Minor car accident, damage to both cars, no injuries. What to NOT do?
February 24, 2017 2:24 PM   Subscribe

He stopped on a very sharp turn under an overpass and I couldn't stop in time. Minor damage to both cars, no injuries. We took pics of each other's drivers' licenses, license plates, and insurance cards, and the damage to each others' car, then drove away. No police or bystanders involved--it's an intersection that has lots of fender benders so people don't pay attention. Do I just call my insurer? Is there something I *should not* do or say? I'm insured but am I likely to be totally screwed if I don't have the right kind of coverage? I find this stuff pretty confusing. I don't live in a no-fault insurance state. Is this good or bad?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Call your insurer, because the other driver definitely will. Explain the situation so that they can be prepared.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:25 PM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, call your insurer and tell the truth. The other guy is going to say you rear-ended him (true) and you're going to be at fault (because you are; if you can't avoid hitting someone then you were following too closely/going too fast). It's better to have your insurance company deal with it than to try to handle it yourself.
posted by AFABulous at 2:43 PM on February 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


I'm insured but am I likely to be totally screwed if I don't have the right kind of coverage? I find this stuff pretty confusing. I don't live in a no-fault insurance state. Is this good or bad?

I did something not unlike this over the summer. Just call your insurance company. Basically where I live (VT) if you have collision insurance it will cover the damage to your car (after you pay the deductible) and if you don't (I didn't) you are on the hook for your repairs but your insurance should pay for his repairs/bills.

With my insurance, it turned out they have a "one free accident" policy (not its real name) which means since I'd never had an accident before, it did not raise my premiums or put "points" on my licenses (what this is) so long as I do not get in another one within some length of time.

And yeah what AFABulous said, nearly all rear end accidents are presumed to be at fault of the person doing the rear-ending and unless there was something really unusual about your situation, that is likely what will happen here. Don't beat yourself up about it but be mindful of that sort of thing in the future.
posted by jessamyn at 3:02 PM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Claims adjuster here (IANYCA):

1) Call your insured company, report the accident.
2) Do not give a statement to his insurance company.
3) Do not admit fault.
4) Do not have any further contact with the other party.

Depending on details that you should not post here, the other driver may be partially liable. It is your insurance companies job to argue in your best interest. This may be accepting 100% of liability, or it may be arguing that he contributed.
posted by argylekneesocks at 3:28 PM on February 24, 2017 [11 favorites]


Also, if you don't have a clear understanding of the coverages you have and what they do, please call your agent (this person is generally different that your claims adjuster). The worst time to find out what you don't have is after an accident. Maybe too late on this one, but you can at least make sure you are prepared if there is a next time.
posted by argylekneesocks at 3:31 PM on February 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


You may be able to submit everything online which gives you the benefit of being able to write it out, edit it for clarity and be more throughtful in how you describe things.
posted by HMSSM at 10:01 PM on February 24, 2017


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