Do I Call My Insurance if It’s Not My Fault?

Insurance adjuster inspecting damage on a car's rear end, taking notes on a clipboard.

Even a minor car accident can force you to face many overwhelming and stressful questions and concerns, one of them being, “Do I call my insurance if it’s not my fault?”

This blog will answer that question in detail and provide you with a good understanding of how to move forward from your car accident.

The quick answer, however, is that you probably do need to notify your insurance company, even if the crash was not your fault—but hire a car accident lawyer to do it for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Whether to call your own insurance after an accident you didn’t cause depends on accident severity, policy requirements, and your comfort level.
  • Your own insurer may not always have your best interests in mind. Your insurance company could become an adversary in your case, if the other party is not insured or if they are underinsured. If your insurance policy requires you to notify it, have your car accident lawyer do this for you.
  • If you live in a no-fault state like New York, you must generally first go through your own insurance policy for medical coverage regardless of who caused the crash. A car accident lawyer can help you do this.
  • Protect your rights by taking care of what you say to adjusters, promptly getting medical care, tracking expenses, and watching what you post on social media.
  • Hiring a car accident attorney has many benefits, including handling insurer communications, thoroughly investigating the crash, negotiating settlements, and representing you in court if needed.

To Call or Not to Call Your Insurance After a Car Accident

The decision to call your own insurance company when an accident isn’t your fault depends on:

  1. Accident severity: Consult an attorney before contacting any insurance company after serious crashes.
  2. Policy requirements: Review your policy or check with your agent about your obligations for reporting accidents. However, speak cautiously to your insurance company, as they may use your statements against you.
  3. Your comfort with handling the claim: Dealing with insurers and legal issues is complex. Do not try to navigate this process on your own, consult with an attorney to understand your options before contacting insurance companies.

Potential Drawbacks of Involving Your Insurance

Insurance companies, even yours, are businesses focused on their financial bottom line.

Your insurer may look for ways to minimize or deny your claim.

They might use tactics like:

  • Arguing that your injuries aren’t as severe as you claim
  • Asserting that some of your medical treatment was unnecessary
  • Claiming that your actions contributed to the accident

In other words, if you involve your own insurance company before getting a lawyer, you could face challenges in getting the compensation you deserve. That makes consulting a car accident attorney so valuable before making any decisions. They can advise you on the best path forward for your unique situation.

Protecting Your Rights After a Car Accident

When it comes to protecting your rights after a car accident, here are some key tips to keep in mind:

Two cars involved in a head-on collision on a rainy day, causing significant damage.

  1. Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters: Be careful about what you say when communicating with insurance adjusters, whether from your own company or the at-fault drivers.

Avoid saying anything they could construe as admitting fault or downplaying the severity of your injuries. Stick to the facts of the accident and avoid speculation or opinion. If you’re unsure about how to respond to a question, say that you need to consult your car accident attorney before answering.

  1. Seek medical attention promptly: Even if your injuries seem minor, go to the doctor. Some symptoms, such as whiplash or concussions, may not appear until days or even weeks after the accident. By getting medical care, you protect your health and create a clear record of your injuries and their connection to the accident.

Keep detailed records of all:

  • medical treatments,
  • medications,
  • and expenses related to your injuries,

as this documentation will be crucial when seeking compensation.

  1. Keep track of all expenses related to the accident: In addition to medical bills, keep a record of any other costs you incur because of the accident.

This may include:

  • rental car fees if your vehicle is being repaired,
  • lost wages due to missed work while recovering from your injuries,
  • and any property damage repairs not covered by insurance.

Keep receipts, invoices, and other documentation related to these expenses, as they will be important when calculating your total damages and negotiating a settlement.

  1. Social media can hurt your case: Avoid discussing the accident or your injuries on social media.

The Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

There are many benefits to hiring a car accident attorney, especially if the accident was serious or resulted in significant injuries. An attorney can provide invaluable assistance in several ways, such as:

  1. Communicating with insurance companies on your behalf: Dealing with insurance companies can be intimidating and confusing, especially when trying to recover from injuries. An experienced attorney can handle all communication with the insurance companies involved and help protect your rights.
  2. Thoroughly investigating the accident: A personal injury attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident, gathering evidence and consulting with experts to build a strong case on your behalf.

This may involve:

  • obtaining police reports,
  • interviewing witnesses,
  • analyzing medical records,
  • and even reconstructing the accident scene to determine fault and liability.

By understanding the accident’s causes, your attorney can more effectively advocate for your rights and interests.

  1. Negotiating with insurance companies for a settlement: Insurance companies are primarily concerned with their financial interests and may attempt to settle your claim for less than you deserve.

A gavel rests on money with a red toy car in the background, symbolizing legal settlements.

An experienced attorney can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, using their knowledge of the law and the strength of your case to secure a settlement that compensates you for your damages and injuries.

If you cannot reach a satisfactory settlement, your attorney can advise you on the merits of pursuing legal action and represent you in court if necessary.

  1. Representing you in court, if necessary: In some cases, the insurance company may refuse to offer a settlement you deem fair or the at-fault driver may contest liability, making it necessary to file a lawsuit to seek the compensation you deserve. Having an experienced attorney can make all the difference if your case goes to trial.
  2. Providing peace of mind and allowing you to focus on recovery: As you can probably tell by now, dealing with a car accident can drain your time and energy. By hiring an attorney, you can have peace of mind knowing that your accident case is in capable hands and that you protect your rights and interests.

This allows you to focus on your recovery and moving forward with your life rather than getting bogged down in the stress and complexity of the legal process.

Don’t Settle with the Insurance Company Until You Do This

Insurance adjusters are trained to settle claims quickly and for as little as possible, and the initial offer may not fully compensate you for your damages and injuries.

Consider contacting Rothenberg Law Firm LLP for a free consultation. Our knowledgeable and compassionate personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling car accident cases and can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this time.

During your consultation, our attorneys will:

  • review your case,
  • answer your questions,
  • and help you understand your legal options moving forward.

When you work with our firm, we will handle all aspects of your case, from communicating with the insurance companies to negotiating a settlement or representing you in court if necessary. Our goal is to take the burden of the legal process off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your recovery and moving forward with your life.

Don’t settle for less than you deserve after a car accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact Rothenberg Law Firm LLP today for your free consultation and take the first step toward protecting your rights and securing the compensation you need to move forward.

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