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What if the At-Fault Driver Won’t Contact Insurance Company?

If you’ve been in a car accident, at best, it can be a nuisance, but it is often a significant ordeal involving potentially serious injuries, medical bills, and property damage. Communicating with your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company can be stressful and complicated. But, what happens when the at-fault driver won’t contact the insurance company?

 In this situation, dealing with your car accident officially becomes problematic as you work with only your own insurance company. However, if the insurance company can’t get ahold of the other driver, contact your personal injury attorney as soon as possible to seek advice about your legal rights in this situation.

Is Insurance Unable To Contact Other Drivers? What Should You Do?

By having an insurance policy, the liable driver will not have to use his or her own money to pay for your damages. Typically, most insurance policies have a clause that requires a duty to cooperate. In those cases, any person who wants coverage under the policy has to cooperate with his or her insurance company and aid the company in the defense of the claim.

However, requiring a person to cooperate with his or her insurance company doesn’t guarantee that cooperation. If a person fails to collaborate, the insurance company could decide to deny that person coverage.  

In a car insurance claim, the other party not responding isn’t ideal, but there are several options to pursue. Based on the information available, you can try one of the following:

  1. If you don’t know the name of the other driver’s insurance company, police reports are often helpful, as that information will usually be included in the report; 
  2. If you know the other driver’s insurance information, provide that information to your insurance provider. If your insurance company can’t connect with the person who hit you, or they find the at fault driver not responding, the company should be able to make contact with the other company directly; or
  3. If you don’t know the other person’s insurance company and don’t have the driver’s contact information, get a declarations page from your insurance company to determine the extent of your insurance coverage. 

Should I Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Company After the Accident?

It is not recommended that you speak with the other insurance company after an auto accident. Let your insurance company or your attorney handle all communication with the other driver’s insurance company. That company works for the other driver, not you, and will want to investigate the claim thoroughly before paying out on any claim. 

Also read:How to Dispute Fault in a Car Accident: Simple Steps

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Why it’s risky to consult with other insurance companies

It cannot be stressed enough that you should not speak with the other party’s insurance company. That company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible and will, therefore, sometimes try to get people to say or sign something that it can use against them regarding the claim. 

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to use some of the following tactics against those making claims on their insured drivers’ coverage:

  1. The representative may ask you to make a recorded statement, hoping that you will admit something that will invalidate your claim; 
  2. The representative may misuse your words or take them out of context to attempt to prove that the covered driver isn’t responsible; and
  3. The representative may try to trip you up or confuse you with questions, hoping that you will second-guess yourself.

What Should I Do if the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Provider Keeps Calling?

As speaking to the other driver’s insurance provider is a potential minefield, that should be avoided at all costs. If the company’s representative calls, it’s ideal if they leave a message that you can then forward to your insurance company or attorney. If they keep calling you, be polite and firmly inform them to contact your insurance company or attorney. Again, do not agree to any recordings or written statements or talk about the accident. The only information to give is your name, contact information and address, and the name of your insurance company and a contact person there.

Tell them to contact your insurance company

It’s crucial to take yourself out of the equation for the insurance companies involved and let them handle the matter. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, give them the name of your insurance company and a good contact number and let them take it from there. 

What if the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Doesn’t Accept Fault?

If you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault and have opened a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you are alleging that the other driver is liable for your damages. This is known as a liability claim.  

An insurance adjuster, also called a claims adjuster, will be assigned to the claim and investigate the accident to see if the driver was at fault or not. If the adjuster concludes that their driver was liable, the company can opt to settle with you. If not, the company can reject the claim. 

It is frustrating when the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t accept fault, but you still have options for recovering damages. The quickest and most painless path to pursue compensation is to contact your insurance company.  

Contact your insurance company

You can seek compensation for your damages through your own insurance company. Depending on the type of insurance coverage your policy provides, you may be able to cover the costs of property damage or medical expenses that you have incurred. For instance, your policy may include coverage if you were hit by someone who didn’t have insurance or didn’t have enough insurance to compensate you adequately. Or, if you have collision coverage, your insurance company may pay for your car’s damages. The company might then reach out to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for reimbursement. 

If your policy doesn’t cover all damages, you could consider suing the other driver directly or suing the other driver’s insurance company, depending on the laws in your state. In cases where a person sues the other driver, the other driver’s insurance company will hire an attorney to represent its client. Again, these different scenarios all depend on the state. 

What If I Was Uninsured?

Being involved in an accident while uninsured can result in several scenarios that also depend on applicable state law. Generally speaking, if you caused the accident, you would have to pay for your own property damage and medical expenses. You will also be responsible for the other party’s damages and medical expenses. If the other driver was at fault, not having insurance could impact whether you can receive any compensation for your damages. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to these questions may vary depending on state law and should be discussed during a consultation with a personal injury attorney.

What happens if you don’t respond to an insurance claim?

  • Ideally, if you’ve been in an accident, you have exchanged insurance information with the other driver. If you were at fault, the other driver’s insurance company would call your insurance company, whether you respond to the claim or not. If you weren’t at fault, it wouldn’t make sense not to respond to a claim because that would only prolong a resolution that will likely be in your favor. 

How long does a car accident claim take to settle?

  • The time to settle a car accident insurance claim varies and can take from a few weeks to several months. It can depend on the relevant state laws and the extent of the property damage and injuries. The total time can also depend on how quickly the claim was filed. 
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company has an incentive to settle quickly when its insured driver is clearly at fault. The quicker the resolution, the less time and money that goes into the claim. Most car accident cases will settle during the insurance claim process without filing a lawsuit. 

Is the insurance company not responding to claims? 

  • Suppose the at-fault driver is not cooperating with his or her insurance company, or the other driver won’t admit fault. That person’s insurance company might not have all the information it needs to move forward and sufficiently investigate the accident. It may help to retain a lawyer to help you move the process along by contacting the insurance company for you. 

Conclusion

After a car accident, insurance companies play a large part in getting you the compensation you need. Often, the process goes smoothly. But when it doesn’t, it’s best to consult a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the insurance claim process. The lawyer can advise you on how to proceed when issues arise.

Article by James Finsweet

James Finsweet is a Head of legal department in LawBrother Ltd. At Lawrina, James contributes his experience in law practice and shares opinions on law regulations and news.

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