If you are in a car accident and it was just a fender bender, you might be wondering if you should pursue a case or just let it go. If there is property damage only and no one was injured, you might be better off just paying the money out-of-pocket if you are found to be liable.
Even if you have collision insurance and think about making a claim, there are times when your deductible is so high that you end up paying a huge chunk of the cost anyway. Adding insult to injury, if you do file a claim, there is the likelihood that your insurance rate coverage might increase. Sometimes in an accident, it is better just to let it go and pay for it on your own.
However, if the accident is more severe and you are injured, then it is never a good idea to try to handle it on your own. Whether you are at fault or not, dealing with your injuries should be something that you let the insurance company handle. Even if you think it is just some minor bruising and cuts, any injury can quickly become more serious – and expensive. So, not only will you want to file a claim, but you will want to seek the help of an auto accident attorney to ensure that you are doing everything that you should.
Whether you are liable or not, based on coverage you are entitled to either property damages and injuries or just injuries. In at-fault states, if you are found to be liable, then your insurance company has to pay for the damages and injuries to the other driver, as well as your injuries. If your car was damaged, however, and you didn’t have collision insurance, then in most states it would be up to you to pay for your own car damage.
When dealing with a car insurance company
Most people think that they can deal with an insurance company on their own without the legal assistance of a accident attorney. However, in most instances, that is not a good idea. In almost all cases where injuries are involved, an attorney will be able to negotiate a higher settlement than if you choose to go it alone. This is because you probably don’t even know what you are entitled to when you are injured in a car accident. If you don’t know how to calculate your damages and injuries, there is no way to tell whether you are getting a fair settlement offer.
The sad reality is that the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. They aren’t worried about providing you with all the compensation that you deserve; they are seeking to minimize their own liability and pay you the lowest amount possible. Whatever offer they make you, there is almost always room for negotiation. But if you don’t know that, or don’t have a professional to advise you, then you could be taking way less than you deserve for your accident.
If you choose to handle things on your own and you pay out of pocket, you could be getting into some real trouble and leaving yourself vulnerable. For instance, if you get into a “minor car accident” with someone, and you agree to pay for their car to be fixed, you are in effect admitting that you are at fault.
As time goes on, if the driver of the other car finds that they have sustained significant damage to their back or another injury, they might decide to sue you in court. It is imperative that you take the chance that you might see an increase in your insurance premium rate to ensure that you don’t leave yourself vulnerable, or end up paying a whole lot more, in the end.
So, if you are in a car accident and considering not making a claim to save yourself on your monthly car insurance premium, think long and hard. It is best to get a lawyer for car accidents involved to advise you before you pay out of pocket, admit guilt, or even try to make a deal with a car insurance company for a settlement without first having a professional look it over.
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