Getting into a car accident is a serious situation, as you’ll likely deal with injuries, property damage, emotional trauma, and more. Most states across the U.S. require motorists to carry specific types and amounts of insurance coverage to help with the financial fallout from a car accident. Unfortunately, getting the assistance and compensation you deserve after an accident isn’t always easy.
For many, it helps to know how to deal with the other driver’s insurance company after an accident to get the most efficient and fair settlement for your trouble.
Knowing the Limitations of Your Own Car Insurance Company
Depending on what the legal requirements are in your state, you may have an automotive policy through an insurance company termed liability coverage. This coverage takes care of the other driver in the event of a car accident, whether assisting with medical bills, property damage, or death and funeral expenses. You could also have the following insurance coverages:
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Personal injury protection
When you have uninsured or underinsured coverage, the expenses you incur because of another driver who doesn’t have insurance or who doesn’t have enough might be covered through the policy. It usually provides some funds for bodily injury and property damage.
If you have collision, comprehensive, or personal injury protection, you can use your car insurance company to address your injuries or property damage expenses. If you don’t carry these forms of coverage with your own insurance, you will need to use the other driver’s insurance company to cover your losses.
Knowing What Your Car Insurance Company Needs
When you are still on the accident scene, always call the local authorities to obtain an official police report. If there are injuries, be sure to call 911. In many places, law enforcement will arrive on the scene with the other first responders.
Other actions to take at the scene of the accident include getting the name and contact information of the driver. You will also want the name of the other driver’s insurer, the name and contact information for witnesses to the accident, and a copy of the report number if law enforcement is on the scene.
One thing to remember when on the scene is never to admit fault. A legal report will examine the details, take statements, and piece together what happened. If it’s the other driver’s fault, gathering evidence to support the claim is essential.
Communicating With Your Own Insurance Company
It’s important to contact your insurance company immediately after an accident, regardless of who is at fault. You will need to share the accident details with the insurance company representatives and provide any evidence you have for the situation. A representative will open a claim and inform you of what they need to move forward. Always respond to requests for documentation right away.
You may find that your insurance company is willing to handle the claim and take care of your expenses. In this case, your insurer provides the financial settlement and goes after the at-fault driver’s insurance for reimbursement.
Knowing How to Handle the At-Fault Driver
When you get into a car accident that is the fault of another driver, you have the legal right to pursue compensation through their insurance company. It’s for this reason that many states require specific insurance coverage. Getting the insurance company to provide fair and reasonable compensation can be tough, so many car accident victims choose to hire a car accident lawyer to help deal with the other person’s insurance company.
You never want to deal directly with the other driver if they have insurance coverage. They have no control over what their insurance company does. It’s best to follow formal channels when pursuing compensation.
An attorney knows your legal rights, and they also know how to deal with the other driver’s car insurance company. While you may get pushback or receive a low settlement offer from the other insurance company, a personal injury attorney knows how to work past the challenges and fight for fair compensation.
Communicating With the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
It’s important to remember that you aren’t under any legal obligation to speak to the other driver’s insurance company. Once an insurance claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will reach out to discuss the case. This individual is contacting you to find out the details of the case and see if you are at fault.
This is why you should never admit fault. Let the evidence and investigation reveal who caused the accident. An insurance adjuster focuses on protecting the company’s bottom line, so don’t get trapped into accepting an early offer to close the case.
Dealing With Pushback From the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
You have several legal rights when dealing with the other driver’s car insurance company. The insurance company’s representative may try to convince you otherwise, which is why getting legal representation is important. There are ways the at-fault driver’s insurance policy may try to stall you or persuade you to take an unfair settlement. It’s also common for them to try and deny claims. These methods include:
- Delaying the claims process by ignoring your calls or creating excessive paperwork requirements
- Making a quick settlement offer without looking at the evidence
- Pretending to be your friend with frequent calls to check on you
- Discouraging you from obtaining legal counsel by promising to work with you
- Twisting your words or using them out of context
When dealing with the insurance company for the other driver, always remember that they don’t represent you and won’t have your best interest at heart. Be bold as you make your insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Fighting for Your Legal Compensation After an Accident
An insurance carrier pays out several common elements in accident claims. These include medical expenses, vehicle repairs, emotional trauma, rental car expenses, and more. Although there are variations in how much a policy may offer, bodily injury, death or funeral benefits, and property damage are typically legal obligations across insurance companies and liability coverage.
If you are injured in an accident, you could use your medical insurance to pay for your treatment. However, if you aren’t liable for the accident, you can get the other driver’s insurance company to pay. Proof of the injury, medications, and treatments can come from medical records, letters from physicians, or other healthcare facilities.
If you are injured in an accident, don’t delay receiving medical treatment because you are worried about money. You can seek reimbursement through your accident claim.
In addition to having your medical bills taken care of after an accident, you can use the other driver’s insurance to pay for your lost wages. You can miss work because of the severity of your injury and the time spent in recovery, but you can also miss work for follow-up medical appointments or issues regarding your claim.
These can be a part of your claim against the at-fault party. If the accident results in a permanent disability, you could receive reimbursement for the long-term loss of income the accident caused.
The damage to your car during the accident is also the responsibility of the at-fault party. In some cases, you will need to provide the insurance company with repair estimates from a body shop when pursuing damages. This is usually the case if you want the insurer to settle with the repair shop directly.
If there is damage to personal property in the vehicle at the time of the accident, these items can also be included in the claim.
Figuring Out Settlement Offers
It can be hard to discern which settlement offer is right for your situation. The best settlement offer should fully satisfy the expenses, damages, and losses you experienced due to the accident. Having a competent attorney by your side while dealing with personal injury cases is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve.
Getting Help When You Need It
When you have questions about your accident and personal injury, you can turn to 1-800-Ask-Gary for answers. This free helpline can guide you through decisions regarding choosing a doctor or lawyer for your situation. Contact us today.