No—but you might want to.
If you’re not at fault in an accident, you shouldn’t have to pay your deductible. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will estimate the damage to your car and either pay the amount needed to have the car fixed or, if the car is totaled, pay the amount your car was worth at the time of the accident.
However, if you have car insurance, you might want to go through your own insurance company instead—and that would require paying your deductible.
Why Should I Go Through My Own Insurance?
By far the biggest benefit to going through your own insurance company is time. If you file a claim with your insurance company, you’re likely to get the money to pay for your car much more quickly than you would from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will likely drag its feet since you are not their client.
Your insurance company may also be able to subrogate from the other insurance company. That means your insurance will try to get the at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay them back for the money they had to pay you since the accident was their driver’s fault.
You should be able to recover your deductible if you are not at fault in the accident.
Why Shouldn’t I Go Through My Own Insurance?
Whenever you file a claim with your insurance company, you run the risk of your insurance rates going up.
There is no guarantee your insurance company will be able to recover the money they spent and cover your deductible. However, if you go through the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you will not have to pay a penny of your deductible—it just might take you a little longer to get back on the road.
The Importance of a Police Report
Of course, all of this hinges on the fact that you were not at fault. It’s important to make sure credible sources verify your version of events.
Be sure to call the police whenever you get into an accident, even if you think you’re okay or that the damage is minor. A police report will confirm that you were not at fault.
While it may be tempting to shake hands with the other driver, exchange information, and be on your way without having to wait for the police, you risk having the other driver lie to his insurance company and say that you were both at fault.
Help from an Indiana Car Accident Attorney
Regardless of whether or not you have to pay your deductible to get your car fixed, you may have also been injured in the accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company won’t be paying your medical bills anytime soon, and you don’t want to file a claim with your insurance company—so what do you do?
An experienced Indiana car accident attorney can make sure you recover the damages you need for all of your medical treatments, your pain and suffering, and any future medical expenses you may incur. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, and be sure to download our free eBook, Consumer’s Guide for Injured Victims, for more information on what to do if you’ve been injured in a car accident.