If I just put in a claim with my auto insurer and then had another accident, shouldIfile a new claimor just get the at-fault driver to pay for the damages?

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If I just put in a claim with my auto insurer and then had another accident, shouldIfile a new claimor just get the at-fault driver to pay for the damages?

I was in a minor traffic accident where the other driver (who was at fault) sped off. Before she did, we exchanged words about the fact that she scratched and dented my car. She denied that she did. I was able to get the license plate number and when I called to report it, I learned that she had called first saying that she, “May have been in an accident” and “Possibly heard some yelling”. The officers, over the phone, helped us to exchange insurance information so we could proceed with insurance claims, etc. Just 4 weeks prior I was hit by another driver and so I have just had a claim. I am concerned about having another one so soon.Should we proceed with the insurance companies or should we, somehow, attempt to get this driver to pay for the repair of the damage that she caused to my car without involving the insurance companies? And if so, how do we go about doing that?

Asked on November 11, 2010 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Since you were not at fault in either accident, you should file separate claims against the insurance carriers of the other drivers in each accident.  Since the other driver in this latest accident has insurance, it would NOT be advisable to try to get her to pay as an alternative to going through the insurance companies.  The fact that she sped off and tried to deny liability already shows that she will most likely be unreliable about paying for your damages.  Since you were not at fault in either accident, there should not be any reason to increase your premiums; however, insurance companies raise premiums without a reason.


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