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Filing a Property Damage Claim After a Car Accident

Filing a Property Damage Claim After a Car Accident

If an accident is not your fault, but you suffered property damage to your vehicle, should you submit the claim to your insurance company or to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider? This is a very common question I receive when working with clients who survived an automobile accident they did not cause. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not so straightforward and depends on a variety of circumstances.

Submitting a Claim to Your Insurance Company

If you think about it, no two car accidents are the same; likewise, your personal situation as an accident survivor can be considered unique, even when compared to someone facing similar prospects. If you have proper coverage on your vehicle, submitting the claim to your insurance company may require you to pay a deductible. Depending on your plan, this amount could be extremely high. Your insurer will likely use a process called “subrogation” to get your deductible reimbursed from the at-fault driver, but it could take several months.

Submitting a Claim to the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

However, if the claim is submitted to the at-fault driver’s provider, they will most likely drag their feet when it comes to reimbursing the claim. Legally, an insurer has a minimum of 30 days to investigate an accident to determine liability. Although the facts surrounding the cause of the accident may be clear to you, the insurance company will want to talk to all parties involved as well as any witnesses before making a determination.

Which Option is Best?

Going through your insurance company as opposed to the at-fault driver’s carrier will expedite the process and get your claim advanced sooner rather than later. Most of the time, your insurer can start the repair or replacement process within a matter of days, as opposed to months. Additionally, if you have rental car coverage, submitting the claim to your provider should get you back on the road faster.

Have Questions? Call Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A.

The average American driver experiences 3-4 accidents throughout their lifetime. While prevalent on a national scale, car accidents aren’t common on an individual basis. That said, you likely have other questions, like “Where should I take my vehicle to get fixed?” or “Do I have to take my vehicle to a mechanic that the insurance company recommends?” Being in an accident and dealing with the aftermath can be a confusing and time-consuming endeavor. At Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A., we take great care in helping our clients navigate this challenging legal process. Our firm is backed by over 30 years of collective experience, which means that our personal injury lawyers have the skills and resources to help you make the right decisions for your unique situation. If you have been involved in an accident that resulted in injury or damage, please contact our firm for assistance.

Contact Powell, Jackman, Stevens & Ricciardi, P.A. at (239) 970-6844 to arrange a free case evaluation today.

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