Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jun 11, 2019

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Important facts to know...

  • If you are hit by another driver in an accident, you can recover against that driver’s car insurance as long as you live in a tort liability state
  • If the accident was in a no-fault state, then you would first file a claim for medical expenses against your own policy
  • If the other driver who was at fault for an accident does not have insurance, your underinsured or uninsured motorist policy can help to cover your claim
  • To make sure that you receive a fair settlement from the other driver’s insurance company, you may want to think about hiring a lawyer to represent you
  • Do not accept a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company until you are satisfied with the amount you’re being offered

Being hit by another driver can be a frustrating experience even if the damage seems minor at first. If you live in certain states, you can immediately file a claim aginst the other driver’s insurance.

In other states, you would recover any medical expenses from your own insurance company first.

However, not all drivers have the required insurance, so you may need to rely on your underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage for a claim.

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The Difference Between No-Fault Insurance Systems and Tort Liability States

The relative faults of the drivers involved in a car crash matter in tort liability states. The majority of states in the U.S. are tort liability states the alternative are no-fault insurance states. Currently, there are 12 states in the country that have no-fault insurance systems.

In no-fault insurance states, the government is trying to minimize the number of lawsuits that result from car accidents.

They do this by requiring drivers to go to their own insurance companies first to cover any medical expenses as a result of an accident.

There is a certain threshold in the states at which point the driver then goes to recover against the other driver’s insurance company assuming that the other driver was at fault.

In addition, in no-fault insurance states, there is no recovery from your own insurance company at first for physical damage to your car. They deal with medical expenses exclusively and only up to a certain limit.

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Filing a Claim Against the Other Driver’s Car Insurance Company

If you have to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company, you should remember that they are adverse to you. That is, it is their goal to pay as little as possible for damages while still maintaining their responsibility to settle legitimate claims.

Make sure you have as much documentation of the accident as possible to prove the validity of your case and the settlement amount you think you deserve.

There are some situations where it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. These situations include:

  • If you are at a sticking point in the claims negotiation process with the other driver’s car insurance company.
  • In cases where there are significant personal injuries, the damages will be much higher, so it is even more recommended that you engage an attorney.
  • If there are major questions about who is responsible for the accident this is also a time where an attorney can be helpful.

Situations in which there is disagreement over who was responsible for the accident are generally more likely to end up in litigation.

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If the police were called to the scene of the car accident, there will almost always be an official police report that is taken. It is a good idea to get a copy of the police report for yourself.

The police report may indicate which driver was at fault for the car accident, which can be very helpful in speeding up the recovery of your claim against the other driver’s car insurance company.

Before you sign the settlement agreement with the other driver’s car insurance company, make sure that you were satisfied with the result.

If you accept the settlement check from them, it means that your claim is over. The time for negotiation is before you sign the agreement and cash the check. You want to make sure that you are fully compensated for the damage to you and your vehicle.

Be very cautious about signing any agreement or taking any money from the other driver in an accident without making sure that the entire claim is resolved. It is a pretty risky move to try to settle a claim without involving the other driver’s insurance company.

What Happens if You are Hit by an Uninsured Driver

Even though drivers are legally required to be insured, not all of them are.

If you are in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, your option would be to try to recover in court against that driver personally for the damages they cost.

Many times, these types of drivers do not have sufficient assets to even pay out a judgment if you were to get it in court. This is why it is recommended that you carry underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage as a part of your insurance policy.

Typically, these coverages do not cost much more a month in terms of your monthly premium. However, they work to protect you in a situation where you are hit by someone who does not have the proper insurance.

If you do not currently have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, you can call your auto insurance company to find out how much it would cost to add it to your existing policy.

This may also be a good time to check into your other coverages and see if you are paying too much for insurance. Getting quotes from additional insurance companies will help you to determine this.

Remember that the type of coverage you have matters just as much as the price you pay for car insurance.

Recap of What You Should Know About Filing a Claim Against the Other Drivers Insurance Company

If another driver is at fault for an accident, this generally means that you file a claim through their insurance company for your damages.

If you live in a no-fault jurisdiction, then you would recover first against your own insurance company if you have medical damages.

When you file a claim through the other driver’s insurance company, be sure to have all of the required documents that you need to prove your damages.

If you have difficulty in settling your car accident claim, an attorney will be able to help you negotiate with the other insurance company or file suit against them or the other driver if necessary.

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