Should I File a Claim with My Insurance or Theirs?

After a car accident, you should notify your insurance company and file a claim, and not deal with the other driver’s insurer. Except in rare circumstances, it is not wise to contact them. Your insurance company represents you, and the other driver’s insurance company represents them.

New York is a no-fault state for auto insurance, which means that a motorist’s own insurance pays for their medical expenses up to the coverage limits. Under no-fault, it does not matter who is responsible for the collision. However, under certain circumstances—you may go outside of the no-fault system and file a personal injury lawsuit.

If there is a reason to contact the other driver’s insurance company, leave that to the New York City car accident lawyers at Douglas and London. We can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Filing a Claim with Your Insurer

By law, you must report an accident to your own insurance company. If your car was damaged in the crash and you purchased collision and comprehensive insurance, your insurer pays for the damage. You might have out-of-pocket expenses for your deductible. Your insurance company then pursues the other driver’s insurer for repair cost reimbursement.

Failing to report the accident to your insurance company within the time limit stated in the policy could lead to a cancellation. By not informing them of the accident– even if you did contact the other driver’s insurer– you are violating your policy’s terms.

Ethical Concerns

If you do call the other driver’s insurance company, it is likely the adjuster will speak to you. Keep in mind that they always want to settle a claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They will look for ways to discredit you and ask questions– on a recorded line– that could harm your claim.

New York Auto Insurance Requirements

In New York, the minimum insurance amounts every driver must carry consist of:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury per person when the driver is at-fault
  • $50,000 total liability bodily injury coverage per accident when the driver is at-fault, no matter the number of injured people
  • $10,000 liability coverage for property damage when the driver is at-fault
  • $10,000 in no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage for your own medical costs

Most motorists should purchase additional coverage to protect their personal assets in case of a serious accident. If your medical expenses exceeds PIP coverage limits, or if you suffer severe injuries, it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

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Exceptions to the Rule

Further, New York’s no-fault insurance does not include property damage to your vehicle. If you do not carry collision and comprehensive insurance on your policy– you could try to receive compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer. However, it is best to have your personal injury lawyer handle this matter.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in New York

If you or someone you know suffered a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident because of another party’s negligence, you need the services of the experienced New York City personal injury lawyers at Douglas and London. For a free consultation, fill out our online contact form or contact us today.

We will work with the insurance companies so that you receive a fair settlement for your damages. While the majority of cases are settled, we will take a claim to trial when necessary— our record speaks for itself with over $18 billion won in verdicts and settlements.