Visitor Question

Car accident caused by broken traffic lights…

Submitted By: Omar (Clifton, NJ)

This was a road accident on crossroads that occurred around midnight last Friday. The traffic lights were off and it was pitch dark. A lady bumped into me and my little Toyota Yaris is totally damaged. I got a police report done and I was told that nobody was at fault because of the traffic lights were off.

I am insured and have a good driving record. Should I submit a claim to my insurance? I don’t want to see my premium sky rocket. I have had only one claim more than 5 years ago because of my son who was driving my car at that time. This occurred in New Jersey. Thanks!

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Omar,

It is entirely up to you. You have the option of filing a property damage claim with the driver’s insurance company, or with your own insurance company. If you need the repairs performed quickly, then filing a claim with your own insurance company would be the right choice. However, if you can wait, then file a property damage claim with the driver’s insurance.

Whichever choice you make, it is important to immediately notify your own insurance company and tell them about the accident. Notifying them does not mean your are filing a claim. Instead, you are simply complying with the contractual obligation under your policy.

All car insurance policies have within them a clause, usually referred to as a “Notice of Occurrence” clause. This clause requires the insured to report any car accident to the insurance company. This is true, whether you are the at-fault driver or not.

The other driver will likely report the accident to his or her own insurance company. Once the accidents are reported, both insurance companies will open an investigation into the accident. The insurance companies will then decide whether to pay the claim or deny it. In any event, your own insurance company will pay for the repairs to your car if necessary.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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