Every driver‘s worst fear is getting into a collision that will impact their insurance premiums. No matter how careful you are on the road, there is no guarantee that you won’t get into an accident, which is why you need to know what to do next.
There are many steps you need to take after a collision, especially when it comes to your insurance policy. At Henderson Taylor Law Firm, we have a team of highly experienced auto accident attorneys who are dedicated to getting the best possible outcome for our clients. Keep reading to find out how a car accident impacts your insurance premiums and how fault is determined.
Contributing Factors to At-Fault Collisions
The contributing factors to collisions will also greatly impact how the insurance company responds. Some examples of common at-fault accidents include:
- Rear end collisions
- Lane change accidents
- Bicycle accident
- Pedestrian accidents
- T-bone accidents
- Right turn collisions
- Drunk driving
These are all instances where proving who was initially at fault is usually quite straightforward. If your insurance company determines you were at fault in the collision, they could potentially raise your rates if they believe you were driving recklessly.
How Do Insurance Companies Determine Fault?
The insurance company will look at the collision evidence after the accident to determine who is at fault for a collision. This often includes things like:
- Surveillance videos: Surveillance videos around the collision scene may have captured video evidence of how it took place. This includes things like traffic cameras, dash cams, security cameras, etc.
- Witness statements: Anyone who witnessed the accident can give a statement regarding what happened. The witness description could provide clarity about who was at fault or if someone was driving recklessly.
- Physical evidence: Where your vehicle was hit and physical injuries can all serve as physical evidence to prove who was at fault.
- Police report: When you report a vehicle collision, the police will automatically create a police report with details regarding what happened. The police officer‘s opinion will also be in the report, helping insurance companies determine who they believe was at fault.
There are also instances where both drivers were at fault to a certain degree. In this instance, the insurance company will decide who was more at fault, which determines who was more responsible for the accident.
What Is No-Fault Insurance?
Drivers may also want to consider getting no-fault insurance if premiums are something they are worried about. No-fault insurance is responsible for damages after a collision, whether you are at fault or not. It helps cover things like medical bills, health insurance deductibles, funeral expenses, essential services, and lost wages.
Filing a no-fault insurance claim should not cause your premium to go up, although this can depend on a case-by-case basis. You should also keep in mind that future premium adjustments could be based on the determination of the no-fault insurance coverage.
How to Minimize the Impact of a Collision on Your Insurance Premium
No matter how carefully you drive, there’s always a chance that you will get into a car accident with another driver. Other drivers may be driving recklessly, or there are unexpected factors that come into play, such as poor weather or road conditions. Either way, you want to act quickly after an accident to minimize the impact this will have on your insurance premiums.
It isn’t always possible to avoid higher insurance premiums after an accident since it ultimately comes down to your insurance company and policy. But there are a few tips you can use to try to minimize the impact of this, especially if you were not at fault.
Always Report the Accident
The main thing you need to remember after a vehicle collision is that you need to report the accident to your insurance provider. Some people fail to do this if the accident is very minor and they are not at fault. The problem with this is that the other person may decide to sue you, which can result in the insurance company refusing to honor your policy.
In a way, you are almost admitting guilt when you fail to inform the insurance company that the accident happened. This can leave you having to pay the bills out of pocket, which will often be higher than if you had increased your premium.
Something to keep in mind before ever getting into an accident is the possibility of accident forgiveness add-ons. Some policies allow this, which can be helpful if you have been in a vehicle accident.
If you still have trouble with the insurance company after getting into a collision, you may need to hire an auto accident attorney to represent you.
Maintain a Good Record
Something many insurance companies are going to look at if you get into a vehicle collision is your driving record. Maintaining a good driving record will show that it is not common practice for you to get into accidents. Because of this, the insurance company will be more likely to believe you when you prove that you were not at fault.
Attend a Driving Class
There is no guaranteed way of minimizing the impact of a collision on your insurance premium, but there are steps you can take in the hopes of doing this. One of those steps is attending a driving class to show your insurance company that you are improving your driving skills. If your insurance company sees this, they may be merciful when renewing your premium.
Hire an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney at Henderson Taylor Law Firm
If you have been in a vehicle collision, you may be worried about how this will impact your insurance premium. The good news is that insurance companies will take into account who was at fault as well as different factors that could have come after the accident occurred.
At Henderson Taylor Law Firm, we are committed to defending the downtrodden, assisting our clients, and getting the best possible outcome for their cases. For representation from one of our auto accident attorneys, contact us today at (360)-737-1478 or send us a message online.