After Your Car Accident: Insurance Companies 101, Part 2

In our previous article, we talked about dealing with insurance companies. Whether you’re thinking about your own insurance company, or the other driver’s, it can be a real hassle to think about all of the paperwork and phone calls that are involved with settling your car accident claim.

In this second part of this series, we’d like to cover a few tips you can use if you’re in a car accident when it comes to dealing with the other driver’s insurance.

Tip #1: Remember, the other driver doesn’t always report an accident – In a perfect world, the other driver would contact his insurance company right away and give them an exact rundown of what happened. However, nothing is ever perfect, and he may not even make the phone call. In that case, you’ll want to be sure you follow the next tip in this article.

Tip #2: Take down the other driver’s information – At the scene of the accident, make sure you get as much information from the other driver as you possibly can. You need his name and contact information, but you also need to take down his license plate number, just in case. Ask to see his insurance cards and write down the information on the cards. Don’t ever take his word for it when he just tells you the policy number and phone number.

Tip #3: The police are not always right about fault – When the officer showed up on the scene, he determined that the accident was your fault, but you know it was not. You got a ticket anyway, so you assume you might as well just admit fault, right? Wrong! The police are not always right, and there are ways to prove that you didn’t do anything wrong. Eye witness accounts are very powerful, and if there is video footage of the accident, that strengthens your claim even more. Don’t ever admit fault, even if the police officer says you were at fault.

Tip #4: Insurance companies often make inappropriate demands – One of the things insurance companies are known for is making inappropriate demands. These can range from telling you when and where to go to the doctor after an accident to where to get your car estimate. No insurance company has the right to “authorize” your medical treatment, and if you need it, you should get it at the hospital of your choice. As far as estimates go, you may want to wait to talk with your attorney about getting an estimate, but in most states, you’re free to choose the garage you want.

Hopefully these tips are proving to be very helpful as you think about your next steps following a car accident. Insurance companies don’t always operate the way you expect them to, and it’s easy to get thrown off by strange requests and demands. If you’re working with a qualified attorney, you can avoid having to deal with the other driver’s insurance company altogether.

Please check back for the final post in our series on insurance companies.

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