Anytime you are involved in a car accident, one of your first questions is how you will be compensated for your damages. This is especially true if you believe the other driver involved is at fault. You may think it is reasonable to believe that if the other driver caused the accident, you would only need to speak to their insurance company for compensation, not your own. However, not calling your insurance company after an accident would be a mistake.
You should call your insurance company after a crash for many reasons, regardless of whether you caused the accident. Consider the following scenarios:
- You are required to report the accident: Most insurance policies require you to notify them in the event of an accident, regardless of fault. This may jeopardize future claims and your coverage; some insurance companies may even drop you if you do not disclose that you were in an accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage: The other driver may not have insurance or at least enough coverage to pay for your damages, including car repairs and medical bills. In this scenario, a driver would go through their insurance policy and utilize their uninsured/underinsured coverage, usually a separate coverage you can purchase.
- Contacting the negligent driver’s insurance: If you need to file a claim, contact your insurance company and have them represent you, or hire an experienced attorney to contact them on your behalf. Contacting the other driver’s insurance can harm your claim.
- Someone was injured: Another reason to contact your insurance company is if someone is injured in the accident, including yourself. Many insurance policies have a bodily injury liability portion, which covers injuries to the other driver.
- You suffered significant damage: Even if an accident was not your fault, you should contact your insurance company, especially if you suffered major damage. Many insurance policies have property damage liability covering the other driver’s repairs if you were at fault. If you suffered major damage and the other driver was at fault, their property damage liability can cover your damages up to their coverage limit.
No-Fault Vs. At-Fault States
The no-fault and at-fault insurance rules may be the biggest reason to contact your insurance company following a car accident. Each state has a no-fault or at-fault insurance rule.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state. However, if the accident resulted in severe or permanent injury or death, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver. Unfortunately, if you file a claim with your own insurance company in a no-fault state, there is a chance your rates will go up, even if it was not your fault.
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Injured Accident Victims Seek Compensation for Their Damages
Whether an accident is your fault or not, you want to contact your insurance company for various reasons. Sometimes, an insurance company may offer you a settlement that does not fully cover your damages. In this case, you may need a legal advocate on your side. Our Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C.are here to help. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.