After a serious motor vehicle collision, you probably have more expenses than income. That crash could have caused massive damage to your vehicle or even left it totaled, meaning the insurance company wants you to replace it instead of trying to repair it. Beyond that, you may have substantial medical expenses and lost wages to worry about.

If you know the other driver is the one responsible for causing the crash, you likely expect that either they or their insurance policy will cover the financial losses you suffer in the crash they caused. While that may be a perfectly reasonable expectation, you may need to depend on your own insurance first. Don’t let concerns about increased insurance rates or denied claims keep you from using your insurance when you need it the most.

Filing a claim against your insurance is not admitting fault

Most people already know that the last thing you should do after a crash is apologize or otherwise say or do something that implies you were the one responsible for causing the collision. Some people will take that concept to extremes by refusing to contact their insurance carrier out of concern that doing so could result in a partial allocation of responsibility for the crash.

However, simply requesting coverage because you need to repair your vehicle, secure a rental car or pay a medical facility is not the same thing as admitting full or partial responsibility for the collision itself. It’s merely acknowledging that you need help dealing with the financial repercussions of the crash. Your insurance company should not increase rates over claims, only over tickets and crashes you cause.

Your insurance company knows how to handle these claims

If the police report already makes it clear that the other driver was the one responsible for causing the wreck, you might worry that filing a claim against your insurance company could confuse them or even constitute fraud. However, your insurance provider deals with these sorts of situations all the time.

Insurance companies are experts in a process known as subrogation. If you are not familiar with subrogation, it is simply the technical name for the process by which one insurance company bills another for a claim they already paid. Your insurance company might cover your medical costs or connect you with a rental vehicle while yours is in the shop, but they will then turn around and pass those costs on to the policy of the other driver who caused the crash.

In other words, your insurance company knows exactly how to deal with a claim that comes in as the result of a collision caused by another driver with a different policy. Get the care you need. Obtain a rental car, and arrange for the repairs you need to your vehicle or a replacement to a totaled vehicle.

Your insurance company will pay the claim and then pass those expenses onto the policy of the person who caused the crash. Your claim should not affect the allocation of liability for the collision or your insurance rates.