Let’s say you were involved in a fender bender accident where nobody was injured. However, the rear end of your vehicle collided with another vehicle leaving the vehicle with a small scrape or dent. Is it really advisable for you to go to your insurance company, or do you think it would be a wiser idea for you to settle with the other driver on your own? Sometimes, you can settle with another driver without involving your insurance company, and that’s why you should learn how to settle a car accident privately because of its importance.
The only time that you should consider settling a car accident privately and without the help of your insurance company is when the accident is a minor one. However, in some cases, accidents that appear to be minor might also end up looking bigger than it seems because what looks like a scratch on the bumper could end up causing a bigger problem underneath the vehicle. They will discover this sort of problem only if a mechanic decides to examine the vehicle thoroughly.
How To Settle Car Accident Privately
The most important thing in settling a car accident privately is that both drivers have to agree. If the other driver still insists on making an insurance claim, then you should go ahead and talk to your insurance company as well. If it is what the other driver prefers, then you should allow him to handle it that way. Still, if what you are dealing with is like a broken tail light, you can try convincing the other driver that making a direct payment to him is easier, convenient, and affordable.
You should know that you can still inform your insurance company of what has happened, but you still would not go ahead and file a claim. This is what some insurance companies expect of their customers, and it is very important as well. If you do not inform your insurance company and the other driver goes ahead to tell his own company, then that becomes a bigger problem for you. Keeping records of reports and inquiries is what insurance companies want, and never filing a claim could also affect your insurance premium rates.
How To Settle A Car Accident Without Insurance
There are five steps to take to ensure you are protected if you and the other driver have decided to settle a car accident privately and not involve your insurance companies.
1. Exchange Of Contact Information: Personal checks and cash should not be exchanged, but what you should get instead is the other person’s contact address, name, number, plate number, and license number.
2. Take A Record Of Damages: Photos of both cars should be taken. All road conditions, signs, angles, and signals that might have been a factor in what caused the accident should be taken down as well. Write down notes if you cannot take pictures and detail exactly where each damage is on the car
3. Get A Police Report: Some states require to obtain the police report if there is damage. In other states, you should get a police report if there is an injury or if the damage is greater than a particular amount of money. Of course, you can also obtain a police report even if your state doesn’t recommend it.
4. Obtain Quotes For Repair From Not Just One Mechanic: If the damages suffered are yours or that of the other driver, ensure that estimates for repair are gotten from at least two or three mechanics. You might find out that the cost of repair could be expensive than you imagine at first, and this could also make both drivers have a rethink whether they want to leave their insurance company out or not
5. Keep Records: You must keep a record with the other driver. It doesn’t matter if it is just a conversation or receipts for something paid for. Ensure that there is proof of transfer if there is a transfer of money or document, and ensure that all of your conversations are made through the mail so a record of what was discussed can be kept.
6. Draft A Legal Binding After Settlement: This involves three basic contract law elements: offer, acceptance, and consideration.
These are the things you should know when it comes to learning how to settle car accidents privately. Of course, making a report of the accident within a short period of time is what insurance companies want, but you should always remember that making a report and filing a claim are two different things.