Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance and motorists go hand-in-hand. Most states require automobile owners to carry adequate insurance coverage, and even for excellent drivers, these policies might be expensive. However, after an accident, people automatically assume the worst and think their rates will skyrocket. Fortunately, that is not always the case. There are situations where your policy is unaffected by a crash and others that can nearly double your premium and leave you with additional surcharges.
Another Driver is At Fault
While no car accident is good, the best situation for a policyholder is when they were not responsible for the wreck. However, it can take weeks to determine fault, especially in a severe crash. Police have to investigate the scene, question the drivers involved and take witness statements. Then, they need to file the report, which depending on the filing method, could take anywhere from a week to two months. If the official report finds you were less than 50% at fault, then it is recorded on your insurance as a not at fault claim.
Affect of “Not At Fault” Claims
When you are found not at fault, there is little to no effect on your premium and policy. Even if the other driver does not have insurance, forcing you to collect medical payments and repair costs from your uninsured motorist benefits, your premiums should not go up.
You’re At Fault
Unfortunately, if you are found to be at fault for the accident, then your insurer will probably not be so kind. It is not unusual for at fault drivers to see their premiums double. However, as long as the accident is minor and there are no injuries, or if there is no other party involved, then you may be able to avoid additional surcharges or penalties.
Negligence Causes Someone Else’s Injuries
If there is another driver involved in the wreck, and the wreckage was your fault, then you may have to pay surcharges in the event the other driver makes a personal injury claim. Surcharges are essentially penalties on your future policy renewals, and they can remain on your policy for three years.
If you are in a car accident, the best thing for you is to be declared not at fault, as this will have minimal, if any, impact on your policy. However, if you are declared at fault, then your premiums may double, and you may be required to pay a surcharge. If you are in an accident, you may want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Longwood, FL to discuss your responsibilities and options.
Thanks to David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injuries and insurance claims.