If you’ve been in a car crash, you may be considering filing a claim with an insurance company for damage to your vehicle (property damage), injuries, and medical bills. An important question that comes up early is, “Which company do I file a claim with? Mine, or the other driver’s?” This is an important decision and should be decided carefully depending on the circumstances of your case. Here’s how it works.
Filing with your own insurance. If you choose to file a property damage claim with your own insurance company, you may get paid quicker. If you were not at fault, your insurance company will ultimately go after the other driver to recover what they’ve paid to you. The downside is you may still have to pay your deductible, and depending on what your insurance company recovers from the other driver, you may not get your deductible back.
Filing with the other driver’s insurance company. This can be a hassle, but sometimes it is necessary and one of the best ways to ensure you get what you deserve. That is why it’s important to get the other driver’s insurance information as soon as possible after the crash. Without that, you can’t file your claim with their insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that their insurance company will probably be looking for ways to deny your claim, blame you for all or part of the incident, or maybe even come after you for damages to the other driver. Be careful with what you say, both verbally and in writing. Phone calls may be recorded, and your words can be misconstrued. Because of this, we believe it’s a good idea to have an attorney represent you when you’re making a claim against an insurance company – remember, handling claims is what insurance adjusters do for a living, and you may have never had to do this before.
Filing a lawsuit against the other driver. This is a third option. This is typically, though not always, done after attempting to recover from insurance. If the other driver is uncooperative or the insurance settlement is not what you deserve, you may need to go to court to recover. If it comes down to this, you will definitely want an attorney to help you navigate the court system. Minor mistakes can end up forfeiting what you deserve.
If you’ve been in a car crash, give us a call. We will explain your options and help you decide how to pursue recovering monetary damages depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.