Do I Have to Pay My Deductible If I Was Not At Fault?
You might have to pay the deductible if you were not at fault in a car accident. However, a personal injury lawyer can help you recoup all other accident-related expenses from the driver whose negligence caused the accident. In addition, when a car accident attorney represents you in seeking compensation, they can include the cost of your deductible in your compensation request.
Suppose the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured. In that case, an attorney could also help you recover compensation from your insurance policy if it includes coverage that allows you to do so.
What Does My Auto Insurance Deductible Cover?
The Insurance Information Institute (III) defines an insurance deductible as the amount of money you pay when you make a claim against your policy. You do not pay the deductible amount directly to your insurer in most cases. Instead, it deducts that amount from any payment you receive each time you file a claim.
Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly or annual insurance premium. The agent may have offered you several coverage options with varying deductible amounts when you chose your insurance policy. A car accident lawyer can help you recover the cost of your deductible and other economic and noneconomic damages.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance or their limit is too low to cover the costs of your accident, you may have to tap into your insurance policy for coverage. If that happens, you will be required to pay your deductible. After paying your deductible, your insurer may attempt to recoup some of its costs from the at-fault driver.
This financial recovery process is called subrogation. If your insurance company is successful in its efforts to recoup its accident-related losses, it will refund all or part of your deductible.
In some cases, you may be unable or unwilling to pay the deductible after an accident. When that happens, you will not be able to file a claim for payment with your insurance provider. However, because you were not at fault for causing the accident, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer, meaning you do not pay your deductible or other accident-related expenses.
What Other Damages Can I Get From the At-Fault Driver?
When another driver’s negligence causes a car accident, they or their insurer are responsible for any resulting financial costs. Therefore, you can seek compensation for the following expenses and losses:
- Current and future healthcare expenses
- Current and future income loss
- Current and future pain and suffering
- Physical disability, impairment, or disfigurement
A car accident lawyer will carefully assess your entire range of recoverable damages. Their goal is to ensure your case receives an accurate valuation. They’ll also make a point of complying with the relevant statute of limitations in your case. An attorney takes this protective measure to ensure they can take your personal injury case to court if an insurance company does not offer an acceptable settlement offer.
If a loved one was fatally injured, you are also entitled to wrongful death damages. These can include funeral and burial costs, any medical expenses your loved one incurred, and compensation for your and their pain and suffering.
The aftermath of a severe car accident can leave you confused about how to proceed. Working with an experienced car accident attorney can clarify the process for filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver so you can avoid having to pay a deductible.
Their advice often includes keeping detailed records following the accident. For example, you could have a folder where you store any receipt that could relate to an accident-related expense, including repair invoices and medical bills. You also can gather your income tax records and pay stubs to demonstrate your lost income and any paid leave you had to burn while recovering from injuries sustained in the crash.
Call Today For a Free Case Review
If you or someone you love was involved in a collision, our car accident lawyers could help you avoid paying your insurance deductible if you did not cause the crash.
Our law firm believes that every client we represent is entitled to individualized personal service and support. We call it the Distasio Personal Touch, and we ensure every client experiences it. To learn more about how we can help you recover financial damages from a negligent driver, call Distasio Law Firm today at (813) 259-0022.