Since car accidents are common events, most people will be involved in at least one car accident in their lifetime. Dealing with the insurance company after a car accident can be a hassle; however, there's no way around it and it's important to know how to properly handle your claim. While the driver that crashes into your car is responsible for contacting their insurance company, it's not a bad idea for you to contact them too.
It's not uncommon for at-fault motorists to be reluctant to contact their insurance company, so it's important that you make sure that you get their insurance policy information at the accident scene. You are going to want the name of the insurance company, the claims phone number, the address and even the insurance agent's name.
You should contact the other person's insurance carrier and inform them that you've been involved in a crash with one of their policy holders; be sure to disclose the property damage and your injuries. However, only relay the facts of the accident, even if you believe their policy holder is at fault. The police will ultimately determine who is at fault in the accident and the insurance company will assign fault based on the police's recommendation.
Even though you do not feel you are at fault, it's important to contact your own insurance company also. This phone call will establish a good-faith accident-reporting effort on your part and will be important if the at-fault driver's insurance company tries to deny your claim.
While in theory it seems as if you should be able to contact the other party's insurance company, receive medical treatment for you injuries and take your car to a body shop, in reality it's more complicated than that. An auto insurance carrier may demand that you obtain authorization prior to receiving vehicle repairs or treatment for your injuries. If the insurance adjuster hasn't authorized a repair before you begin repairs at an auto body shop, it can create a significant problem.
At minimum, it's important to make sure that the other party's insurance company has accepted liability for the accident before moving forward with any repairs. The best thing to do is to get the authorization in writing and have the insurance adjuster either send this to you in an email or have them fax it to you.
The at-fault driver's insurance company may deny liability in the claim and suggest that you seek compensation from your own insurance policy. This is why it's very important to notify your own insurance carrier immediately after an accident and this one reason why it's important to hire a Montgomery car accident attorney.
With the assistance of Morris, Cary, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC, we can explain your rights and responsibilities under Alabama's State laws, and we can navigate you through the murky laws that govern insurance. Whether you pursue compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance or from your own policy, we will pursue maximum compensation on your behalf and ensure that you aren't taken advantage of during the claim's process.