Do You Have to Pay Your Deductible If the Accident Isn’t Your Fault?
By Chris Dixon
There are dozens of insurance companies in the U.S. that are available for driver’s to buy insurance policies from. Every insurance company has their own unique policies and rules about deductibles. If you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, you might find yourself wondering who is responsible for paying your insurance claim deductible. Speaking with your insurance agent or a car accident lawyer can provide you with answers about who is responsible for paying your deductible if an accident isn’t your fault, how ‘fault’ is determined in a car accident and what happens if you’ve already paid your deductible for an accident that isn’t your fault.
Who Pays My Deductible if a Car Accident isn’t My Fault?
Insurance claims can be tricky. If a driver is found to be at-fault for the accident prior to you making an insurance claim with the help of your car accident lawyer, your insurance company will make the at-fault driver pay for your deductible. If fault has not been determined at the time that you file an insurance claim, your insurer might make you pay for your own deductible upfront. Once someone has been found at-fault for the accident, your insurance company can reimburse you for the deductible you paid. Your insurance company will then attempt to recover the amount for your deductible from the negligent driver’s insurance company through ‘subrogation’. If both you and the other driver are found to be at-fault for the accident, the amount that each at-fault driver will pay is determined by their percentage of fault in the accident.
How Do I Prove to My Insurance Company That I’m Not At-Fault for an Accident?
When a car accident occurs, one or both drivers will eventually be found at-fault for the crash. There are many different reasons why a car accident can happen, but there is usually some type of negligence involved. Common types of negligent driving situations include:
- Speeding and striking another vehicle
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, changing the radio, etc.) at the time of the crash
- Driving under the influence (drunk, on drugs, etc.)
- Making an improper turn or lane change and causing a crash
- Running a red light or not stopping at a stop sign and hitting another vehicle
I Paid My Deductible But the Accident Wasn’t My Fault, What Should I Do?
One way or another, someone will have to pay for your deductible from an accident. If an accident isn’t your fault but you still paid your deductible on your insurance policy, you can recover this money by including it in your insurance claim created with a local lawyer. If the other driver is at-fault for the car accident and you have gathered accurate evidence from the scene of the accident, filed a police report and obtained a copy of your medical report, you can prove they are at-fault and recover damages from them with a car accident claim settlement. If they refuse to pay your settlement or do not offer enough of a settlement, your lawyer can negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to get the most for your case in compensation. If the other driver or their insurance company still won’t budge, you can take them to trial with the help of your car accident lawyer to recover damages.
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer About an Accident That Isn’t Your Fault
The best advice is to always document the scene of a car accident. Failure to document the scene of an accident can leave the door open for an at-fault driver to not have to pay for damages they caused. If another driver is not held at-fault for an accident you’re involved in but you weren’t at-fault for, you will still be held responsible for paying your insurance deductible. Having a car accident lawyer by your side can prevent this from happening and ensure that you have taken all of the necessary steps to make sure that the at-fault driver is held responsible for causing the crash, including paying your insurance deductible. If you are ready to speak with a personal injury attorney about a car accident that you were involved in that wasn’t your fault, contact the Dixon Injury Firm to explore the different options that may be available to your case.