Fault affects car insurance claims by determining which driver’s insurance company will cover the damage. In most states, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance will cover everyone else’s medical bills and vehicle repairs, and the at-fault driver will have to use other types of insurance to pay for their own expenses. No-fault states are a notable exception to this rule, since they require each driver to cover their own medical expenses after an accident, regardless of fault.
How Fault Affects Car Insurance Claims
If you are at fault, you have to file a claim with your own insurer to cover your expenses.
If you are not at fault, then you’ll file a claim with the other driver’s liability insurance, though you can use your own insurance as well.
If you live in a no-fault state, you have to use your own insurance to cover your medical bills, regardless of who is responsible for the accident.
Fault can be shared, which may limit damages.
When a car insurance claim is filed after an accident, an insurance adjuster will investigate and make a determination of fault. If the adjuster determines that multiple people are at fault for the wreck, then the claim will be affected by your state’s negligence laws. For example, some states do not allow you to collect damages after an accident if you did anything to contribute to it. Other states allow you to collect reduced damages based on your share of fault.
The first thing you should do after a car accident that is not your fault is to make sure everyone inside your car is safe and uninjured. Next, call the police, take pictures of the scene, and exchange insurance information with the at-fault driver so you can file a claim with their insurer. You should also report the accident to your insurance company in case you need to file a … read full answercollision, personal injury protection, or MedPay claim with your own policy.
What to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault
Move your car away from oncoming traffic and address any injuries. If your car is driveable you should try to move your car out of harm’s way to avoid further accidents or injuries.
Call the police and file a report. This will help you further along the way when filing an insurance claim since a police report will most likely determine fault.
Get the other driver’s insurance information. Take a photo of their insurance card so that you can get in touch with their insurer if you need to file a liability claim.
Take pictures of the scene and damage to the cars. Insurers require evidence before they can settle a claim. Having pictures from the incident will help speed up the claim process.
Report the accident to your insurance company. Even if you don’t file a claim with your own insurance, you should still report the accident to your insurer since they might need to update information related to your vehicle.
Document any accident-related expenses. An accident can incur a bunch of hidden costs. Make sure you keep track of all expenses related to the accident so that you can be reimbursed.
File a property damage and/or bodily injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Having gathered all the pertinent information, contact the at-fault driver’s insurer and file a claim. Make sure you have all the information and documents mentioned above so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Filing an Insurance Claim When You’re Not at Fault
If an accident is not your fault, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. This will cover the cost of vehicle repairs and medical bills up to the limits of the driver’s policy.
Because it can take a long time for an insurance adjuster to officially determine fault, however, you can initially file a collision or personal injury claim with your own insurer to cover vehicle repairs and medical expenses, regardless of fault. Once fault is determined, your insurance company will recover the expenses from the at-fault driver’s insurer, and your deductible will be refunded.
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