As a responsible driver, you probably do everything in your power to limit your risk for a collision. Unfortunately, not everybody shares the same dedication to safety on the road. Even if you follow all of the rules, someone texting at the wheel or driving after a few drinks could easily crash into you despite your best efforts to stay safe.
While you may have a great insurance policy, when the other driver is the one who causes the crash, it will be their insurance that pays out for the damages you suffered. If you need to repair or replace your vehicle, that could cost thousands of dollars. Medical expenses could also quickly add up, especially if there are several people in the car at the time of the crash.
What do you do about insurance in the wake of a car crash caused by another driver?
You can file a claim against the other driver’s policy
It is common practice for people to exchange insurance information at the scene of a crash so that both parties have the information they need to manage their costs from the collision.
If you choose to directly file a claim with their insurance, it’s important that you remember that insurance companies are all for-profit businesses, but what loyalty they have to consumers will generally benefit their policyholders, not the claimants you need compensation.
Be careful about any statements you make in writing to the insurance company for the other driver. Know your rights when it comes to making a recorded statement, including the right to bring your attorney with you. Be prepared for the possibility that you could receive a low initial settlement offer from the insurance company.
Maintain your own records and put a price on the impact of the crash
In order to successfully advocate for yourself, you need to know your rights and know the value of the claim. Insurance companies have a legal obligation to fulfill the terms of their policies in good faith.
When a company delays payout or repeatedly makes inappropriately low offers, they may have engaged in bad faith insurance practices that you can hold them accountable for. From protecting yourself during the investigation process to advocating for yourself during the claim and negotiation process, it’s important to educate yourself and push for the best possible outcome after a crash leaves you hurt or your vehicle severely damaged.