Car accidents may be preventable but as statistics show, you’re likely to have three or four car accidents in your driving lifetime. Even seasoned drivers aren’t an exception to this. Someone else may hit your parked car and if a car accident occurs, you may not be at fault.
You may know what to do when you’re responsible for an accident. More than likely, you’ll call your insurance company on the spot. But do you know what to do after a car accident that’s not your fault?
We’ve got information to help you here. Read on to learn more.
What to Do in a Car Accident
Shock and confusion can overwhelm you in a car accident. You may not get a grip on the events that may occur because they often happen so rapidly. But if you’re not seriously injured, it would help to stay calm.
The other motorist may attempt to avoid responsibility or flee the scene of the accident. You need evidence to reinforce your claim. Collect the names, address, and insurance information of the other driver as well as photos of the accident scene for visual proof of the accident.
Don’t forget to collect information from the witnesses. Most of the time they have a clearer picture of the events preceding the accident. Get their contact info in case the insurance company may ask for further evidence.
Wait for the law enforcement to arrive as you contemplate what to do in a car accident that’s not your fault. You need a copy of the police report to file your insurance claim. Plus, your presence and statement to the police can provide further proof you aren’t at fault.
Whom to Contact After a Car Accident
After the accident, you may need to contact your insurer and the other driver’s insurer. Your insurer can help you out when the other party escapes responsibility. They can also guide on what to do when in a car accident that’s not your fault.
Sometimes, you may need to make a collision claim if the at-fault driver’s insurance isn’t valid. In some states such as Michigan, the other driver can only partially cover the caused damage. In such cases, your insurance company is liable for your losses if you had collision coverage.
When to Call Your Attorney
Generally, whether to call an attorney depends entirely on the nature of an accident. Your insurance company can handle any simple case where the damage is minimal. You can also assess the damage to ascertain whether there’s enough reason to call an attorney.
Usually, hiring an attorney can assure you professionalism. Auto accident compensation cases involve lawyers and adjusters from the onset. As a result, you may not be comfortable dealing with the case by yourself.
An attorney can provide expert advice when there’s an issue with the fault or settlement value. You may also call an attorney when a severe injury has occurred to you or one of the passengers.
Sometimes, the police report may be inaccurate or the insurer may not be honest with some terms. An auto accident attorney can always guide you on the complex Auto no-fault law. Click here to learn more.
Avoid Jumping Into a Settlement
The other insurance company may deny the claim based on insufficient evidence. They may also suggest a quick settlement to avoid large compensation. The decision of whether to accept a settlement lies with you.
But make sure you’re not short-changed or exploited. Hire an attorney and sue the other driver or insurance company if need be. But you must ensure you’ve enough evidence and the claim can cover for legal fees.
Understand Your Rights After a Car Accident
What does the law say about what to do after a car accident that’s not your fault? In no-fault states, the other driver’s insurer settles your claim including medical bills. You can even sue for severe injuries as long as your case is reasonable.
States with no-fault insurance laws require you to file the claim with your insurer, regardless of your liability. Every driver uses personal injury insurance to cover medical costs and lost income even for the passengers.
Dealing with Car Damages When You’re Not at Fault for the accident
Regardless of your state, you’re entitled to recover entire damages resulting from the accident. The other insurance company may accept liability and pay for the repairs of your cars. If they delay the compensation, you can use your insurance.
Using your insurer is the most comfortable way of getting your car repaired. Your insurer won’t mind paying for the repairs from your policy. They may also hasten the process.
The only downside to using your collision coverage is that your insurer may need you to pay a deductible amount. You may also be liable for rental fees when your car is undergoing repair.
But note, your rental reimbursement coverage can cover the rental fees. Even the deductible amount is likely to be refunded if the other insurer accepts liability.
What to Do with an Uninsured Motorist or a Totaled Car?
You may be more confused about what to do in a car accident that’s not your fault. Especially when your car is a total wreck or the other motorist has no insurance. The uninsured motorist and the underinsured motorist coverage can stand for you.
The two covers can bail you out when a severe injury occurs during an accident. They can also step in when the at-fault driver has no insurance or their policy has a low limit. You can also rely on the policies when the other driver is missing or fled.
For a written-off car, the at-fault driver’s insurer should cover your vehicle’s actual value. Here, the adjuster confirms that repairing your car may be beyond its fair market value. They will arrive at the real value by deducting the depreciation amounts from the market value.
Learn What to Do After a Car Accident Not Your Fault
Handling a car accident can be complicated for anyone but these steps on what to do in a car accident that’s not your fault should ease you through the process. You can ask your attorney any question about anything that may seem puzzling.
Sometimes dealing with these types of life events can be scary. We share a lot of tips and tricks about overcoming even the setbacks that seem the biggest. Head over to our blog for more articles.