In this unique case, would be better to contact my insurance, or the other drivers insurance?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2016

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Insurance Question from Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Asked on 08/25/2016

In this unique case, would be better to contact my insurance, or the other drivers insurance? Hello,Help!Another driver, without a license, hit my 16 year old son in their school parking lot July 13. Both his parents’ 13 year old car (probably worth about $3,000) and our 3 year old car (worth about $17,000) were totaled. No one was hurt. I have their policy number from the police. My son got a ticket for running a stop sign, based on 3 witnesses. He rolled through it, which everyone does - I could easily prove it by taking video. A body shop mechanic estimated the other driver was doing about 60 mph, in the 15 mph parking lot. The other driver never hit his brakes, as the police noted there were no skid marks. He estimated my son was traveling about 10 mph. I have not contacted my insurance. We only had liability, not collision. My primary is question right now is whether it would be better to contact my insurance (Allstate), or the other drivers insurance (Windhaven in Miami), to attempt to get reimbursement. I have made initial contact with their insurance. They said then they “did not have this information there” to tell if their coverage was active at the time, so it especially seems it would be a big mistake to call my insurance company and tell them about the accident if their coverage was not even active, because then I couldn’t collect anything, right? Right now I am supposed to call Windhaven back with more info, which I now have. Since I don’t know if their coverage was active at the time of the crash, and the details above which makes it unlikely they would sue us (not to mention they are football teammates), I don’t see why at this time I shouldn’t try to avoid my insurance company and try to just go through their insurance company myself. Do you agree? Or by going calling my insurance company do you think they would get me a better reimbursement? I was told by a 3rd party it doesn’t matter whether or not they had collision coverage, that I could still file a claim either way - right?If they did sue me (again, I think highly unlikely), then I could call my insurance company, right?Thank you!

Answer given on August 28, 2016

Since you did not have collision coverage on your car, there is no reason to call your insurance company at this time to report the claim. You may have to report it at a later date if the other driver files a claim against your son for the collision. If they do, your insurance company will have to investigate the claim to determine if your son is liable and if so, for what percentage.Follow up with the other driver’s insurance company with the additional information they needed. They will also have to take a statement from their insured driver and determine the percentage of responsibility. It is possible you will get a partial settlement offer since the case of speed would most likely have a greater effect on the resulting accident. However, running a stop sign will make your son partially responsible, whether it was a roll through or not. It was not a full stop.

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