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How to File a Claim on Someone Else’s Auto Insurance

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agenthttps://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/insproviders-live/ca745a12-daniel-walker.png

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • A claim is initiated by reporting the accident to the other driver’s insurance company
  • Working with a lawyer and your insurance company might ensure the matter is resolved correctly
  • Collecting all the necessary documents to provide to the at-fault driver’s insurance company is necessary when seeking a settlement
  • Acquiring uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and PIP insurance definitely would be worth the expenditure
  • Be aware “no-fault states” may require filing a claim with one’s own insurance company regardless of who is at fault

Being a careful driver is more virtuous than most realize. A safe and careful driver does their best to avoid getting into accidents or causing serious calamities on the road.

Since no one is perfect and drivers do make mistakes, auto liability insurance becomes necessary to purchase. Liability insurance protects personal assets from civil actions upon causing an accident.

And then there is the other side of the proverbial insurance coin. Careful drivers get hit by reckless drivers all the time.

Any person injured due to the negligence of another driver would need to file an insurance claim. Specifically, the claim would be made against the other driver’s insurance policy.

Getting into an accident is not something the average driver — mercifully — has to deal with often. So, there may be a lack of familiarity with how liability claims work.

Understanding the process of how to file a claim against the other driver is essential to achieving a desirable outcome from a very unfortunate event.

If you have recently been in a car accident and need better coverage, compare at least three to four policies today to find the best rates for you! Enter your ZIP code above to begin!

What to Do After the Accident

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If you’re in an accident, there’s certain information you should be sure to collect.

Get the driver’s license and insurance policy numbers of the person who caused the accident. If the police do not arrive at the scene, call them.

Procuring a police report about the accident is vital since the police report is considered evidence. The insurance company and, possibly, the courts will likely want to review the material.

Additionally, a police officer may be better qualified to procure driver’s license and other pertinent information from the at-fault driver, a driver who may be impaired or otherwise belligerent.

Gathering the names of witnesses at the scene is another necessary step. Taking pictures of all the damages help document the damage the claim intends to pay for.

Seeking medical care when injured in a car accident does need to be the first priority. Gathering information should not take precedence over caring for one’s well-being.

Documentation of Financial Losses

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Remember, there will be an investigation of the accident. The other driver’s insurance company requires proof to validate the claim.

Proof of damages takes many forms. After the accident, there are going to be car repairs in addition to medical care provided to the individuals who were injured.

All these things come with costs. The documentation of the costs must be acquired and properly maintained since these they are required to support any claims filed.

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Filing a Claim Against Another Driver

Contacting the at-fault driver’s insurance company and filing a claim with another driver’s insurance policy — often referred to as a third-party claim — entail informing the insurance company of what has happened and requesting a claim be opened.

An investigation is going to take place and the at-fault driver’s insurance company will try and determine a reasonable settlement offer.

Some may choose to turn this job over to a lawyer or another professional. Of course, there will be a fee paid to the person, but the upside is the settlement procured from the insurance company is likely going to be higher. If the settlement offer is too low, negotiating a higher settlement is within the expertise of a professional.

Contact your auto insurance company and inform them of the situation.

The auto insurance provider should be willing to provide advice and answers to any questions associated with the situation. Your policy could even cover certain losses and then seek repayment from the at-fault driver’s insurer.

And then there is a major complexity might arise based on two major circumstances common in at-fault accidents.

Lastly, do not delay at all when injured in an accident. Statutes of limitations are in place regarding filing a claim or a personal injury suit.

Once the time limit elapses, there is no way to legally file a claim. All losses end up on the shoulders of the person who was wrongly injured.

Lack of Necessary Insurance Coverage

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A driver who has too little insurance that does not cover the full cost of the accident presents a problem. Filing a lawsuit against the driver could be one way to procure the extra funds, but this might take a long period of time.

Additionally, the person who is being sued might not have any real assets. A judgment could be gained, but no money is going to be collected. Bills cannot be paid with a judgment that generates no income.

Consider it advisable to add uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to a policy.

This way, your insurance company would cover the financial costs of the other driver’s lack of insurance. Be aware that well over 10 percent of the drivers on the road do not carry insurance.

Comparison shopping would go a long way towards acquiring the necessary and appropriate uninsured motorist coverage. A decent amount of coverage could very well address the enormous costs inflicted on a person in the aftermath of an accident.

PIP insurance — personal injury protection insurance — may also be worth investing in since this insurance pays out regardless of who is at fault for an accident.

The purpose of this insurance is mainly to cover medical costs associated with an accident. PIP insurance may address losses related to wages depending upon the particular policy.

Exploring options for acquiring PIP insurance definitely would be helpful for those worried about whether or not filing a claim against another’s driver will be dragged out or, worse, end up unsuccessful.

PIP insurance may be an “add on” in most states, but other states may require it, which changes the circumstances of how claims are filed in after an accident.

No-Fault States

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Please be aware in certain “no-fault” states the claim would not be filed against the other driver regardless of the circumstances. PIP insurance and a variant that covers property may be mandated by law for all drivers to purchase.

In Hawaii, for example, regardless of who is at fault, the driver who is the victim in the accident would still file a claim against their own insurance company. The ability to sue for damages is restricted.

Ultimately, no matter where you are, a good insurance policy is one that covers a variety of different liability bases of both the at-fault and no-fault variety. Reviewing a significant number of solid quotes would be the best means of ensuring proper financially-protective coverage exists.

Start comparison shopping today and compare several quotes to find the best auto insurance rates! Enter your ZIP code below to begin!

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