If you were recently in a car accident, you probably have a lot to deal with. There was probably damage to your vehicle and possibly other property and you may have even suffered some injuries. This is what your insurance is for, but if the other driver was at fault you may not know if you should use your insurance. Might it be better to wait and get compensation from the responsible party instead? In reality, there are advantages and disadvantages to accepting the insurance payment. This guide will not tell you what to do, but it will give you all the facts so you can make the right decision for yourself. It is also advisable to seek the counsel of a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Tampa, FL from Jeff Murphy Law.
The biggest advantage that accepting your insurance payment to cover your accident expenses has is that it is safe. If you choose not to use your insurance and rely entirely on the compensation from the other driver, you are risking the possibility of getting nothing. If the driver refuses to pay, you will need to take him or her to court, and if you lose the trial, you will have to pay for your expenses out of your own pocket.
Another advantage is that you will receive payment very quickly. It can take weeks, months, or even years for a court case to resolve. Until you receive compensation from the other driver, you will have to pay for the medical bills and repairs yourself. Additionally, you can avoid paying for an expensive attorney.
Remember, you can accept your insurance payment and still pursue compensation from the other driver. But if you refuse your insurance payment, then you cannot change your mind later.
The big disadvantage of accepting your insurance payment is that it will affect your monthly payments. You almost certainly will have to pay more each month to keep your insurance policy. Although rare, some providers do not raise their rates after just one accident or may return your rates to normal once they are compensated by the other driver.
Additionally, your insurance will not pay for pain and suffering. If you choose to use your insurance payment instead of filing a lawsuit, you will never receive any compensation for the experience. However, if you do file a lawsuit, then the compensation for pain and suffering goes to you alone, rather than to the insurance company.
So, to recap, here are the advantages of accepting insurance:
- And here are the disadvantages:
- Raise insurance rates
- Potentially miss pain and suffering compensation
The choice is ultimately yours and there is no universally right answer.