It is unwise to deal with the “at fault” driver’s car insurance company. It’s your insurer who will help you make the best of your insurance.
A few months ago, Laura – one of our customers, contacted us for help. She had a car accident then. Her car got hit, and some parts of it were heavily damaged. Thanks to the call with us, she was later able to get the money to pay for her car repair. She shared with us she felt so lucky that she contacted us right in time to get the help she needed.
If you are in the same situation as Laura or want to know how to take advantage of your car insurance when you have a car accident that the other party causes, read this article for further guidelines.
What you should do immediately after being in a car accident
Getting involved in a car accident may be a traumatic experience for anyone. As you are at the accident scene, of course, the first thing to do is make sure that everyone is safe and those injured are sent to the hospital. Once this has settled, remember to exchange relevant information with others at the screen, such as contact information, driver’s license information, and anyone who witnessed the accident.
As you arrive home safe and sound, try to contact your car insurance agent as soon as possible.
The importance of getting in touch with your car insurance agent right away
When an accident happens, you will soon be contacted by the driver’s insurance company who was at fault. They will try to ask you to recite the situation in detail and mention compensation. If you cannot deal with the other driver’s insurance adjuster effectively, the compensation you eventually receive may be much less than you deserve. To avoid this scenario, let your insurer deal with the other driver’s insurer.
Your insurer will be your ally in helping you pursue an insurance claim against the driver who caused the accident or their insurance company. Remember that the other driver’s insurance company will try to minimize the damage that you experienced.
For instance, the driver’s insurance company that caused the accident will not agree with you that your car is 80% damaged. Therefore, that company will not immediately give you the money to repair your car, and in the meantime, you also need money to afford your daily transportation. At this time, if you inform your insurer of the accident, they can help you pay for the repairs and the transportation fees.
In addition to the loss in terms of property, you may have to care about the medical expenses if you were injured in the accident. Depending on where you live and your car insurance policy, you can ask your own insurance company to pay for those medical expenses.
Information that you should provide your insurance company
When contacting your insurer, try to give them as many details as possible. This information may be beneficial to your insurer when they investigate your case:
- the date, time, and place of the accident.
- name, address, and contact number of those involved in the accident and by-passers (if any)
- the insurance company information of the drivers that caused the accident
- the law enforcement agency responding to the accident
Things to note about the guilty driver’s car insurance company
After the accident, you can expect to receive a phone call from an adjuster of the “at fault” driver’s company. Whether you answer the call and how you answer it may significantly affect your claim after that.
If the accident is severe (including considerable damage and injuries), you should not talk to the adjuster from the other driver’s company.
Remember, you are under no legal obligation to talk with the other driver’s insurance company. In most cases, you had better not to. This is because they aim to undermine the damage that their insured caused and negotiate the compensation at the lowest possible rate.
There are many ways for the other driver’s insurer to do this. Their adjusters may ask you very tricky questions regarding your injuries or your car damage. These questions often mislead you to answer in a way that puts you at a disadvantage. Sometimes, adjusters can give you some facts that you are unclear about and ask you in a rush manner to make you say yes or no. Just a faux pas may put you in a very disadvantaged situation.
Many of our clients have complained about how they received meager compensation for their loss after talking with the guilty party’s insurer representatives. Unfortunately, by the time they told us, there was nothing that we could do to help them.
The solution here is to let your insurance take care of the deal. Many insurance companies have car accident attorneys or adjusters who can speak on your behalf. Just contact your carriers as soon as you can and leave the rest to them.
If the accident is minor and the other driver is clearly at fault, you can talk to their insurer to make the compensation process faster.
It would be best if you tried to get your insurer to talk to the other driver’s insurer. However, this is not always the case, especially if it was a minor accident. In this case, you want to speak with the other driver’s car insurance company to get things done faster. If so, here are some notes that can be useful:
- Don’t tell the insurer that your injuries are not severe. Sometimes, it may take a few days for injuries to show up, and in many cases, they can turn out to be much more severe than you imagine.
- Don’t allow your statement to be recorded. Remember that any evidence of your recorded or written statement can later be used against your claim.
- Only answer the question asked.
- Don’t answer questions that you are unsure of. Vague answers like “I guess so” can be counter effective.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s not rare to see insurers trying to diminish the caused damage. They are trying not to lose money. In your case, as the police cited the other driver, it is unlikely that s/he can deny the responsibility.
To ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to, we suggest you gather evidence to substantiate your injuries. You should also check if your dash camera recorded the accident scene. Once you have these in hand, send this to your insurer and ask them to work on your behalf. When situations get complicated, it’s better to have your insurer as your legal representative.
Hiring a car accident attorney means that you must pay for the service. Therefore, if the accident is not too severe, you should still count on your company.
If you feel that the process is taking and the accident involves heavy damage, you may consult an attorney. This comes in handy, especially when the other side is beating around the bush and seems to duck the responsibility. Also, it is true that when an attorney is involved, both your insurer and the other will feel the stress to push things a little bit faster.
In most cases, insurers will make a compensation offer according to their evaluation of the car’s value. However, if you feel unsatisfied with the settlement, you don’t have to accept it. Instead, you can counter with a higher offer. Be strict and ask for what you deserve when you have unmistakable evidence about your loss and that the other party is clearly at fault.
Sometimes, adjusters may want to schedule a private meeting with you instead of making a phone call to make things less tense. Meeting in person will help the adjusters understand more about you as a person should the case proceed to litigation.
We do not encourage you to do this since some adjusters may trick you into saying things that put you in a disadvantaged situation in the future. As discussed in our article, the best solution is to entrust your insurer to deal with the other party.
Compensation from the person or company legally accountable for your injuries is referred to as “damages.” The amount of damage may be decided by involved parties after a settlement. A judge or jury may also decide it after a civil trial.
Usually, you can expect to receive special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages. Special compensatory damages include medical expenses and lost income. Meanwhile, general compensatory damages compensate for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and punitive damages.