If you were recently in a car accident and the other party filed a claim against you, you may dispute it if you believe you weren’t at fault. Below, you can learn how to dispute a car insurance claim against you and when it’s worth disputing any claims against you.
How To Dispute a Car Insurance Claim Against You
Here are some steps you can follow to dispute a car insurance claim against you:
1. Gather Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
In order to build a strong case, you first must gather evidence at the scene of the accident. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who would be able to attest to what happened. Take photos of the positions the vehicles are in, the damage the vehicles sustained, skid marks on the road, and accident debris on the side of the road. No detail is too minute to record in pictures.
It can also be helpful to obtain a copy of any police report that authorities generated pertaining to the accident. An auto insurance company may want to reference this document as representatives review your dispute against a car insurance claim.
After a car accident, it’s important to assess how you’re feeling. If you feel any symptoms of an injury, you can visit the emergency room. Even if you don’t feel any signs of a problem, you may still consider visiting a walk-in clinic so a physician can assess your condition. This way, an insurance company will know that you sought treatment, and it cannot claim that you waited too long to seek medical attention.
2. Inform the Appropriate Insurance Company About Your Dispute
It’s essential for you to inform the appropriate insurance company about your dispute, whether it’s your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. You should first inform them of your dispute over the phone so that they know about it right away. Then, you can send a follow-up email or letter so that your dispute is in writing. In your dispute, state that you don’t agree with their assignment of fault and that you plan to take further action.
Expressing your disagreement may accomplish one of two goals. First, it may prompt the insurance company to investigate the situation further. At the very least, your stated disagreement may initiate a record of your dispute so the insurance company can refer to it in the future.
3. Follow the Fault Dispute Process for Your Specific Insurance Company
Many insurance companies have internal processes to follow for disputing fault in an accident. Adhere to these processes and remain cooperative throughout them to help the investigation go as smoothly as possible. For instance, you may have to provide a verbal statement to an insurance adjuster. Understand your rights while you’re providing a statement, and avoid providing statements that may impede your ability to perform well in a car accident lawsuit if your case reaches this point. You may consider hiring a lawyer to help you best navigate your case.
4. Inquire About the Police Report
Determine who the investigating officer was who filed the police report associated with the accident. Present your side of the case. Ask the officer to include an addendum if the situation calls for it. You might even be able to get the officer to amend or omit a detail if it was incorrectly included on the report.
5. Challenge Any Tickets You Received That Relate to the Accident
You may challenge any tickets, including speeding tickets, you received that occurred as a result of the accident. You can take these tickets to court and show your insurance company that you’re willing to defend your rights. Even if you aren’t successful in court, you may prove your proactivity to an insurance company, and it may take you more seriously as you dispute the claim made against you.
When Is Fault an Issue in a Car Accident Case?
You may want to dispute your fault if you live in an at-fault state. At-fault states, such as California and Ohio, require at-fault drivers to compensate other parties for their damages and losses. When you dispute your fault in an at-fault state, you may be able to remove your liability for covering damages.
In a no-fault state, fault isn’t normally an issue. The 12 no-fault states in the U.S. are Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. In these states, everyone involved in a car accident relies on their insurance companies to compensate them for damages. Fault isn’t an issue in these states, so it may not be worth your time and energy to dispute any claims made against you.
When Should I Not Dispute a Claim?
Choosing whether to dispute a car insurance claim against you is a personal choice, and it can depend on several factors. You may choose not to dispute it if you believe it will be difficult to disprove the claim the opposing party made against you. You may also not want to go through the hassle of disputing a claim.
Your insurance may provide sufficient coverage to cover your own losses and any claims that other parties made. After your insurance company issues payments, your insurance rates may increase. This is to be expected after an accident where you assume primary fault.
However, you may choose to dispute a claim for several reasons. For example, you may want to dispute if your insurance provider won’t offer ample resources to cover the applicable claims. You may also dispute a claim made against you if you’ve endured a notable amount of pain and suffering and wish to seek compensation.
Disputing a car insurance claim against you can be a stressful process, but understanding how to do it can make the process go more smoothly. Explore our website for more tips on handling your insurance details.
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