Being in a automobile accident can depart you shocked, injured, and pissed off. In case you’re chargeable for it, you can be frightened concerning the penalties for you. However what to do after a automobile accident that’s not your fault? We clarify on this article.
A automobile accident – whether or not it’s a minor fender bender or a significant collision – may be fairly traumatic to most individuals. Moreover your individual confusion and shock from the incident, you have to to take care of tempers from different drivers as properly. Nonetheless, you’ll seemingly be extra shocked in case you’re concerned in an accident through which you’re not at fault.
What must you do once you’re on the receiving finish of a automobile accident? The nice factor is that the legislation is in your facet – all you’ll want to do is to make sure you have all the knowledge to guard your rights.
Steps to observe once you’re in a no-fault accident
1. Verify for accidents to your individual
As a result of a automobile accident occurs so rapidly, it may elevate your adrenaline ranges and make it more durable to know in case you’re injured. Take a number of deep breaths and loosen up whereas inspecting your self for exterior accidents. You would even have points like whiplash – contact emergency well being suppliers in case you really feel it’s mandatory.
2. Transfer your automobile to the facet of the street
If an accident happens on the street, you should guarantee your security by transferring the automobile to the facet. Ask the erring driver to additionally do the identical to keep away from a site visitors build-up. If there’s no site visitors and it occurred on a facet street, don’t change the autos’ place till the police arrive.
3. Contact the police to tell them of the accident
No matter whether or not you’re in a automobile accident that’s not your fault, totally different states have totally different legal guidelines concerning reporting accidents.
For instance, in New York, it’s obligatory to tell the police if there’s property harm price $1000 or extra. In Georgia, the police should be knowledgeable if the accident occurred in a metropolis that requires a crash report, if there’s harm price $500 or extra, and if it entails an damage or demise.
Both method, it’s best to tell the police immediately.
4. Collect info
Sometimes, the at-fault driver is meant to report and supply info to the police and to the insurance coverage firm. Nonetheless, you can too collect info as a no-fault driver – particularly in case you really feel the opposite driver could not observe the legislation.
Gathering info additionally lets you acquire proof of how the accident occurred. Ideally, you must acquire the next:
- The identify, tackle, and phone variety of all of the folks concerned within the accident
- Take photographs of their driver’s license and license plate quantity
- The contact particulars of the passengers/accident witnesses
- Photographs of the harm to the autos
- Photographs of the autos’ positions
- A replica of the accident report from the police, if accessible
5. Inform your insurance coverage firm
Informing your insurance coverage firm concerning the accident is a finest follow you should observe with out fail. If you weren’t at fault, you can sue the opposite driver’s insurer for damages.
In no-fault states, each driver depends on their very own insurance coverage firm for compensation as much as a particular restrict – no matter who’s responsible for the accident. This may cowl misplaced wages and medical payments from minor crashes. The at-fault driver could also be chargeable for paying for simply the property harm.
Nonetheless, in at-fault states, the errant driver is held chargeable for compensation, medical payments, property harm, misplaced wages, and the rest the no-fault driver claims.
Additionally learn: Easy methods to file an insurance coverage declare after an accident
6. File the occasion in writing, if potential
If you’re in an accident that’s not your fault, it might be laborious to recollect precisely the way it occurred. Attempt to document the sequence of occasions precisely because it occurred – both in a pocket book or in your smartphone. This may make it simpler to recount to the police/insurance coverage firm.
7. Select to sue the at-fault driver’s insurer
In at-fault states, you could have the suitable to acquire compensation from the at-fault driver after a automobile accident that’s not your fault.
Often, the at-fault driver’s insurer will attempt to settle your case by paying you a lump sum quantity. In alternate, you’ll have to surrender any future claims. Nonetheless, there isn’t a assure that the supply can be sufficient to cowl your prices.
If the at-fault driver’s insurer denies duty, you possibly can file a lawsuit to say damages. You could have higher luck convincing a jury that you’ll want to be compensated for losses in a no-fault accident.
How does insurance coverage work when an accident is just not your fault?
If you’re in an accident that’s not your fault:
- The opposite driver’s Bodily Damage Legal responsibility insurance coverage can pay in your medical bills (in case you stay in an at-fault state)
- In a no-fault state, you have to to file medical cost claims based mostly by yourself Private Damage Safety (PIP) insurance coverage.
- The at-fault driver’s Property Harm Legal responsibility insurance coverage will compensate you for automobile damages and different collateral harm close by.
- In case the opposite driver doesn’t have insurance coverage or if his legal responsibility limits are too low, you should use both Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance coverage or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) insurance coverage to file a declare.
Ought to I file a declare if it wasn’t my fault?
Sure, no matter whether or not you had been at fault or not, you should name and inform your automobile insurance coverage firm that you just had been in an accident.
It is because, in at-fault states, the opposite driver’s firm can be liable to pay damages. Nonetheless, in no-fault states, you’ll have to declare compensation via your individual insurer. The earlier you inform them, the simpler will probably be to course of the payout.
Additionally learn: How lengthy after an accident are you able to file a declare?
That are the no-fault states?
The 12 no-fault states are:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
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