But how do you claim against someone else’s car insurance when you are involved in an auto accident?
The Basic Car Insurance Claim
Making an insurance claim against someone else after an auto accident is straightforward when the liability for the accident is clear cut.
If someone crashes into your car while you are driving, in a simple scenario, you will claim against that person’s liability insurance.
That is what is known as a third-party claim. You are the third-party in relation to the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company.
The claim is then processed by the at-fault driver’s insurer. The length can vary greatly, though, depending on how much of an investigation is needed to determine that the driver who crashed into you is to blame.
Pursuing Legal Action to Gain Compensation
Unfortunately, not all car insurance claims are that simple; in which case, you will want to turn to your own insurance company. In other circumstances, you will want to consider filing a lawsuit against the driver to gain compensation.
So, if you are driving in San Jose, for example, and you are involved in an auto accident that is not your fault, you can gain compensation to cover things like medical bills, loss of current and future earnings, and property damage.
Simply contact a car accident lawyer in San Jose to seek advice. A lawyer can help you to establish that the other driver was at fault and that you are entitled to financial compensation.
Using Your Own Insurance
It is always beneficial to get the advice of a car accident lawyer, but before you proceed with actually taking legal action, there are some instances when you should contact your own insurance company first to help you gain the compensation you deserve.
For example, if you are in a no-fault state, meaning the state has no-fault insurance laws, you can make injury claims on your insurance policy, as long as you have personal injury protection.
Each state also has its own qualifications for determining whether you can sue drivers. In some no-fault states, you need to prove you have been seriously injured before you can make a claim against the driver that caused your accident.
Another reason you might use your own insurance after a car accident that was not your fault is if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, things like medical bills can be covered.
While a lawyer can help you to gain compensation for property damage, such as car repairs and parts replacements, you could have the costs covered already if you have collision insurance. But, of course, a lawyer can help you to gain compensation for various things besides property damage.
Furthermore, when you cover the costs through collision insurance, the amount will be reduced by your collision deductible amount.
If your car was totaled in the accident, you will need more than property damage compensation. You will need to replace your car.
Your insurance company should cover that, although in some circumstances, such as having a gap in your insurance, you could lose out.
Always make sure your car insurance is up-to-date and if you have any doubts or questions, get advice from an experienced car accident lawyer.