Do I have to notify my insurance company I have an accident but there was very little damage to my car?

A. Yes. Even if both cars do not have any damage an occupant of a car can have a serious injury. If you do not timely notify your insurance company and you are sued for personal injuries, you can lose your insurance coverage which includes money to pay a lawyer to defend you and pay the claim against you if it is a legitimate claim. We have many clients who were injured in car accidents with little or no damage.

Why Do I Need to Notify My Insurance Company When There Was No Damage to the Car?

You paid your insurance company to defend you and pay any claims against you if you have a car accident. You might as well get what you paid for.

If you notify your insurance company, you will get two very valuable benefits which could cost you a lot of money if you don’t have insurance.

The first benefit is to defend you. This means that the insurance company will pay a personal injury defense lawyer to defend you. If someone files a lawsuit against you and you had to hire a personal injury defense lawyer, it could easily cost you as much as $50,000 or more.

You may also be sued for causing property damage to another car or other property. You want to make sure your insurance company will defend you and pay any money you are required to pay.

The second benefit is to pay the claim made against you. This is actually two benefits in one. Let’s assume that you have an insurance policy with a $100,000 liability limit.

First, The insurance company will pay the claim so you don’t have to. if the person, who you thought wasn’t injured, actually had surgery because of the accident, your insurance company should offer to settle the claim for the entire $100,000 limit so you don’t have to pay out of your pocket.

Second, your insurance company will not agree to pay the $100,000 unless the person making the claim against you signed a release that releases you from any further liability. When your insurance company settles the claim, you’re completely off the hook.

What do you have to do to be protected against someone who sues you?

  1. Pay your insurance premium on time.
  2. Promptly notify your insurance company of an accident, claim and/or lawsuit against you.
  3. Cooperate with your insurance company by giving them a statement and appearing for a deposition if you are required to because a lawsuit was filed.

Tip: Don’t lie to your insurance company about how the accident happened. You may be afraid that your insurance premium will increase your insurance premium if they think the accident was your fault but your premium may not increase. More importantly, if the accident really was your fault or partially your fault and you claim it wasn’t, your insurance company will probably not agree to settle the claim. This will cause a personal injury lawyer like us to file a lawsuit and go after your personal assets. Some New York personal injury lawyers like us may refuse to accept a settlement at the time of trial. Lying to your insurance company can put your personal assets at risk.

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

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