Do you have to pay your deductible when you’re not at fault

If you’re asking your auto insurance company to repair your car for an accident that is not your fault, you have to pay the deductible. You will get the money you pay for deductible from the liable party that is at fault for causing the accident.

By Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Do I need to pay my deductible when not at fault for an accident?

Even if a person is not at fault for a car accident in California, he or she still needs to pay their deductible. Every time an individual tries to get compensation after an accident, they must pay their deductible. It doesn’t matter how the accident happened.

That said, things are a bit different if a person wants to sue the party responsible for the damage. An accident lawyer can make the settlement value include the deductible amount. This means the responsible driver would have to pay the victim their deductible amount.

What is a deductible?

When a person sets up their car insurance, they choose a deductible. This is the amount a person needs to pay after an accident before their insurance kicks in to cover the rest. For example, let’s say you get into a car accident that results in $4,000 in expenses. The accident deductible is $500. This means you would have to pay the deductible and fork out $500 for the repair bills out of your own wallet. Insurance would then take care of the leftover $3,500. Of course, your insurer would have to accept your claim.

If the insurance company rejects your claim, then you would need to pay the entire $4,000 yourself. Not fun! But you can always challenge that decision. A lawyer could gather evidence to prove that your claim is legitimate.

You may need to pay a few hundred dollars or more before getting coverage. This depends on the choices you made when buying your policy. To check what your deductibles are, contact your insurer.

How do you get your deductible reimbursed?

So, someone else crashes into you, and you need to pay your deductible. Sounds unfair, right? Luckily, you can always sue the responsible driver for damages. In fact, you can ask for the deductible amount to be included in the settlement. There are other damages you can get as well:

  • Car repair bills
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of job opportunities
  • Past and future loss of income
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Reduced quality of life

The complexity of getting compensation will depend on the other driver’s insurance company. If the insurer accepts your version of the story, payout can be quick. If the insurer questions your claim and says you were at fault, it could take a long time to get paid.

How do you sue the at fault driver?

To sue the at fault driver in a car accident, you will need to hire a car accident attorney. Their experience will help you get the right reward that also covers your deductible.

There are a few ways a lawyer can get you compensation when you are not at fault:

  • Making a list of all the damages and injuries you suffered.
  • Collecting evidence from witnesses and other sources to prove fault.
  • Taking this proof to the insurers.
  • Arguing with the responsible party’s insurance company for a payout.
  • Going over the settlement with you.

You’ve got one shot at suing the at fault driver, so make sure you include every loss in your claim.

What happens if the at fault driver does not have insurance?

In California, drivers need to have insurance coverage. That said, some people try to get around the law. But if you are hit by an uninsured driver, you can still get paid.

If you are impacted by another person’s negligence, you are entitled to sue them. This includes people who may not be covered by insurance. If this is the case, the responsible person would have to pay you with their own money. That said, this could make things complicated.

For one, people do not have oodles of money like insurance companies do. Thus, they may not be able to give you the financial reward you deserve. It is also possible the person could declare bankruptcy as a way of not paying you.

This is where a lawyer can help. They will meet with the responsible driver to get as much money as the person can afford to pay. They will also try to sue other parties who may be responsible. Perhaps the car had faulty brakes. In this case, the lawyer would go after the manufacturer. This is a way to get more money when you are not at fault. A lawyer will be able to identify additional sources of compensation so you are not left empty-handed.

Contact Nakase Wade today

If you have been in a car accident and were not at fault, contact Nakase Wade for assistance. No one likes to pay their deductible, especially when someone else caused the accident. Contact us today to learn about your options.

Have a quick question? We answered nearly 2000 FAQs.

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