First, the driver who caused the accident is just as responsible as you are to notify their insurance company. But there are times the responsible driver is reluctant to do so.
So rule #1…make sure you contact their insurance company as well as your own! Give them ONLY THE FACTS! Remember…no discussion about your feelings, who you think is at fault, etc. You’re just reporting the accident to be sure they are aware. They will insure their client has contacted them and will follow up with the authorities to get a copy of the accident report to begin the process on their end.
Rule #2…look out for yourself! Even if their insurance company confirms the facts of the accident with law enforcement and agrees with their assessment, they may require you to get authorization before you move forward with any repairs to your vehicle or any medical treatment. So to protect yourself, keep these things in mind:
Chances are you will receive an initial offer fairly quickly. DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED TO ACCEPT THE FIRST OFFER YOU GET. In fact, too many people accept the initial offer and find out when it’s too late that the offer barely scratches the surface of their repair and medical costs. And once it’s been accepted and spent, you won’t be able to go back for more money.
You always have the option to try and negotiate a better settlement agreement. Insurance adjusters have the authority to settle your accident within a specified dollar range. It’s certainly possible to represent yourself against a big insurance company and do so with a satisfactory outcome.
But before you decide to go this route, consider these two questions:
In future sections, we’ll discuss these topics:
Let us know what’s on your mind and what topics you’d like for us to cover? We want to provide as much help to our community as we can and in the process, protect you and your rights if you are ever involved in an accident!