In Virginia, the negligent driver who caused your auto crash is liable for fully compensating you for your losses, and you should file a claim with his insurance company. However, this does not mean that you should not report your accident to your own insurance company. By notifying your insurance company, you are preserving your rights to obtain additional sources of compensation if you need it.
Why Reporting Your Wreck to Your Insurance Company Is Important
Many people are under the misconception that they do not have to report their wreck to their auto insurance company if they plan to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company or that doing so will increase their insurance rates. Reporting an accident is different than filing a claim. You are simply notifying the insurance company of what happened. Here are reasons why you should do so:
- Your insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company, and it most likely requires you to notify them of any accidents.
- Promptly informing the company of your wreck is a requirement for filing a claim under the policy. You preserve your right to take this step if you later discover that you need to do so.
Why You May Want to File a Claim Under Your Own Insurance Policy
Even if you were not the at-fault driver, you may want to file a claim under your own policy. Here are some types of coverage that you may need to use:
- Collision. Getting your vehicle repaired quickly will most likely be a priority. If there are disputes with the negligent driver’s insurance company about your claim, which is often the case, you may want to use your collision insurance coverage, if you purchased it, to get your vehicle repaired quickly. You may also need to use your own insurance coverage to pay for car rental or towing costs.
- Uninsured motorist coverage. In Virginia, you are required to purchase at least $20,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of the minimum auto liability insurance you must have to drive a vehicle. If the other driver had no insurance, you would need to file a claim under this coverage.
- Underinsured motorist coverage. If the negligent driver had the minimum amount of liability coverage of $25,000 for injuries to one person or $50,000 for injuries to more than one person per accident, this may be insufficient to fully compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You can file a claim under your own underinsured motorist coverage for the amount that you are owed not covered by the other driver’s insurance policy.
Filing a claim for compensation following a car accident can be complicated, and there are many decisions that you will need to make during the settlement process. Let our experienced car accident attorneys take over the burden of pursuing your claim and fighting for the compensation that you deserve. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.