Handling a car accident without involving an insurance company can prevent a rise in car insurance rates and help to resolve a minor accident quickly and efficiently. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), insurers might re-evaluate rates after claims.
However, if you experienced an accident with a negligent driver, and they ask you not to claim damages from their insurance, you will have to consider carefully as this could result in never receiving compensation for your injuries and losses. If you fail to go through the insurance company first, the negligent driver might refuse to pay you or underpay you.
Failing to report an accident to the insurance company right away can also make it harder later on if you need to involve them due to the non-payment of the driver. If you suffered significant damages and another driver does not want to go through insurance, you need to protect your legal rights. Labrum Law Firm can advise you on all of your legal options after your car accident. Contact us today for a free case review: (615) 338-9500.
Why Not Involving the Insurance Company Can Be a Bad Idea
If the at-fault driver agrees to pay for your car damage, you might wonder why you should go through the hassle of filing an insurance claim. However, there can be a variety of reasons why a negligent driver does not want to go through insurance, including:
- Fear of rising insurance rates
- The driver has a criminal history
- The driver has a bad driving record
- The driver has a warrant out for his or her arrest
By agreeing not to file an insurance report, you could be contributing to keeping a dangerous driver on the road. Consider that even if they agree to pay your damages at the accident scene, you have no control over what will actually happen. If, once you have made the necessary repairs to your car and received medical treatment, the at-fault driver refuses to pay your damages, you will have to report the accident to the insurance company in the end anyway.
Can I Still File an Insurance Claim After the Driver Refuses to Pay?
Generally, yes, you can and should report the accident to the at-fault driver's insurance company if they refuse to pay, even if the accident happened some time ago. However, be prepared to fight an uphill battle for recovering your damages if you waited a substantial amount of time to report the car accident to the insurance company.
Insurance companies may question your motives if you have waited weeks before filing a claim. An insurer may have paid out a claim without problems had you reported the accident right away. However, they may now question your claim extensively, potentially making it even more challenging for you to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Additionally, it is possible that the insurance company could also deny your claim altogether.
What if I Have Suffered Injuries?
If you have suffered injuries, not involving the insurance company right away can be a costly mistake. First of all, if you have any symptoms whatsoever, even if they are minor, seek medical assistance immediately after an accident and ask for a copy of the medical report. According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), a typical car accident injury, may not show up until weeks after an accident. If you fail to visit a doctor and develop an accident-related condition later, you could have significant challenges receiving the compensation you deserve.
Generally speaking, if you have suffered injuries and considerable property damage in an accident, you should involve the insurance company. Moreover, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney from Labrum Law Firm to find out of you have legal recourse and ensure your legal rights remain protected.
What Should I Do if the Other Driver Has No Insurance?
Sometimes, the at-fault driver does not want to go through insurance because they simply do not have any car insurance. In this case, you could have several options. If the driver pays for your damages, especially in a minor fender bender, you can resolve the situation quickly. However, if they refuse to compensate you, you could potentially claim compensation from your own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage or take the driver to court for your damages.
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you suffered considerable damages and injuries, or the driver refuses to pay, you should consider filing a claim with your insurance, provided you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as part of your policy.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you are unable to recover the compensation you deserve from the uninsured driver or your insurance company, you may have to turn to the courts to fight for an adequate settlement. A personal injury attorney can advise you on your legal options. Additionally, an experienced car accident attorney will also be able to file the paperwork for your lawsuit and handle all aspects of your case against a negligent driver.
Steps To Take if the Other Driver Refuses To Involve Their Insurance
In any car accident, it can be crucial to dial 911 at the scene and wait until law enforcement appears at the scene. If the other driver informs you that they do not wish to go through their insurance, you can request the police report that contains important information about the accident and who is at fault. The police report should also contain insurance information from all parties, so if the other driver later refuses to pay for your damages, you could contact their insurance company directly.
Contact the Labrum Law Firm for Help Today
Seeking legal advice immediately after an accident can be important, especially when another driver does not want to go through their insurance. Speak to one of our dedicated team members for free today to find out about your next steps and all of your legal options. An experienced car accident lawyer at Labrum Law Firm can help you with:
- Gathering evidence to prove your claim
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit if necessary
Call Labrum Law Firm now for a free consultation to find out about your legal rights: (615) 338-9500.