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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Do I Need to Tell My Car Insurance If Someone Hits Me?

Car accidents are one of the most stressful things vehicle owners can go through. First, there is the terrifying possibility of death and severe injury. But, even if the wreck was not serious, there is still the matter of insurance.

In case the accident victim was not at fault for the collision, the procedure seems simple. They need to contact the insurance company of the other party involved and file a claim for the damage done to the vehicle.

However, what about the injured party’s own insurance company? Do they need to notify their insurance agent if they were not at fault for the accident?

What to Do After an Accident

What to Do After an Accident

Accidents are incredibly traumatic events. Even if they’re not serious, they can still leave car victims confused, disoriented, and unsure about what to do. This is why it’s always a good idea to be prepared. In the event of a car wreck, there are several steps victims should take to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

1. Check for Injuries

Before doing any kind of paperwork, victims must first prioritize their health and safety. Things like shock and adrenaline work together to mask any potential injuries in the heat of the moment. Therefore, victims should inspect themselves for injuries.

2. Call Law-Enforcement

After seeking safety away from the crash site, it's important to call law enforcement. Even if the accident was minor, certain states require by law that anyone involved in a car accident contacts the police immediately after the collision occurred. The police will then document all the details about the accident, which will help determine who was at fault.

3. Exchange Information and Document the Details of the Accident

Even if law enforcement is there to document the accident, insurance companies recommend victims do that themselves as well. This includes exchanging information with other parties involved in the accident, like their full name, license plate number, insurance company name, and policy number. This will later help victims seek reparation for any damage they sustained during the accident.

Do I Need to Tell My Car Insurance If Someone Hits Me?

If they establish that they were not at fault for the crash, what should victims do next? The most obvious step is to contact the other driver’s insurance and seek damages. However, what about their own insurance? Do victims need to contact them as well?

The answer is a resounding yes. Regardless of who was at fault, victims should tell insurance companies about any car accidents they may have been involved in for one simple reason—it will help them get the best possible outcome. For example, victims with collision coverage can get the cost of repairing their vehicle covered immediately following the accident.

Once the insurance company determines that the victim didn’t cause the accident, they will make sure the other driver’s insurance pays to get the victims’ vehicle fixed. If the victim suffered bodily harm, insurance companies can get the other party to cover medical bills as well.

Do insurance companies offer settlements? Though collision coverage doesn’t account for personal injury, if the other party caused the accident, then the victim’s insurance can use subrogation to get them to cover both the damage to the vehicle and medical expenses. Either way, contacting their insurance right after the accident will ensure the victim gets the most out of their policy. The same concept applies to needing a lawyer if you were rear-ended.

What If I Don’t Contact My Insurance?

If for whatever reason, victims chose not to contact their insurance, they could face some very serious issues. For one, their insurance company might deny their claim, leaving the injured party to cover the costs out of pocket.

Though they can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance, this has its downsides. For one, the other driver’s company will investigate the claim themselves. Since it’s in their interest to protect their client, the company will try to prove their client was not at fault, and deny the claim.

The other option is to sue the driver for damages. But if the owner never filed a police report, the other driver can deny fault. This could drag out the court case, and incur high legal fees—fees the owner will have to cover out of pocket should they end up losing the case.

In Summary

When it comes to car accidents, dealing with insurance companies can get tricky. If the owner was not at fault for the collision they may be tempted to not contact their insurance. However, that only gives insurance companies a chance to deny their claim in the event things go wrong with the other driver’s insurance company.

Therefore, victims should contact their providers to make sure they get the best possible outcome. For injured parties who want to inform themselves on all their insurance options, especially on cases involving personal injuries, the car accident lawyers in Des Moines from Tom Fowler Law is ready to help them get the justice they deserve.

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