If you’ve just been in a car accident, figuring out your next steps can seem difficult and intimidating. In most cases, if both parties involved are insured, the insurance companies will handle most of the communications. However, there are certain situations that warrant extra steps.
Here’s what to do if:
The Responsible Party is Insured
You’ve just gotten into an accident, and it’s your fault. Luckily, you have insurance! In this case, the first step to take would be to exchange car insurance information with the person you’ve hit so that the companies can handle the financial compensation that is owed to the other party. If the victim’s insurance company covers their repair expenses and medical bills due to your insurance company not settling or sending the proper finances in time, your insurance may receive something called a subrogation letter. This type of letter is a request from one insurance company directed at the guilty party or the guilty party’s insurance company asking for reimbursement. Typically, if both parties are insured, the insurance companies will deal with financial restitution behind the scenes.
The Responsible Party is Uninsured
In the same scenario where you’ve caused an accident, you may begin to panic if you are not properly insured. If there are damages that have to be reimbursed to the victim, their insurance company may temporarily cover the costs of the accident, including any medical bills or vehicle repairs. In the event that the insurance company wishes to be reimbursed but you do not have insurance, they will send the subrogation letter directly to you. If you’re wondering can you ignore a subrogation letter, the answer is both yes and no. Legally, you are not required to respond to a subrogation letter; however, if you do choose to ignore it, the opposing insurance company may decide to hit you with a lawsuit down the line.
The Victim is Insured
You’ve been hit, and it’s not your fault. What now? The most important steps after getting into an accident are filing a police report, exchanging car insurance information with the guilty party and getting in touch with your own insurance company to file a claim. Since you are insured in this scenario, you likely will not have to take much action after the accident and report filings. Your insurance company will work to settle a deal with the responsible party or their insurance and will get you the compensation you deserve.
The Victim is Uninsured
In the final scenario, you’ve been hit, and you’re not at fault; however, you’re uninsured. This is a sticky situation to be in, because driving uninsured can lead to a slew of legal issues on its own. You are still entitled to compensation from the other driver, though. If they are insured, you can deal with their insurance company directly. If they are uninsured, you may have to sue the responsible party for compensation.
Whether you caused a vehicle accident or were innocently involved in one, knowing the next steps of the process are important. As either an insured or uninsured driver, there are many circumstances in which you may receive or have your insurance company send a subrogation letter. In any case, it’s always best to consult legal help to discover your rights.