If you’ve been in a car accident, the process of dealing with the resulting property damage, and personal injury can be annoying and costly at the very best and potentially financially disastrous at the worst.

Assuming the other driver was at fault, and has insurance, you’ll probably need to contact his or her insurance carrier about getting your car repaired. An alternative to this is to contact your own insurance carrier about repairs if you have collision coverage on your car insurance policy. If you contact your own insurer to have the repairs handled under the collision coverage you may have to pay a deductible, but your insurance carrier will try to collect the entire amount of the loss, including the amount of your deductible, from the other driver’s insurance company.

In addition, you, or the passengers in your car, may need medical treatment for injuries sustained in the car accident. Many auto insurance policies include medical payments coverage to provide some limited funds to pay medical expenses arising out of an accident.

Many people resent the idea of making a claim against their own insurance for injuries or damages that were the responsibility of someone else, but it’s important to remember that you bought and paid for the coverages on your insurance policy. It is also frequently easier to begin the claims process with your own insurance carrier, with whom you already have a relationship, and who usually wants to try and keep you as a customer, than to deal immediately with another insurance company with which you have an inherently adversarial relationship.

Even if you have no intention of making a claim against your own collision or medical payments coverage, you should probably go ahead and notify your auto insurance carrier about the accident. This is because notice of the accident is a critical first step in making a claim against uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage that may be on your policy. If you fail to make timely notice and then make a claim later, your claim may well be denied for failure to give timely notice.

Policy coverages vary from one policy to another, and often vary in amount too. If you are not sure which coverages you have available on your policy, or you need help determining how to go about making a claim, either against the other driver or your own insurance coverage, then please contact the Bowman Law Office at the number above. We can review your car insurance policy, and help determine what options you have to get your car fixed, your medical bills and lost wages paid, and assist you with any personal injury claims you may have.