Hi! I'm Lara. Recently, I was driving home after some food shopping when I pulled onto a freeway on-ramp. I was just about to accelerate to merge into traffic when — BAM — someone rear-ended my car.
Here are 11 things I learned about what to do after a car accident that's not your fault:
1. Don't only take photos of the license plates.
2. Never claim fault.
3. If you didn’t cause the accident, don’t file a claim with your insurance about it.
4. Unless the other driver has a “nonstandard” insurance carrier, in which case you might be better off filing with yours instead.
5. Depending on your state, you might be able to fix your whip at any auto body shop you want.
6. Not all auto body shops are created equal.
7. If your vehicle is deemed a total loss, you don't have to accept the first settlement offer.
8. Instead, try to argue your way to a higher settlement.
9. You don’t always need to call an attorney after a wreck.
10. Filing a police report can help document the accident.
11. You can always go back to the adjuster and try to get a higher settlement.
Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that you have the right to take your car for repairs at any body shop. It has been updated to show that this depends on your state. Always check your local laws and regulations if you're not sure.