Let’s set the scene. So, you’ve been in a car wreck; your adrenaline is rushing, you have so many questions on your mind. You are trying to get out of the car but start feeling pain. You find out that the at-fault driver uses the same car insurance company as you. Now what?!
If you have the same car insurance company as the at-fault driver in an accident, you may be wondering will your rates go up? Will your coverage be affected? Would hiring a car accident lawyer negatively affect your claim or your future with the current provider?
We are here to answer all your questions about what happens when you have the same car insurance as the at-fault driver.
After a car wreck, take the same steps you would to file a claim even if you and the at-fault driver have the same insurance provider. What will be different between your claim and the other driver’s claim is your insurance adjuster. Claims will be separated from each other even if you’re working with the same provider. Now, this does not mean your claim will be resolved faster. Even though the insurance company is the same on both sides, there is still a process to go through, which may take the same amount of time as it would if the defendant was covered by a different car insurance.
However, yes, you can still file a claim against the at-fault driver, even if they have the same car insurance as you. Your insurance company will handle the claim in the same way as if the at-fault driver had a different insurance company. Furthermore, you should not be at a disadvantage even though the insurance provider is the same.
Here is one piece of good news. Typically, your insurance rates won’t increase if you and the at-fault driver have the same car insurance. Depending on the provider, your insurance rates may increase if it is unclear who caused the accident. In Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. we follow the contributory negligence doctrine. Therefore, if you partially contributed to the accident, then you may not receive anything. In this case, your insurance rates may increase if the insurance company deems you are partly at-fault. Rate increases will depend on your individual policy and situation.
You should always file a claim after a car wreck. Your insurance rates should not go up just because you file a claim against the other driver. Your rates could potentially go up if you’re at-fault for the accident, but not if you’re filing a claim against the at-fault driver. Moreover, you should talk to a car accident lawyer about how they can increase your chances at receiving a higher settlement.
It may seem like the insurance company is already helping you out even though they have to pay for damages regardless. In this case you may not want to provoke them anymore. However, having the same insurance company as the at-fault driver may almost guarantee that you will get a lower settlement. That’s because they are not looking to fight their own adjusters for more money. Here is where an attorney can help you.
No, hiring a lawyer should not affect your claim if the at-fault driver has the same insurance as you. The point of hiring a lawyer is to make sure you get a fair recovery. If you did not cause the accident, then you have a right to compensation. Even if you have the same insurance company as the at-fault driver, you are not a high risk in this scenario. The other driver is. Therefore, their insurance rates will take a hit but yours should not if you hire a car accident lawyer.
Even if you are unsure whether or not you may have contributed to the accident, who’s at fault or what challenges you may face, talk to an attorney after a car accident to get your questions answered.