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What are my rights regarding insurance after an accident?

Insurance companies can be very difficult to work with after an accident. Their focus is on saving as much money as possible. They may try to shift blame or deny claims. It can be a fight for you to get the compensation due to you.

According to the Alabama Department of Insurance, after an accident, you have certain rights when it comes to insurance. If an insurer who has a legal obligation to pay refuses to, then you can go to court.

Another party at fault

When the other party is at fault in an accident, you will have to deal with that person’s insurer. You should file a claim with the other person’s insurance provider, or you can file one with your own insurer if you have collision coverage. Your insurer will then go after the other party for the payment.

Submitting a claim with the other party’s insurance may result in that provider refusing to pay the claim. If this happens, you may need to go to court. Do not let an insurer say they will not pay because the covered individual did not report the accident. As long as you can provide all the required paperwork, they have the legal obligation to pay.

If you submit the claim to your insurer but they refuse to go after the other party, you will need to take the claim to court to recoup the money you had to pay to your insurer. You could also try to submit a claim directly with the other party’s insurer.


After an accident, the insurer will usually try to fix your vehicle. It is up to the insurer completely on what parts to use and how to do the repairs. They can do anything they wish as long as it restores your vehicle to the same condition it was prior to the accident. They cannot use inferior parts that would reduce the value or function of your vehicle.

If your insurer decides the damage to your vehicle is 75% of the value of your vehicle, it can declare it a total loss. The insurer would then pay you the actual cash value of your vehicle. This may not be as much as you owe on a loan you have on it. That is not something the insurer has an obligation to handle. You would be responsible for paying the remaining balance of your loan.