The claims process

The other driver's insurance company

If the other driver's insurance company has accepted liability, give them all of the information they need to pay you. Send them copies of your medical expenses, medical reports (you will have to request these from your healthcare providers), documents that show your lost income and any other information that will substantiate your claim. If you hire an attorney, this will be their task.

I generally recommend that you not give a recorded statement to the other driver's insurance company. The reason is it can be used against you later if things change or you make a mistake. Some companies will refuse to deal with you without the statement. If that happens, you can tell them your next step is to hire an attorney. Sometimes that breaks the stalemate, sometimes it doesn't. You may have a choice to make. Give them the statement and hope for the best, or hire an attorney and fight them.

Do not settle until you know you have recovered from your injuries. You have two years until the statute of limitations will bar your claim. Never be pressured into an early settlement.

Your insurance company

Look at your policy. If you have collision coverage, you have a choice on your property damage. If the other driver's insurance company will not respond to you, or you think their offer is low, go through your own carrier. If they pay you under your collision coverage, they will go after the other driver's policy (if he was at fault) and get their money back. They will also get your deductible back.

If you have personal injury protection (PIP) on your policy, you can collect your medical bills, your lost income (80%), and in some cases your domestic help under this coverage. You can collect even if someone else pays as well. Also, your carrier cannot make you pay back the PIP payments. If you have this coverage, always file for the benefits. You paid for them.

If the other side is at fault but has no insurance, or inadequate insurance, you can collect through your uninsured motorist coverage. Submit the same information you would send to the other driver's insurance company.