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Q
Should I file on my own car insurance?

Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Shane Smith, an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney who limits his practice to Car Wrecks, Car Accidents, Personal Injury, DUI Victims, Slip and Falls, and other injuries relating to Back and Neck Injuries

A

     Sometimes after a car accident, clients wish to file their own insurance. There is nothing wrong with this at all. The only issue is that sometimes your insurance company will require that you pay a deductible until they get it back from the other party's insurance.  This process is called subrogation. We generally recommend this route when the defendants' insurance company is claiming that you bear a significant portion of the responsibility for the car accident.  If they are claiming this and you agree on their property damage settlement, you could be hurting your personal injury claim. If you file on your own insurance, your insurance company will then subrogate or go after the defendant’s insurance company for the amount they had to pay to fix your car. When and if they collect this amount, your insurance would then refund this deductible to you. This process can take several months.  Some of the higher tier insurance companies will even waive your deductible if they know there will not be any liability problems. 
    If the other person had insurance with one of the more difficult or lower value insurance carriers then I would recommend filing on your own insurance.  If the other side wants to argue that they cannot reach their insured or their insured says something different than the report, then file on your own insurance.  I know that the most frustrating thing about being in a car accident for many clients is when their car is damaged and they need to get it fixed.  Our advice is that you deal with whichever company will respond the quickest to help you.  
     We try to help our clients resolve their property damage.  I know that this area causes many people a lot of concern and it can sometimes be difficult to get a lawyer to talk to you about property damage issues.  Please check out my site or read my book to find out about property damage claims in Georgia after a car accident.

    

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia