Dealing with car insurance following an accident, no matter how big or small that accident might be, can be a huge hassle. It is difficult to explain to different insurance providers what happened, and it may be even more complicated if you feel like the ultimate decision is incorrect. When you know you are not at fault for an accident, you may feel intimidated when it comes time to speak with your insurance company or the agency representing the other driver. However, do not worry! There are a few good tips to keep in mind to make your conversation that much easier to manage.
Document the Accident
The most important step anyone can take following a car accident is to immediately begin documenting the incident and keeping track of any relevant information. From the moment you step outside your vehicle, start taking photos of the accident, and do not leave anything undocumented. Speak to the other driver and gather all necessary contact information, and be sure to provide the same, even if you know you were not at fault. This will make you seem more professional and courteous, which can help in the long run.
Contact Their Insurance
When first contacting the other driver’s insurance company, be sure to let them know the details of the accident, but do not get too emotional or appear as though you are taking sides. It is not up to you to determine fault or responsibility in any car accident, even if you are certain that you are not at fault. Remain professional at all times. If the other driver’s insurance company states that it does not have to pay for your losses or damages, and there has not been an investigation into the accident, you may need to dispute this decision. Only in this situation should you consider bringing a lawyer into the picture. If the other driver’s insurance company is compliant with your request for payment, you do not need to hire a lawyer.
Talk to Your Insurance
Even if you are certain the accident was not your fault, you may want to contact your insurance provider anyway. Let them know the details of the accident from your point of view, and provide any photos that the other driver might not have available (or may have neglected to provide). This way, both insurance companies will have access to the same information, and a swifter, more agreeable decision can be made. Remember that you may need to await a decision from either insurance company before you are able to get your car repairs taken care of. If the damage is significant, you may need to hire a rental car, which your insurance might pay for as well.
When you are not at fault after a car accident, you may feel confused or even intimidated by talking with the various insurance agencies that will be in touch with you. This task may seem almost impossible to manage successfully, but if you keep these tips in mind, you should have no trouble speaking clearly and professionally with any insurance companies that might contact you after the fact.