Whose Insurance Company Should You Call After an Accident?

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Whose Insurance Company Should You Call After an Accident?

Man is calling insurrance company for claiming his car crash

What to do after a car accident isn’t always clear, especially if it’s the first time you’ve been involved in a car crash. If you’re ever in an accident, you need to:

  1. Check on the other driver and passengers to make sure everyone is alright
  2. Call 911 for immediate assistance if anyone requires medical attention
  3. Get to safety if possible and/or pull your vehicle into the shoulder or a nearby parking lot (if the crash is minor)
  4. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver/s

But after you’ve exchanged insurance information, what should you do?

Call your own insurance company first, whether you’re in Florida or any other state. The only time you shouldn’t call your insurance company first is if your injuries are serious. You’ll have other problems to deal with in that situation.

After serious accidents involving emergency trips to the hospital, overnight stays or even emergency surgeries, it may be a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer first. If you end up having a large claim the insurance company might decide to play hardball. When that happens, they might try to use a lot of tricks and negotiating strategies to undervalue your claim or try to change the accident narrative to shift the blame to you. Car accident lawyers handle those types of negotiations for a living. They’ve dedicated their careers to making sure people who have suffered serious injuries don’t suffer severe financial consequences due to someone else’s negligent driving.

In Florida, Your Own Insurance Pays First

Florida’s no-fault insurance laws make it a little different from most states in that each driver’s own insurance pays for car or truck crash property damage and personal injuries. If your own insurance policy limits aren’t high enough to cover all your damages, then you may need to go after the other driver’s insurance or assets.

If your injuries are so serious that it becomes necessary to bring a claim against the other driver in Florida, you may need the help of a car accident lawyer.

What About in Other States?

If you get into a car accident in Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Louisiana, South Carolina or any other state, the at-fault driver’s insurance generally pays for your bodily injuries and property damage. There are several reasons why you should still call your own insurance company first if your accident was in a normal fault state:

  • Some insurance providers can help with negotiations or the logistics of getting your claim paid by the other driver’s insurance company
  • If the other driver’s insurance company is disputing fault or being slow to process your collision damage claim, your own insurance might pay for repairs and then fight the other driver’s insurance company for compensation
  • If you have towing coverage on your policy, you can get your car towed without having to pay for it out of pocket
  • If you live in a state with Medpay coverage you can use it to cover initial health care costs – Medpay is available in Florida, but it is not required
  • The insurance company may need to defend you against accusations of fault from the other driver
  • Your insurance will want to know the details in case the other driver’s insurance company contacts them in an attempt to get money for damages
  • An accident may affect your insurance policy, and failing to be transparent or honest with your own insurance company can have serious consequences
  • If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your own insurer might end up paying for some or all of your property damages or injuries

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is one of those types of insurance that may seem like a waste of money until you need it. There are a lot of uninsured drivers in Florida. In fact, according to the most recent numbers from the Insurance Information Institute, Florida has the sixth highest rate of uninsured drivers on the road (20.4 percent). There’s a one in five chance that the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance coverage.

Your insurance company doesn’t want to cover your claim if they can avoid it, which is why they’ll put in the legwork and investigatory effort necessary to get the other driver’s insurance to pay.