Yes, you should call your insurance company if you were in a car accident that was not your fault. There are two main reasons for this. First, your insurance company may require you to contact them as outlined in your policy. Second, you may discover available coverage to help you with your damages, even if the accident is not your fault.
Before contacting your insurance company, you may want to consult an auto accident lawyer in New York. An attorney can advise you on what to do after the accident, how to contact your insurance company, and what information you should provide. Your lawyer can also submit your claim on your behalf if you are recovering from injuries.
Why You Should Contact Your Insurance Company
There are several reasons why you should call your insurance after a car accident that was not your fault, such as:
New York Is a “No-Fault” Insurance State
When it comes to auto insurance, New York is a no-fault state, which means that your insurance company will reimburse you for damages regardless of who is responsible for your car accident, as clarified by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Per the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, you are required to carry a minimum amount of coverage that includes:
- $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury/death per person
- $50,000 /$100,000 for bodily injury/death for two or more people
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
Your insurance policy may also contain other types of coverage or benefits that help you after an auto accident. Check with your provider to find out what coverage is in your policy.
Your Insurer May Require You to Contact Them
Almost every provider requires you to contact them if you have been injured or your vehicle has been damaged. If you fail to contact your insurance company, you may be penalized by a rate increase. The company may also cancel your coverage, citing that you failed to contact them.
Faster Car Repair and Medical Benefits
If you are waiting for the other driver’s insurance company to pay for your car repair, you may be waiting for several weeks or months. By contacting your insurance company, you may be able to arrange to get your car repaired faster and get on the road more quickly.
You may also have to pay out-of-pocket for some medical services. Contacting your insurer may give you access to coverage for medical treatment faster than waiting for the other driver’s insurance company to compensate you.
Information You Should Provide Your Insurer
When you contact your agent, you should be prepared to provide the information you collected such as:
- Contact information (name, address, phone) of all parties involved in the auto accident
- Insurance policy information of all drivers involved in the accident including the driver’s name, insurance provider, and the policy number
- The law enforcement agency (sheriff, highway patrol, city police) that arrived on the scene of the accident
- Location, time, and date of the accident
- Details about the damage or your injuries, and, if possible, take photos or videos of the property and damage and your injuries
Make sure the information you provide to the insurer is clear, concise, and accurate. If there are any discrepancies in the information, it could work against your personal injury case. Provide only the facts and nothing else.
How Your Car Accident Attorney Can Help You With Your Claim
Ideally, it is best to consult a car accident lawyer in New York before you speak with your insurance company. Your lawyer can help you with all communication and advocate on your behalf. An experienced lawyer understands the claims process and the legal system in New York. As such, they know how to navigate your claim.
Your attorney can investigate your claim to assess what happened and who is at fault for your injuries. They can also obtain evidence of fault and liability, calculate your damages, and negotiate a fair settlement. A law firm can manage your entire case while you are recovering from your injuries.
What Your Insurance Might Pay if Someone Hit Your Car
Depending on your insurance coverage for your auto insurance policy, you should be covered, up to your coverage limits, whether or not you’re at-fault. You can add any of the following coverages to your policy for financial compensation:
When two cars crash, you hit an object or rollover, your collision insurance steps in to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses to your car, whether or not you were at-fault
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that happens from an incident that isn’t collision related such as storms, fires, floods, theft or vandalism.
Liability coverage can help pay the costs of damages and injuries to others if there is an accident and you were determined at-fault.
Medical Payments Coverage
You can get help paying medical bills for you, your family and the passengers in your car when you’re involved in an accident. You’ll also have protection if you were hit as a pedestrian.
These coverages can help pay for damages caused by drivers who either don’t have insurance or don’t have enough insurance to cover the costs.
New York Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims
After contacting your insurance, your car accident lawyer can advise you of any relevant New York state laws that could impact how much compensation you receive and if you have time to file your lawsuit.
According to New York Civil Law §214.4, victims of personal injury claims have three years from the date of their accident to file a claim with the court system. Your attorney can advise you of any circumstantial factors that could extend this statute of limitations for your case.
Contact Morelli Law Firm After Your Car Accident
No matter the circumstances, you should contact your insurance if you were in a car accident that was not your fault. Then contact Morelli Law Firm. Our legal team has the resources and staff necessary to handle your case. We fight to protect your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve for your damages.
To find out more about your legal options, call our law firm for a free case review.