If you are driving your car and are rear-ended, the driver behind you is almost certainly at fault. There are a few exceptions to this, but they are rare. The question is how to proceed with a claim. Generally speaking, you will want the driver’s insurance to pay.
Avoid filing a claim with your insurance company
If you file a claim with your own insurance company, they may pay for the damage, but you will be liable for any deductibles that pertain to your policy. Another problem with filing a claim with your own insurance company is that your insurance rates will likely go up. Unless you have been a victim of a hit and run or the other driver was uninsured, the other driver’s insurance is the one that should pay for damages. Of course, this assumes that you have comprehensive coverage. Without comprehensive insurance, your insurance company is not going to cover any damage to your car when rear-ended. You will have no choice but to be compensated by the other driver’s insurance.
Document the accident
If the damage is severe, you will need to get a police report to verify your case against the other driver. Insurance companies, in general, are reluctant to pay, so the more documentation you have, the better your chances of an insurance company paying you. Along with a police report, it is advisable to take several photos if possible. If you have a smartphone handy, don’t be shy about taking lots of photos of the damage and the surrounding area. If you have sustained any physical injuries, you need to go to the hospital as soon as possible. It is much easier to get compensated for car repairs than medical bills, so you need to document this within hours of the accident.
When to contact an attorney
There are two reasons that you will need to contact an attorney to help with your claim. The first is that the insurance company is stalling, and it looks like you may never get any money. The second reason is that you have been offered a settlement amount that is far less than is required for compensation. In either case, an attorney will often be able to expedite the process.
Whatever your situation is, your insurance company may not be a lot of help. They are only concerned about a claim that you file with them or a claim that someone made against you. With a rear-end collision, focus your attention on the other driver’s insurance company, and if you need assistance, contact an attorney.