If you’re lucky enough to escape from a traffic accident, you’re likely confused as to how to proceed next. Most people realize that they must inform their own auto insurance company of the accident, but they’re unclear as to whether they should inform the other party’s insurance of said accident. While there’s no one single, solid answer to this question, a good accident attorney can make things more clear to you and help steer you into the proper steps to take after an accident.
Notifying your own insurance company
This question is easy! Yes. You should notify your own insurance company about your accident. In fact, you’re probably going to start a claims process and they will contact you to make their procedures after an accident clear. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, they may need to investigate, and this means scouring police reports, talking to witnesses, and of course, talking to you. When you’ve been in an auto accident where a police report was filed and there were damages, your insurance company needs to know about it.
Do you notify the other driver’s insurance?
It depends on what your motivations are. If you want to just tell them that an accident occurred, it’s not impossible to do that. You shouldn’t make an official statement to the company, though, or even call them without speaking to an attorney first. As with all car accident matters, speaking to an attorney is a top priority. It’s vital that you at least consult someone with knowledge of the law to make sure you’re not making a crucial mistake in your accident claim. This can have serious repercussions that resonate the rest of your life, depending on the severity of the accident and your injuries.
You CAN technically notify the other person’s insurance of an accident, but it’s best not to contact them without the aid of an attorney. For anything but simply informing them that an accident has occurred, you’re taking a serious risk by contacting the other person’s insurance and demanding any kind of compensation immediately, without the advice of a good attorney. If you have something to say, it’s always best to let your attorney say it for you. This holds more power with insurance companies in general than just a claimant calling up and rattling off a statement.
If you do end up calling, NEVER EVER make an official statement. They may pressure you to do this, and that’s one reason why it’s wise not to call in the first place unless you do so under the guidance of an attorney. Decline any requests for information or official statements. This can come back to haunt you in any damages case.
Speak with an attorney before you make the decision to inform the other party’s insurance company about any accident. While it’s always advisable to report your own claim to YOUR insurance, speaking with someone else’s insurance company can have catastrophic consequences to any future litigation. Unless your attorney explicitly thinks this is a good idea, steer clear! Your attorney will analyze your case carefully and let you know what is or isn’t a good idea.
The aftermath of an auto accident can be a disorienting time. You might be injured and in pain. You might be suffering psychological damages from the accident. It’s not exactly the best time to be making decisions outside the careful and expert guidance of a good accident attorney. If you feel like you want to contact the other party’s insurance company to inform them of the accident, at least consult with an attorney first. The initial consultation is free and they can also guide you toward any damages you might be owed from the accident. Other than that, just inform your own insurance company about the accident. If you haven’t spoken with an attorney, leave it at that.