How To File An Insurance Claim If Someone Hit Your Car

 

 

 

How To File An Insurance Claim Burlington, New Jersey’s Christin Walker drives safely. She showed it by driving a school bus full of noisy and often rambunctious kids on country and city routes for 22 years.

Good drivers can have bad accidents. A hit-and-run driver who allegedly ran a red light totaled her secondhand 2006 Honda Civic a week after she bought it. Walker feels lucky she wasn’t wounded. A month later, that motorist killed a pedestrian in another accident.

She still owes money on the Honda rusting in a recycling center, has no car, and no insurance settlement. She’s mad enough to sue the car’s insurer.

Walker has company if she files an insurance claim. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 6 million police-reported collisions annually. Every year, 3 million individuals are wounded or killed in car accidents, resulting in countless lawsuits and insurance claims.

Making an Insurance Claim Against Another

The simplest way to handle a collision is to collect their liability insurance. Third-party claims include you as a third party to the other motorist and their insurer.

The other person’s insurer will process the claim, but payment may take time. The insurance may investigate the collision to determine if their customer was at fault.

Fixing the Problem with Insurance

 

How To File An Insurance Claim If Someone Hit Your Car

 

If insurance claims were easy, we’d all be experts. It’s normal to think someone should pay for an accident they created. Sometimes you need your auto insurance, even if someone else hits you. How could that happen?

1: No-fault states

In no-fault states, injury claims come first. These states mandate personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for this purpose. Each state has requirements for suing another driver. Before suing someone for a no-fault automobile crash, major injury or death is usually required. Property damage claims are normally covered by the other party’s liability insurance.

PIP and MedPay are common in states lacking no-fault laws. You and your passengers can use these for injury claims.

2: Underinsured driver

What if the driver doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for others’ injuries? If they have no assets, suing them for the rest may not be worth it. One alternative is to use your underinsured motorist policy if available. It covers medical expenditures when the other driver is uninsured.

3: Ignoring it. How To File An Insurance Claim

Instead of dealing with the other person’s insurance company, use yours for car damage. You can utilize collision insurance for other people’s car damage.

Unfortunately, your collision deductible will lower your insurance check. If your insurance company sues the other insurer, you may get your deductible back.

You can use your rental reimbursement coverage to get a rental while your car is being repaired for a collision claim.

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4: Car loan debt

Whether you’re suing someone else or using your collision insurance, your insurance should pay for the totaled car.

That doesn’t address the issue. automobile loans and leases can cost more than the automobile is worth. This can happen if you financed most of the car or if it depreciates quickly. Gap insurance can cover the difference between the insurance payment and the loan/lease balance.

You could sue. How To File An Insurance Claim

Hire a lawyer and sue the other driver for compensation.

If the other person starts blaming you, you may need to prove their guilt. A police report, scene images, and witness contact information will assist you in proving your innocence.

If the compensation for a car accident is around $3,000 and you have a strong case, consider taking the other driver to small claims court.

Each state has various minor claims court laws, although most local governments do. Filing fees are reasonable, and hearings usually take a month or two. You can subpoena the other motorist, the insurer’s claims adjuster, and anybody else involved in the accident. Have all your details and certified repair estimates.

The positive is that it forces the other person’s insurance company to send a lawyer and witnesses to court to support its case or dispute the lawsuit amount. This could prompt settlement talks.

Accident Scene

Protecting your lawsuit rights begins at the accident scene. Use an accident checklist to gather the necessary information.

Take care and remain safe. How To File An Insurance Claim

Step back, collect your breath, and check for injuries after a car accident. Even in a bumper hit, soft tissue damage can enhance insurance claim risks.

Even without injuries, the collision will be upsetting for everyone. In the inevitable driver information exchange, minimize road anger (yours and theirs). Park safely if possible. Don’t stand on a busy or fast road unless necessary. If possible, stay in the car, call 911, and wait for police.

Inform each other

If the other drivers are reasonable, help them submit a claim and you do too. Your insurance ID card is all someone else needs. Many insurers offer an automobile accident checklist in their mobile apps, or you can print one for the glove compartment.

Take pics. How To File An Insurance Claim

Your phone is the most important tool following a car accident. Take pics:

Damage to your car and others
License plates
Road conditions like ice, rain, or snow
Additional considerations include neighboring intersections and road signs
ID cards for other drivers’ insurance

Your phone should have date and time stamp photos. Witness names and phone numbers should be noted.

Get police officer info

Verify the responding police officer’s name and badge number, which may be written on any document. Get a copy of the police report and verify it immediately.

Contact your insurer. How To File An Insurance Claim

No matter who was at fault, notify your insurer immediately. Many insurers allow claims via mobile apps, so technology can help here too.

“Make sure to submit the claim within your insurer’s time limit,” recommends Insurance Information Institute vice president Loretta Worters. Ask your insurance if your policy has a time restriction for submitting bills, resolving claims disputes, and submitting extra information. Vehicle damage claims have 30-day deadlines.

Auto Claims Denied for Common Reasons

The auto insurance claims procedure can be frustrating. Claim denial reasons include:

The accident was preventable.

The insurance company may deny the claim if the accident was avoidable, such as letting an unlicensed driver drive.

No claim was filed in time.

Insurance companies prefer prompt claims. And it’s wise to do it before the damage muddies or the accident witnesses disappear. States may impose claim deadlines of one to 20 years.

Delaying medical care

After an accident, you may not realize your entire injuries. Delaying injury treatment may cause the insurance company to suspect the claim and investigate or deny it.

The facts are crucial following an accident. If you’re not sure, don’t speculate or assign blame at the scene. Talking throughout the claims procedure is inappropriate. Sharing too much information could hurt your claim.

If your auto insurance claim was denied, request a written explanation. You should know why the claim was denied and how to appeal. It could be an error or a valid denial, such as not having enough coverage for the claim.

Review the evidence and write a letter explaining how it contradicts the insurance company’s decision. If you’re uneasy disputing the denial alone, consider an attorney.

Understanding Basic Car Insurance Types for Claims

Read your auto insurance policy after a car accident to confirm your coverage. Your insurance agent may have informed you what you may and cannot get, but verify. This is when a reliable insurer pays off.

All automobile insurance companies provide the same basic coverage. The mandated ones differ by state, and certain optional coverage types are smart buys.

Liability insurance. How To File An Insurance Claim

All automobiles have liability insurance, the most basic. If you hit a person, automobile, or garden gnome in someone’s yard, you need this. Liability insurance covers medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Almost every state mandates minimum liability insurance, but amounts vary. California vehicle insurance requires $15,000 in injury coverage for one person in an accident. Florida vehicle insurance requires only $10,000 for injury coverage for one person in an accident. That coverage may not be enough for medical bills and today’s litigious society.

You can be sued for more than auto insurance. For people with assets and savings, hefty auto insurance protects them.

If you’re sued for an automobile accident, liability insurance covers your legal fees.

Consider an umbrella insurance policy if your assets exceed $500,000.

Insurance for collision

Collision insurance is optional unless your auto loan or lease requires it. This insurance covers car damage from hitting a pole or another car. The Insurance Information Institute reports that 75% of auto insurance holders have collision coverage.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are generally sold together. Comprehensive coverage is optional unless a car loan or lease requires it. It covers theft, fire, hail, vandalism, and other perils like hitting a deer or driving into a camouflaged brook.

No-fault auto insurance legislation

In some areas, no-fault auto insurance regulations allow smaller injury claims to be paid without determining responsibility. Instead of suing, insurers pay each party. Personal injury protection covers these claims.

Personal injury coverage

PIP is often paired with no-fault laws. It covers vehicle accident medical expenditures regardless of responsibility. No-fault laws don’t eliminate the potential of being sued, especially if the accident causes significant injury or death.

“True ‘no-fault’ accidents are very rare,” says insurance claim consultant Sandra Watts. “Unless an accident occurs in a no-fault state, some percentage will be attributed to each party, which usually results in one party being predominantly at fault.”

 

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