Do You Need to Report All Crashes to Your Insurance Company?

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Legally reviewed by Alex Uriarte on September 8, 2022 Alex Uriarte is a member of the 1-800-Injured network.

After a car accident in Miami, FL, there are a lot of steps that a driver needs to take — involving things like medical care, repairing or replacing personal property, and maintaining a steady income. These things can be costly, and car insurance is meant to help cover these costs. However, drivers need to be aware of what they are required to report to their insurance company and when they need to do so.

Personal injury attorneys hear the question all the time — do I need to report every car accident to my insurance company, even if it wasn’t my fault?

The answer is maybe. No two accidents are alike, which means there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question — or any question about car accidents. One of the reasons car accident victims lose out on a fair settlement is because the insurance company handling their claim has a uniform approach, attempting to cram the unique situation into a settlement formula that delivers lowballed results. 

An attorney is the best resource that an accident victim can have when it comes to answering questions like this, as well as the countless other inquiries that arise during a claims process.

Here’s a look at when you should and shouldn’t file a claim with your insurer.

When You Should File a Claim With Your Insurance Company

You should always file a claim with your insurance company if the accident caused any type of injury or property damage. Your insurer will likely cover at least some of the costs associated with these items, and they will also begin an investigation into who was at fault for the accident.

You should also file a claim with your insurance company if the other driver involved in the accident doesn’t have insurance or if they have insufficient coverage. In these cases, your insurer will likely step in and cover the costs of the damages caused by the other driver.

However, both of these situations come with a caveat. 1-800-Injured suggests that you contact a personal injury attorney before reaching out to your insurer no matter how clear the case may seem. Insurers are not dedicated to providing claimants with the money they deserve. The claims process is designed to identify justifications for reducing settlement amounts. When injured victims initiate the claims process without legal representation, companies resort to aggressive tactics intended to stack the legal deck in favor of the insurer.

When you initiate a claim with the help of a lawyer, the adjuster assigned to your case immediately recognizes that they will not be able to rely on cheap tactics to settle quickly and affordably.

When You Shouldn’t File a Claim With Your Insurance Company

There are some instances where it’s not necessary to file a claim with your insurance. If the accident was minor and no one was injured, you may not need to file a claim. The same is true if the damage to your vehicle can be easily repaired at a low cost. If you were in a low-speed rear-end collision with negligible damage and nobody was hurt, then there is no reason to involve your insurer — especially since this could lead to an increase in your rates.

Another reason you might not want to file a claim with your insurer is if you live in a no-fault state. In these states, each driver’s insurance company covers their own damages and injuries regardless of who was at fault. If you live in a no-fault state and the accident was minor, it may not be worth it to file a claim.

Things to Remember About Car Insurance Companies and the Claims Process

The most important thing to keep in mind as a car insurance policyholder is that all insurance companies are in the business of making money — and it comes at your expense. Insurance companies make a profit by collecting premiums and using every excuse they can to avoid paying out claims.

This is why it’s important to never give a recorded statement to an insurance company after an accident. These statements are almost always used against you. Anything you say can be used to deny or minimize your claim. 

Some people will call the insurer to ask whether or not they should file, but this is a major misstep that insurance adjusters prey upon to establish “facts” of the case where the victim is unwittingly downplaying the situation and providing tangible leverage for a low settlement offer if they ultimately do file a claim.

Additionally, you should never sign anything that an insurance company gives you without consulting with a personal injury attorney. These forms often waive your right to sue or place a time limit on when you can file a claim. They’re rarely in your best interest. Take your time and consider your options before you sign anything.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the best thing you can do is contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will know how to deal with insurance companies and protect your rights every step of the way.

Unsure About How To Proceed? Contact 1-800-Injured to Connect with a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

1-800-Injured is a legal and medical referral service that connects car accident victims with available lawyers for a free consultation. During this consultation, victims can learn more about their legal rights, the value of their case, and how an experienced attorney can help them get the compensation they deserve. If the victim is trying to decide whether or not an insurance claim is worth their time, this is a great way to get a clear and specific answer.

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to call 1-800-Injured today. We’re here to help you find an attorney and get the justice and compensation you deserve.