Regardless of fault, it is crucial that you contact your insurance provider and report any incident that involves injuries or property damage.
It is a common myth that you do not need to call your insurance provider if you were not at fault for the accident. This is not actually the case because there are many types of coverage on your insurance policy that could be used. In order to use any of these, however, you are required to notify your insurance company after an accident resulting in injuries.
Whenever you are harmed in an accident or sustained some kind of injury, and you decide on filing an insurance claim — whether through your own insurance provider or that of the at-fault party — you should notify your own insurance company and let them know what took place. This will help to protect in the event that an injured party files suit against you or you choose to file your own personal injury claim due to the accident.
Our team of experienced Utah personal injury lawyers at Siegfried & Jensen are going to discuss and examine some of the critical steps to follow when informing your insurance provider about an accident.
When to Notify Your Insurer of an Accident or Injury
It is a good procedure to reach out to your insurance company within 72 hours of any accident that may result in you filing a claim. There may be details concerning notification deadlines in your policy, or the policy may mandate that carriers who sustained injuries notify the provider “within a reasonable time.”
What type of accident should the insurer be notified about? This depends, but there are certain situations when you must reach out to your insurance provider, and you may even be required to under the terms of your policy. For instance:
- You have been involved in a car crash that resulted in injury (whether to yourself, a passenger, or another driver and their passengers) and/or there was significant property damage resulting from the collision. In this case, you should contact your own car insurance provider and inform them about what occurred, no matter if you were injured yourself, and even if you do not believe the accident was your fault.
- A guest or visitor to your home sustains an injury while on the property (whether it be a slip and fall, a dog bite, or some other type of injury). In this case, you would need to report the incident to your homeowner’s insurance provider promptly, even if you are not thinking of filing a claim due to the accident.
On top of these two situations, it is good practice when deciding whether or not to report an incident to your insurance provider, you should consider:
- Is it likely that I will choose to file an injury claim under my insurance policy due to this incident? or
- Is it likely that someone may choose to file an injury claim against me due to the incident, and that my insurance coverage will be applied under this policy?
If the answer to either question is “yes,” it is probably best to notify your insurance provider about the accident and cooperate in any claim investigation that may result from the incident.
What to Expect When You Talk to Your Insurance Carrier
Regardless of who you talk to, if it’s your own insurance agent who you have experience dealing with previously or someone from the claims department, be sure that you provide all the details of the accident: who was involved, how the accident occurred, any potential witnesses, anyone who was injured, any property damage, etc. The insurance agent will probably draw this information from you with drafted questions. You should be as honest and in-depth as possible about the circumstances of the accident. You must remember that in the event you receive a call from a representative of an opposing party, it is in your best interest to refrain from providing too much information about the accident.
Before hanging up on this first call, be sure to record who you are speaking with and receive confirmation about the information that the details you provided will be filed with the insurer’s claims office. In the coming days, you should expect to receive a letter documenting your claim. If you do not receive a letter, follow up directly with the claims office.
What happens after this will depend on if a claim is filed over the accident, either:
- a claim filed by you, seeking coverage under your insurance policy, or
- a claim filed by another party, stating that you were liable for the accident so that your coverage and the insurance provider’s duty to defend under the policy will be activated.
Whichever is the case, if a claim has been filed, you will be required to cooperate with the insurance company’s claim investigation, and that could include allowing the insurance provider to inspect your property or your vehicle for any damage or allowing the insurance provider to examine any medical records related to the injury claim.
Salt Lake City Fatal Auto Accidents
Utah has some of the worst drivers in the nation. While a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that, overall, Utah is relatively safe, it is still ranked as one of the deadliest states for vehicle collisions. Utah is fourth in the nation for fatal car accidents caused by drunk driving. Intoxicated drivers often behave recklessly on the road as their regular driving skills are impaired by alcohol. Sadly, many accidents involving drunk drivers end fatally, resulting in the victim’s families taking on the financial burden of damages resulting from the accident.
At Siegfried & Jensen, our team of Salt Lake City car crash attorneys believes in holding intoxicated motorists responsible for their negligent actions. Families who have lost a loved one should never take on the financial burden in the aftermath of a car crash. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver, call us today at (801) 845-9000 to see how we can help.