driver’s insurance company for the money paid out to you for your collision.
A car accident attorney can better explain your state’s fault laws to determine the best way to pursue financial recovery for your crash.
The Importance of Contacting Your Insurer After a Collision
Aside from the responsibility as an insured driver to report your accident, there are several other reasons why contacting your insurer after a crash is critical. Some of the key reasons follow.
The Insurance Company Needs Information Regarding Your Collision
Your insurer not only wants to know a collision occurred, but they’ll also need to know:
- The date, time, and location of the crash
- The contact and insurance information of all parties involved in the accident
- Whether someone called the police, and if so, which law enforcement agency responded to the scene
- Details regarding the damage to vehicles and injuries sustained
While you may feel like you have to go into specific detail regarding your accident, you don’t. Just provide the necessary information clearly and concisely. What you say can affect your claim.
Your Insurance Adjuster Can Begin Investigating Your Accident
When you report your accident to your insurer, they will assign an adjuster to your case. The insurance adjuster takes on many jobs, including investigating your accident and handling vehicle towing and repairs.
Additionally, insurance adjusters can also calculate your damages and determine how much your claim is worth.
The Quicker You Contact Your Insurance, the Sooner You Can Get Started on Your Accident Claim
Nothing happens as long as the insurance company is unaware of your accident. After a collision, don’t sit idly by waiting to take action. The sooner you contact the insurance company and get going on your claim, the quicker you can work toward obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Let an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Contact the Insurance Company for You
While you might believe you can contact your insurance company and handle your claim, having a car accident lawyer do it for you is always the best choice for several reasons.
It’s normal to think, “If it’s my own insurer, why do I need a lawyer?” Even so, at the end of the day, your insurance company is an insurance company. Insurers are known to be difficult and make it challenging to recover compensation. Therefore, having your attorney communicate with your insurance company eliminates any potential mishaps.
This is especially important if you end up filing a claim under your own insurance company. Whether it’s a PIP, or personal injury protection claim, or an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, you want to make sure you don’t do or say anything that can hinder your chances of recovering compensation.
Having a car insurance lawyer communicate with your insurance company can turn out to be better for your claim in the long run. So, after an accident, be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
How a Car Accident Lawyer in New Port Richey Can Help Your Case
If you’re interested in getting the absolute most from your claim, you always want to have an attorney handle your case. Of the many reasons why you should hire an attorney, below are some of the most significant.
A Lawyer Better Understands Laws and Procedures
If you’ve never seen a car accident claim through from beginning to end, you may not be familiar with your state’s laws and procedures. Having a full understanding of these details is critical to the success of your claim.
A car accident lawyer has years of experience handling car accident claims. Whether your case can resolve directly with the insurance company or you need to file a personal injury lawsuit for fair compensation, you can trust your case is in the most capable hands.
A Lawyer Can Handle All Case-Related Tasks Promptly and Properly
Even the simplest collision claims require many tasks. On top of that, there are deadlines to keep in mind, like statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits filed in court.
Some of the tasks your car accident attorney can handle include:
- Investigating the cause of your accident
- Requesting and obtaining pertinent information and evidence
- Calculating the value of your claim
- Communicating with the insurance companies
- Negotiating for a fair settlement
- Filing a lawsuit, if necessary
When you have a lawyer on your side, you can feel at ease. It is a gift to focus on your physical and mental recovery while your attorney does the heavy lifting.
An Accident Attorney Knows How to Prove Who’s at Fault
Establishing the other party’s fault is critical for pursuing compensation in a car accident claim. Your car accident attorney can provide proof to substantiate their claims.
Strong evidence is important to show the other party’s fault.
Evidence can include:
- Police reports
- Photos and videos
- Surveillance footage
- Witness statements
If negligent behavior was the cause of your accident, your lawyer can satisfy the required elements to prove the other party’s negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
There’s no room for error when it comes to proving fault. Fortunately, your car accident attorney has the tools and skills to handle the job.
A Lawyer Can Prevent the Insurance Company From Taking Advantage of You
It’s no secret insurance companies have tactics they use to take advantage of unknowing car accident victims, even if they are dealing with injuries and not to blame. This is especially true when victims go unrepresented.
Because of their years of experience, car accident attorneys have heard and seen it all. They often know what to anticipate and can predict the insurance company’s moves before they even make them. Lawyers are intimately familiar with all the ways insurance companies attempt to devalue and deny claims.
However, when you have a lawyer handling your case, insurance companies know they can get away with much less.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Reach a More Favorable Outcome
In most cases, individuals with attorneys fare better than those who choose to handle their claims solo.
There are a few reasons why claims handled by lawyers have better results. Not only does an attorney simply know how to navigate a claim better, but they also know how to accurately determine the value of your case. Calculating damages and figuring out how much your case is worth is key to pursuing the fairest possible compensation.
You can trust your lawyer to assign a dollar amount to your case, take on every challenge, and stop at nothing until you get the compensation you deserve.
Handling the at-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
After a car accident, you don’t only have to worry about your own insurance company but also the other driver’s insurance company. Therefore, you have to know how to deal with them, which generally involves letting your lawyer handle them.
Let Your Lawyer Communicate with the Other Driver’s Insurer
If you think communicating with your own insurance company is risky, that’s nothing compared to the other driver’s insurer. This is particularly true if you’re filing a third-party claim and seeking financial recovery from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Whether it’s answering questions or negotiating a settlement, you want to leave it all up to your lawyer. They know exactly what to say and do to represent your best interests.
Avoid Speaking to the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
Don’t be surprised if the other driver’s insurance company comes calling shortly after a car accident. They’ll veil their true intentions by innocently requesting a recorded statement, but don’t fall for this—they have ulterior motives.
When you give a recorded statement, they hope you’ll say something they can twist and use against you, whether your comments were intentional or not. You can never trust an insurance company even if you think you’re measuring your words well enough.
If the at-fault’s insurer contacts you, just inform them you cannot speak with them without your attorney.
After a Collision, Consult With a Qualified Car Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible
After a car accident, your insurance company needs to know what happened, even if the collision was not your fault. However, you don’t need to contact them yourself, even if it is your insurer. Doing so can start your claim off on the wrong foot, and make it impossible to get your case back on track.
Consult a car accident lawyer for guidance and assistance as soon as you can. You can let your attorney contact your insurance company and provide all the necessary information to get started on your claim. The sooner you allow your lawyer to begin working on your claim, the quicker you can obtain fair compensation.