In most cases, it’s in your best interest to handle your own property damage claims. It’s usually quicker, and there is typically far less to argue about than with a personal injury claim, even from the same wreck. That’s because vehicles are mechanical: they don’t feel pain, and if they are out of commission, it’s easier to tell how long that will last.
After a wreck, you need to contact the police and get a report issued by an investigating officer. This isn’t being hard on the other person: if they have insurance, then they paid for it precisely for this reason. The officer will give you an “exchange slip” at the scene. This will have the other driver’s name, contact information including their address, and the name of the insurance company, typically with a policy number. You can find most insurance companies’ claims departments on the internet, along with phone number or sometimes with a way to start your claim online. Do whichever you prefer, but you need to contact the other person’s insurance company.
If the other person doesn’t have insurance, or if they gave the wrong information at the scene (either by accident or on purpose) contact your own insurance company and let them know what’s going on. Sometimes they’ll either track down the other driver’s insurance, or handle the property damage claim through your own policy, then go through a process called “subrogation” to get paid back. That doesn’t always work, but it often does.
It’s better to start the claim immediately, especially if your vehicle is towed away, so you aren’t trying to work out a rental vehicle on your own, and your vehicle isn’t racking up storage costs on a lot somewhere. At the Miller Law Group, if you have a personal injury, we want to see if we can help. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll also answer any more questions you have about your property damage claim, including letting you know whether we think we need to get involved with t property damage or not. Contact us today. We’ve got your back.