Getting into a car accident, no matter how minor, is a stressful experience. In addition to assessing the damage done, you need to decide quickly whether or not to file an insurance claim. If you’re unsure of your legal responsibilities and options after suffering an accident, consulting an accident attorney is best. Meanwhile, here are a few situations in which it’s certain you should notify your provider of a collision.
When to File a Car Accident Insurance Claim
1. You’re in a Dispute Over Fault
When fault is disputed in a car accident, you’ll need to file a claim so your insurer can investigate what happened. They’ll work with the other party’s insurance company to determine who should be held accountable and how to arrange payouts. If an agreement on liability and damage costs can’t be reached, seek counsel from an accident attorney. They’ll use their knowledge of the law and resources to help you collect the evidence necessary to prove the other driver was at fault.
2. You’re Involved in an Accident With Someone Else
If you accidentally back up into a tree on your own property, no one is hurt, and the damage will cost less than your deductible to repair, there may be no need to report the incident. However, in basically any collision involving another person, you’re better off filing an insurance claim, especially if there’s a chance you could be found at fault. Even if the damage seems minor, repairs could cost more than you initially thought. Also, there’s always potential the other party could later make an injury claim or file a lawsuit against you. If you promptly notify your insurance after the accident, they’ll cover legal representation and any judgment awarded in subsequent lawsuits. If you wait too long to notify your provider, they could deny you coverage.
3. You Suffer Significant Loss
If your own vehicle is significantly damaged in a collision, an insurance claim is likely warranted. Get a repair estimate from your mechanic and compare that to your deductible. If the value of the damage far exceeds what you’d pay for the deductible on your collision coverage and you don’t have unlimited disposable income, it’s worth filing a claim.
If you’ve sustained injuries from a crash through no fault of your own, contact your auto insurance provider along with an accident attorney. The legal team at Pena & Kahn, PLLC offers more than three decades of legal experience and will help determine what steps you should take next. Serving injury victims throughout the Tri-State Area from their offices in the Bronx and Jackson Heights, NY, they’re recognized for working aggressively to defend your best interests. Call (718) 585-6551 to speak with an accident attorney. Visit the firm online for more information.