Without a doubt, property damage and medical problems are two of the worst things that can come out of a car crash. The situation feels even more unfair for the driver who did not cause the accident. Drivers already dread contacting their own insurance companies to report car crashes. Imagine also needing to contact someone else’s.
The good news is that the injured driver might receive help from his or her insurance company to file a claim against the other person’s insurance policy. In fact, Allstate claims that regardless of who is at fault, each driver should inform his other insurance company. Then, the injured party’s insurance company might work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or even help individuals with the third-party claim process.
Things could get interesting if both drivers have an insurance policy with the same insurance company. It might not feel as motivated to assist because it ends up paying either way. Even when this is not the case, some insurance companies might simply refuse to assist with the process.
Determining at fault
Washington is a tort law state, which means that someone — or even both parties — might become liable for the damages. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy would then need to cover damages. Note that in no-fault states, each person makes a claim on his or her own insurance policy and might only receive the right to sue for serious cases.
Filing a claim
Forbes shares that while filing a third-party claim is the common sense thing to do, it might prove difficult. The at-fault driver’s insurance company might try to delay the process and insist on an investigation to determine fault on its own.
Even though Allstate claims that allowing the two insurance companies to hash it out is helpful, it often leads to them deciding to split the blame and the difference. That means, joint responsibility and the potential for the injured party’s insurance to climb despite no real fault. Not surprisingly, many third-party insurance claims end up in court.