When people are involved in a minor car accident, they think it is not worth reporting to their insurance company. Since little damage occurred and nobody got hurt, most people feel it would be a waste of time. However, that is not the case at all. In many instances, what starts out as an agreement between both drivers to handle the situation themselves evolves into a dispute involving insurance companies and courts. Consult with an experienced Auto Accident Attorney to discuss your case and know why it is important to accident to your insurance company. If you wonder why you should report a minor accident to your insurance company, here are some reasons to do so.
Failure to Receive Compensation
Many times in minor accidents, the driver who hit your vehicle says they will compensate you for your vehicle's damage. However, once they leave the scene, they are under no legal obligation to do anything to help you. Since nothing exists between you but an oral agreement, it becomes your word versus that of the other driver. Once this happens, you will need to seek out the services of a car accident attorney to have any hope of getting compensated.
Other Driver Informing Their Insurance Company
In some situations, the other driver may change their mind and inform their insurance company of the accident. If you have not done the same with your insurer, problems may ensue, including:
- Driver lying about extent of damage to their vehicle
- Driver lying about being injured in the accident
- Driver making it appear as if you were trying to cover up the accident
If these things happen without your knowledge, your insurance company may be forced to make a substantial payment to the driver. To make sure you are not blindsided in these situations, always report the accident to your insurance company and consult an auto accident lawyer for advice.
Lawsuit Filed Against You
If you do not report the accident to your insurance company and later discover it had to pay out a claim to the other driver, chances are you may be facing a lawsuit filed against you by your own insurance company. In these cases, the court may rule you are obligated to pay the remainder of damages to the other driver after your insurance company has reached the limits of your policy's coverage. Rather than let this happen, speak with an accident injury lawyer to determine the best course of action.
Avoid Premium Increases
By reporting your accident to your insurance company, you may be able to avoid premium increases. By letting them know the accident was minor and explaining what happened, you eliminate the chance the other driver will have to manipulate the accident into a version that never happened. Thus, your insurance company will likely not raise your rates, especially if you have a safe driving record.
Since these situations can spiral out of control very quickly, always report the accident to your insurance company as quickly as possible. If problems develop, do not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney to discuss your case in greater detail.