A really good friend of mine called me last week to tell me that someone hit her car while it was parked outside her apartment.  A good neighbor knocked on her door and told her someone hit her car and the person was still lodged in her front pumper. She ran down to find the back end of a Budget Rent-a-truck sticking into her left-front bumper and the bumper was twisted around the front of the car.  She did the right thing, pulled out her cell phone and started snapping pictures and called the police for a formal report. But, the next day, she was not sure what to do.  Hence the phone call to me.

When you are involved in a vehicle accident, you have three primary options.  Depending on the situation, you may have more, but generally, you have three.  Regardless of what options you choose, make sure call your Insurance Company and file a claim.

After that, your first option is to have your insurance pay for the damage.  Assuming your have collision coverage, your insurance company will send out an adjuster to evaluate the damages.  Once estimated, your insurance will offer to pay for the damages as long as you pay for the deductible.  Not a bad idea, but you are paying for damage that someone else caused.  Usually, Insurance Companies will offer to refund your deductible if it recovers from the other Insurance Company.  Make sure you double check this option before paying your deductible.

If you do not want to pay your deductible, your second option is to wait for the other Insurance Company to pay for the damage.  After you file a claim with your Insurance, your Insurance should called the other driver’s Insurance to file a claim.  The other Insurance will then contact the other driver to determine liability and coverage.  If all goes well, the other Insurance will assume full responsibility for liability and coverage and pay for your repairs, 100%.  That means you are out no money.  But, if the other Insurance refuses to pay for all damages, you have one final option.

If you do not want to pay a deductible, and the other Insurance Company refuses to pay for everything, you are free to sue the other driver for the damages.  If liability is obvious, this may be your best option.  The drawback to this option is that it can takes months before you may see any money.

My friend did the right thing, she called an attorney and asked what her options are.  I took over the case for a nominal fee (dinner) and the case is being resolved quickly.  Insurance Companies pay more attention once an attorney is involved.

Call my office at 412-209-0657.  I will advise you of your best options and help you resolve your claim quickly.  Think about how much you use your vehicle.  How inconvenient would it be if you were not able to use it at all for as long as it takes someone else to do what is right?