When should I contact my insurance company after an auto accident?

Ohio is a fault-based car insurance state, meaning if another driver caused your accident, you can file a claim with his or her insurance company. But you should still inform your own insurance company of the accident right after it happens. In fact, policies often require drivers notify the insurance company of an accident regardless of who is at fault.

How often do medical malpractice cases involve litigation?

JAMA Internal Medicine published a study in 2012 that reported the outcomes of medical malpractice court cases. The findings showed that 55.2 percent of claims examined between 2002 and 2005 that involved costs to the defense went to litigation. The number of claims that involved litigation varied somewhat, depending upon the medical speciality involved.

Notifying Your Insurer Right Away Can Get the Process Started Sooner

Failing to notify your insurance company right away could delay recovering compensation for your bills stemming from the accident. In some cases, you may use your own insurance to pay your bills instead of waiting on a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

For example, if you have collision coverage, you may pay your deductible and then your insurance company will pay the rest of the cost of your vehicle repairs. Your medical payments coverage – another optional coverage in Ohio – can help you pay your medical bills.

Notifying your own insurer of your accident can get the process started sooner so you can pay your bills and get your car repaired. Your insurance company may later recover these payments from the at-fault driver’s insurance company through subrogation. You may also recover any out-of-pocket expenses (like a deductible for car repairs) from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

What to Say to Your Insurance Company after an Accident

It’s important to share the basic facts surrounding the crash. Write down this information at the scene and then communicate it with your insurance company so it has it as well.

The following is some of the information to provide to the insurer after a car accident:

  • Speed
  • Location
  • Time of day
  • Date of the accident
  • Weather/road conditions
  • Direction of travel
  • Who hit whom
  • Other driver’s name and insurance information
  • Keep in mind that the extent of your injuries might not be clear yet.  So in this case, you can indicate that you are still receiving medical evaluation and treatment.

Before giving a recorded statement, though, talk to your attorney for guidance. Provide basic information initially after the accident and then work with your lawyer to collect the right evidence to establish the other driver’s fault. Adjusters with your own insurance company will also work to collect evidence and figure out who was at fault.

In addition to verbally sharing information, also share any documentation that can help prove the other driver was at fault with your insurer. This could include a copy of the accident report and photographs.

To show the impact it’s had on your life financially, physically and otherwise, be prepared to submit copies of:

  • Repair quotes
  • Medical bills
  • Proof of lost wages
  • Other relevant material

Help for the Legal and Insurance Process

Talk to an attorney for help navigating the legal and insurance claims process. Ryan, LLP can answer all of your questions about your right to take legal action against an at-fault driver and can help you pursue fair compensation. Call us at (877) 864-9495 if you or a family member was severely injured in an auto accident.