Should I File a Claim With My Car Insurance or the Other Drivers?

When car accidents happen, there might be multiple insurance policies that could be required to cover the crash. If you have comprehensive coverage, you have the right to file an insurance claim regardless of who is at fault in the crash.

If the other driver is responsible, you could also file a claim on their policy instead of your own.

Which policy you pursue is up to you. There are important differences between these policies, and each option has benefits and risks. The crucial thing to remember is that neither of these insurance providers is your friend.

These companies actively work to deny viable claims filed by their insured drivers and third-party claimants alike. You could secure an advocate who is truly on your side with the help of a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer.

Filing a claim with your insurance company

Even though you have insurance coverage, the type of policy in place will determine if you can file a claim with your own insurer. You will need to have additional coverage outside of the mandatory liability policies.

This could include a comprehensive policy or personal injury protection that covers your injuries or property damage in the case of an accident.

The process of filing a claim with your own insurance company is straightforward. After notifying them of the accident, you must inform them that you intend to make a claim on your policy. If the insurance company agrees coverage was in place, they will provide you compensation for your losses.

The downside is that you could be required to pay your deductible out of pocket. That said, if you can show that the other driver was at fault, they could waive your deductible.

While a successful claim is never guaranteed, your insurance is likely to reach a determination faster than the other driver’s. While their carrier will first investigate to determine fault, your carrier could pay out benefits as soon as they determine that you were covered.                                

Filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance

If the other driver in an accident was responsible, you could file a claim directly with their provider. Whether you take this route or not, it is important that you notify your insurance carrier that an accident occurred. You can do so without formally filing a claim on your policy.

The major benefit of dealing directly with the other driver’s insurance is that you could avoid paying your deductible altogether. If they agree that their driver was at fault, they could negotiate a settlement with you. When this happens, you could avoid any out of pocket costs.

There are downsides to filing a claim with the other insurance company, however. It’s possible that the other driver is not covered even though they provided you with that information. Some drivers obtain a policy long enough to register their vehicle, then drop it to save money. If the policy was not in effect at the time of the crash, you could not file a claim.

Another potential issue is if the other driver’s liability policy has low limits. The insurance policy will only pay out the required maximum. If the other driver purchased a policy with limited coverage, you could run into the problem of having damages above the amount of coverage available. In this situation, you could end up filing a claim with your insurance company anyway to make up the difference.

Guidance from an experienced injury attorney

There is no simple way to know your best course of action. With the help of a Pittsburgh car accident attorney, you might be able to navigate the claims process and recover the compensation you deserve.

We know any delay can be stressful. That is why we are prepared to take on your claim and work to reach a favorable outcome as soon as possible. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with us right away.