General Question

YoBob's avatar

Texas Auto Accident - Which insurance company do you make a claim against?

Asked by YoBob (12846points) June 21st, 2011

So… I’m driving home from work this evening when a woman in a cadillac decides to rear end me. The accident was clearly her fault and there was negligible damage to my vehicle. However, enough that I would like to have fixed.

So… in such a situation, who’s insurance do I file claim against? On the one hand, I don’t believe I should have to pay a deductible, not to mention run the risk of my premiums going up. OTOH, it seems I remember something about Texas being a “no fault” insurance state.

Any insurance types out there who can offer advice?

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23 Answers

perspicacious's avatar

You call your own company and get a police report.

janbb's avatar

Yes – report it to your own agent with the police report and all her insurance information. They will proceed against her and her company.

john65pennington's avatar

You should have made a police report at the scene. Some departments do not make delayed accident reports anymore.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Hope she has a different insurance company.
If you are both insured by the same carrier, you both may end up paying more.

YoBob's avatar

What about deductibles? I hardly think it is right that I should pay a deductible as she is the one at fault.

perspicacious's avatar

Call you insurance company. You aren’t listening.

YoBob's avatar

Not open at the moment (which is why I’m asking for advice here). I’ll call when I can talk to a human tomorrow.

Regarding delayed accident reports, it is my understanding that in Austin unless there is severe damage the preferred method is to do a delayed report so as not to make rush hour any more hellish than it already is. Report will be in the mail tomorrow morning.

perspicacious's avatar

If you end up having to take a hit on your insurance record you will change your mind about delayed reporting. I would not leave the scene until I had a report. Too late for that now. If the accident is deemed the other party’s fault, her insurance will pay for all damage and your deductible will not come into play. You only pay your deductible when your own insurance is covering the damage.

lillycoyote's avatar

I can’t imagine it would be different in Texas: You were rear ended. It is always considered the other driver’s fault when you are rear ended. That means the other driver pays to fix your car. No deductible on your part. That only comes into play when something is paid out of your insurance. And no strikes against your record or insurance premiums as the accident was the other driver’s fault. When her insurance company pays to fix your car the other driver will pay whatever the deductible is her insurance policy but not you. But you should inform your insurance company about the accident. If there is any problem it is their job, one of the things you pay them to do, to work with the other driver’s insurance company.

Edit: And, according to this site and the Wikipedia article on no-fault insurance, Texas is not a no-fault insurance state.

YoBob's avatar

IMHO, it will be kind of hard to argue that it would be anything other than her fault. She rear ended me while I was at a dead stop in rush hour traffic.

Thanks for all the great answers everybody!

Judi's avatar

Do you have no fault insurance in Texas? If you do, you’re screwed even if its not your job.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Judi See my comment above. And this site As far as I can tell Texas is not a no-fault insurance state, except for perhaps for injuries and I’m not sure about that one. I got hit by someone when I lived in Austin, though that was 20 years ago. I guy backed out of his driveway, I was driving down the street minding my own business and he hit me square on my passenger side door. Got an check covering the damage to my truck from his insurance company, no problem, nary a hitch.

Judi's avatar

I don’t know about Texas, but in California, you contact your insurance company and the two insurance companies decide who is at fault. If the other driver is at fault then their company pays for all your damage, with no deductible.

janbb's avatar

FYI – no fault in most states comes into play for medical expenses not collision damage. You shouldn’t have to pay a deductible once it is deemed her fault.

YoBob's avatar

Just FYI, I talked to my insurance company today. The way it works is that I first file a claim through her company. If they pay it, we’re done. If not, I can file through my company who will then argue with her company. I have to pay the deductible in that event, but if/when her company eventually shells out then I get my deductible refunded. OTOH, if they don’t then I get stuck paying the deductible and wind up with a claim on my record.

lillycoyote's avatar

@YoBob Did your insurance company give you any reason to believe that the other company wouldn’t pay. The accident, as you describe it, it a pretty straight forward rear-ending and her insurance company should simply pay, unless it’s some kind of low life, fly by night operation. Who does she have her insurance with, you exchanged insurance info at the scene, right? And… you or someone called the police to the scene right? So there’s police report? There should be no issue. I think you are worrying too much. This seems like a pretty straight forward, everyday, not complicated insurance claim. I’ve been hit three times, when it wasn’t my fault: the guy backing out of his driveway, I got rear ended once, and someone hit my truck when it was parked on the street. All the insurance companies paid. That’s what they do. That’s why you pay for insurance and people are required by law to have at least liability insurance to drive. Stop worrying so much. Is this your first accident?

YoBob's avatar

@lillycoyote – Thanks for the concern. It’s not so much a matter of worry as a matter of not being familiar with the process. As you said, the incident is pretty straight forward and I don’t anticipate any problems.

My take away from the experience – If the other driver is clearly at fault your best course of action is to:

1) Inform your insurance company so that the incident will be on record with them.

2) File the actual claim through the insurance company of the at fault driver.

3) If the insurance company of the at fault driver balks at paying the claim, file a claim through your insurance company and they will loose the lawyers.

lillycoyote's avatar

@YoBob Good lessons to learn. Shit happens but prepares and educates you so you can deal with things better the nexy time shit happens.

funkdaddy's avatar

@YoBob – what did you find out about the police report? Years ago when I was in a hit and run, I loaded up my bumper and drove home. APD wouldn’t do a police report at all unless I was still at the scene. Just wondering if it’s still the same.

YoBob's avatar

In Texas you can file a delayed accident report. Basically it is a statement form that you fill out, sign, and send in to the DPS. Not sure how much weight it carries as it still boils down to “He said, She said”. OTOH, it is the same form that an officer would hand you if (s)he personally came to the scene, and unless the officer actually witnesses the collision it still boils down to the same “He said, She said” scenario.

YoBob's avatar

For anyone who might still be following this thread. I filed with her insurance company. Not surprisingly, she had a very different version of the story claiming that I changed lanes with insufficient distance and clipped her front end (which, is, of course, total BS). Not surprisingly, her insurance company opted to believe her story rather than mine and refused to pay for damages to my vehicle.

So… today I get a call from my insurance company to let me know that her insurance company wants to take this case to arbitration claiming that I am at fault.

It being a rear end collision, I am pretty darned confident in the outcome, but how annoying!

janbb's avatar

Thanks for the update and good luck with it!

hnsmith's avatar

who is at fault. If the other driver have done fault then their company pays for all your damage.

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