It may seem obvious to give your insurance company a call if you were at fault in an accident and need to make a claim under your own insurance policy. But do you have to notify your own insurance company if you believe that the other party was at fault? Yes, you do.
In terms of car insurance, Ohio is a fault-based state. This means that if another party caused the accident, then you can file a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. However, you must also remember to notify your own insurance carrier of the accident as soon as possible if the accident involves injuries or property damage.
While you do not have to call your insurance company immediately after the accident has happened, the important thing is that they be notified as soon as possible. You may opt to wait until you get home from the accident, after you have seen the doctor.
If you were seriously injured it’s advisable you also consult with a good Ohio personal injury lawyer who can ensure your rights to full and fair compensation are protected.
When you do contact your insurance agent, be prepared to provide them with the necessary details. They’ll need to know the date and time the accident occurred, the name and contact details of the other parties involved, the insurance policy information of the other parties involved, and the law enforcement agency that responded to the scene of the accident. If the extent of your injuries is still unclear, let them know that you are still undergoing medical evaluation and treatment. They will likely also require documentation, such as a copy of the accident report, photographs of the damage, medical bills, and repair quotes.
Your insurance company may be able to assist you if the insurance carrier of the other driver denies responsibility for the accident. You may also be able to make a claim with your own insurance company for the payment of injuries and damages—provided you have the right coverages.
For instance, you may opt to file a claim with your own insurance carrier if you have collision insurance. This type of coverage will pay for the total loss of your vehicle or the cost of repairs, though you will be required to pay a collision deductible for the repairs. You will get your money back once your insurer settles with the insurance company of the other driver. Medical payments coverage, another optional form of coverage available in Ohio, can help cover your medical bills regardless of who is found to be at fault.
It is especially important to notify your insurance company of a car accident if you have uninsured motorist coverage and the other driver does not have any car insurance at all. This type of coverage will allow you to make a claim for the damage to your vehicle or your injuries.
The sooner you notify your insurance company of your accident, the sooner the process of recovering compensation can get started. Your carrier may use subrogation to recover these payments from the at-fault driver’s insurance company later on.
Just be careful… if you’ve been seriously injured what you do or don’t do in your interactions with the insurance company may have ramifications on the amount of compensation you ultimately receive.
Without a good lawyer in your corner the insurance company may not opt to pay you the full compensation you truly deserve. So it’s advisable to have a free consultation with an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after you have received medical treatment.
The Fitch Law Firm has been serving accident victims throughout Ohio for 30+ years… call toll-free (855) LAW-OHIO for a free initial consultation.