Almost as soon as the dust settles from a personal injury accident, victims start worrying about the future. They may wonder things like who will pay medical bills, or how they will cover basic costs if they’re out of work. But one of the more practical questions that can emerge is whether your insurance will rise after an accident. The truth is, a claim against your insurance can indeed make your premium soar. If you’re on the verge of a personal injury case, read this article to learn some of the potential impacts on your insurance.
Who’s at Fault?
When it comes to figuring out whether an auto accident will increase your insurance premium, one of the biggest factors is who caused the wreck. The answer to that can determine if your insurer feels that you are a responsible driver who got in a bad situation, or a high-risk driver that should be insured with caution. Insurance companies tend to put accidents into two simple categories. Those include the following:
- Accidents in which you aren’t at fault
- Accidents in which you are at fault
When you’re involved in an injury accident caused by another driver, then it’s considered a non-fault accident. This is ideal because it means that your insurance costs should not be affected. After an investigation determines you did not cause the accident, your insurer will have grounds to deny any claim made by the other driver. There’s no evidence insuring you poses any added risk, so there’s no reason to raise your premiums.
The situation can be very different, however, if you did cause the injury accident. The circumstance could be as minor as failing to yield at a stop sign or as serious as driving under the influence. In either case, after insurance investigators determine your responsibility, you could see your premium increase by up to 40 percent or even more.
The increase reflects concerns your insurance company will have with you being involved in future accidents. The increase in your premium may be equivalent to what the company has to pay out to the other driver for vehicle damage or a personal injury settlement. In this case, having a personal injury lawyer can help by working out a lower settlement with the victim.
Insurance is high enough without worrying about an accident raising your premiums. Yet that’s exactly what happens sometimes. Know what to expect, and partner with a good personal injury attorney, like a personal injury lawyer Trenton, NJ, to help mitigate some of the financial fallout.
Thank you to Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into personal injury law.