Can I Accept an Insurance Offer for Collision Damage to My Car When I Was Injured?

If your car was damaged and the accident was the fault of another driver, that driver’s insurance company may offer to pay you directly for the damage to your car. Can you deposit the insurance check? Find out.

Can I Negotiate With The Other Driver’s Insurance?

There are two times you may consider filing a claim for property damage or collision damage with the other driver’s insurance company:

  • You did not have collision damage coverage on your insurance policy.
  • You have collision damage coverage on your insurance policy but the other driver was 100% at fault and you don’t want to make a claim on your own insurance policy.

car damage caused by truck in T-bone accident

You Did Not Have Collision Coverage

If you did not have collision damage coverage on your insurance policy, you have no choice but to settle with the other driver’s insurance company if you want to get reimbursed for the damage. But find out below what you need to do.

Should I Sign a Release for Collision Damage?

Most insurance companies in New York do not require you to sign a release for collision damage. If you are not asked to sign a release for collision damage, you can accept a check as payment for the damage to your car and deposit the check without a problem.

If you do not sign a release, you can submit proof of additional damage if your body shop finds additional damage and receive more money to repair your car.

If you signed a property damage release, you will not be able to get more money if your body shop finds additional damage after starting work on your car.

The Release Must Be for Property Damage Only

If the other driver’s insurance company wants you to sign a release, you must make sure that the release states it is for property damage only. If the release is a general release, it will include injuries and prevent you from filing a claim for injuries.

It’s best not to sign a property damage release without having it reviewed by an attorney. If you already retained a personal injury lawyer, do not sign a property damage release without the knowledge of your lawyer.

If you were injured and have not yet retained a personal injury lawyer, call us for a free consultation and we will be happy to discuss the release and review it with you for free.

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You Were Injured but the Other Driver Was 100% at Fault and You Don’t Want to File a Claim against Your Insurance Company

If you were injured in New York and have collision coverage, it’s best to go through your collision coverage. The claim will likely have no effect on your insurance premium because you will also have a no-fault claim against your insurance policy.

If you still don’t want to use your collision coverage and you’re getting 100% of the damage paid by the other car’s insurance, you can settle the collision damage claim against the other driver’s insurance. But if the other driver’s insurance company wants you to sign a release make sure to have your personal injury lawyer review the release.

Tip: Ask your personal injury lawyer to take care of your collision damage claim against the other driver’s insurance because if you do it, the insurance company will get a statement from you. See why you should not give a statement to the insurance company.

Beware of Signing a General Release

We represented a client for injuries who thought she was signing a release to settle the collision damage claim on her car. Later, when her injury started getting worse, she came to us to represent her for her injury.

When we sent a claim letter to the insurance company, the insurance company argued that her claim for both property damage and injuries was released. Apparently, she had signed a general release. She was lucky because we claimed fraud and successfully had the release voided.

Don’t let the insurance company trick you into signing a release. Call us for a free consultation.

Why Should I Use My Collision Coverage Instead of Filing a Claim with the Other Drivers Insurance?

You have a number of benefits when you file a collision damage claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance company has legal and contractual obligations to you. Someone else’s insurance company does not have any contractual obligations to you.

When you file a collision damage claim with your insurance company, the insurance company has an obligation to quickly inspect your car and pay the money to repair your car. Someone else’s insurance company can take their sweet time while you’re getting impatient.

Can I Keep the Money from the Insurance Company or Do I have To Repair or Fix My Car?

You have no obligation to fix or repair your car when you get paid either from your own collision damage coverage or another driver’s insurance policy.

The money is to reimburse you for the loss you sustained which is the diminished value to your car. You can do whatever you want with the money. If you sell your car to someone else and did not fix your car, it is now worth less than it was before the accident.

However, you should take photos of the damage and make sure you can document exactly what was damaged in case your car is in another accident and additional damage is caused. You will only be able to recover money for the additional damage.

Related Articles

Can I Sue for Injury If There Was No Damage to the Car?

What type of attorney do I need if someone damaged my property or building?

Can I Settle My Own Accident Case Without a Lawyer?

See more answers to FAQs

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Attorney Phil FranckelPhilip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website.

Mr. Franckel is a personal injury lawyer, Founding Partner of 1-800-HURT-911® New York, President of 1-800-HURT-911, Inc., and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a 10 Avvo Rating, Avvo Client’s Choice Award with all 5-star reviews,  and Avvo Top Contributor. See Mr. Franckel’s bio.

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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

1-800-HURT-911® Founding Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer Rob Plevy, Esq.

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Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.

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