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After An Accident: The Right Interactions With The Other Driver -

July 11, 2013

If you've been in an accident, your insurance carrier will come to your aid and ensure that all of the proper laws and procedures are followed. On some occasions, the other party in the accident might want to stay in touch with you for several reasons, but you should leave this sort of interaction to the insurance adjusters. As soon as the accident takes place, you must know how best to interact with anyone else who was involved.

On The Scene

Immediately following your accident, it's natural to feel scared, infuriated or shaken up. However, it's important to remember that although you might feel certain of whose fault the incident was, neither you nor the other driver gets to decide that. Don't tell the other driver or the police if they are on the scene, that you are responsible for the accident. If it looks like both cars have sustained $1,000 or more in damages, if property damage has occurred or if someone was hurt, the police must be called immediately. Upon their arrival, provide them with a full statement of the incident to the best of your ability, but never admit any fault for the accident or subsequent damages. Furthermore, avoid talking about the accident with the other party while waiting for the authorities to arrive. This time is better spent studying the details of the accident scene. If possible, take as many detailed pictures as you're able to.

Once the police arrive plans can be made with the other person to proceed with an insurance claim. Collect their first and last name, insurance information, phone number and other relevant details. Additionally, you should also ask to view their driver's license and proof of insurance. Ensuring the accuracy of information collected. The next phase will have you provide this information to your insurance company when you contact them.

The Other Party Doesn't Want Insurance Involved

Once in a while, the other person might decide that they'd prefer not to have the insurance companies involved in the accident, and would prefer to compensate you directly. When this happens, it is usually because they know they're at fault and they don't want to see their rates go up. However, you should know that it is generally unwise to keep this from your insurer, no matter how little damage was done. That person who wanted to avoid getting in trouble could get you into trouble by slapping you with an unexpected claim for injuries or damages. If you waited longer than your policy's terms allow, your company might decide not to cover you.

If the other driver doesn't want you to involve the insurers, refuse politely and tell them you'd rather have things handled the safe and professional way. As soon as you've made a full report to your provider, they'll deal with the other person's company even if no claim was filed by them.

After Filing

Upon filing your claim, it is unnecessary to stay in touch with the other person. If they try to speak with you at all, tell them to contact the claims adjuster. You no longer need to keep them updated or otherwise give them any information regarding the accident or the claim. If they want this information, all they have to do is call one of the insurance companies involved and ask.

An insurance adjuster will take care of all claim-related issues for you and will act as your representation. After all, this is why people buy insurance. These professionals are highly knowledgeable regarding the legal points of auto accidents and insurance claims, so allow them to use it to your benefit.

Dealing with the other person on an unofficial basis is hazardous and may invite hardship for you when you least expect it. Steer clear of this pitfall by getting in touch with your insurance provider immediately following an accident. Worries over a hike in the cost of premiums seem like a good reason to avoid the insurance company. However, you may eventually pay considerably more if the other person later has a change of heart and files against you.

One of your biggest considerations when shopping for an auto insurance provider is a knowledgeable, fair and honest claims department. In your hunt for affordable rates and good service, you should also try to research how customers feel about the prospective company's claims services. If you feel secure with your insurance company, then you won't feel so compelled to make risky off-the-books negotiations that could come back to haunt you.

Looking for more information regarding car accidents? You may be interested in the articles below:

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