Insurance Rates After an Accident
Most car accidents in Victorville culminate in a payout or court award. However, if you are like most people involved in a car accident, you may not be sure how your car insurance after an accident is going to be affected. Driver Knowledge reports three million individuals are injured in car accidents each year in the United States alone. Sadly, two million drivers involved in car accidents suffer lasting injuries every single year. Depending on your car insurance and the other party’s car insurance company, coverage can help you overcome the accident, both when it comes to your health and finances.
Sometimes, car insurance rates increase after a car accident, leaving victims to consider if they should switch car insurance companies or file a personal injury claim with the other involved party. Let’s take a look at how car insurance works after an accident and the role an attorney plays in obtaining benefits from an auto insurance company.
Will Car Insurance Rates Go Up?
Unfortunately, after a crash, regardless of fault, car insurance rates will most likely go up. When it comes to car insurance companies, there is little to no forgiveness when a crash does happen. Collision coverage will help protect involved drivers, but their premiums will increase.
If you’re wondering how much car insurance rates will go up, you are not alone. The average premium rate increase is approximately $750. However, the exact amount of how much your auto insurance rates will increase may vary. The factors that are taken into account typically include the following:
- Car insurance providers
- If collision coverage is part of the policy
- If car insurance offers accident forgiveness
- Uninsured motorist coverage is part of the plan
- Driving record
- Any car insurance claim filed in the past
- State where the accident occurred
When it comes to car insurance after an accident, and depending on the type of event, car insurance premiums may not be affected or may only show a slight increase. For instance, some insurance companies offer optional plans, like “comprehensive coverage. ” This type of coverage accounts for car damages that are unrelated to a car crash. Vandalism or damage from a natural disaster (flood or fire) would fall under comprehensive coverage.
Why Auto Insurance Rates Increase After a Car Accident
Auto insurance companies do not necessarily increase car insurance rates as a punishment. Insurance providers do this to better assess each client’s driver history. Reckless drivers with a poor driving record and who are regularly involved in at-fault accidents would hold a higher premium. This is because they are more at risk of causing a crash and more expensive to provide collision coverage to.
There are likely cheap car insurance options available on the market. However, keep in mind that what you pay for is what you get. If the car insurance rates are lower, then you may only be provided with minimum coverage. Therefore, you will be responsible for a higher percentage in paying off damages in the at-fault accident.
Negotiating With Car Insurance for Not At Fault Accidents
If you are not at fault for an accident, the other driver should be held liable for damages. To begin the process of recovering losses, the person who caused the at-fault accdient will need to utilize their personal car insurance. Unfortuantely, collecting fair compensation from car insurance companies is not always an easy process. Most insurance companies are willing to make an offer in an attempt to close out the case as soon as possible without paying a large sum of money.
Instead of accepting the initial offer from an insurance agent, the better strategy is to counter the offer. However, the case will become more legally complex and require help from an experienced car accident attorney for guidance.
Car accident attorneys in Victorville understand the art of negotiating settlements with the at-fault party’s auto insurance company. Furthermore, you might not understand the true value of your claim, but an attorney will. Negotiations with the insurance provider will ultimately result in an offer that reflects all losses, like property damage, lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
Litigating with Car Insurance Companies
Alternatively, if negotiations do not lead to a fair payout of the claim, the attorney will take the matter to court with a personal injury lawsuit. However, most insurance companies will gradually increase their offers in negotiations with an attorney as opposed to a pro se party as attorneys understand how the system works and have a better sense of the true value of claims. Though you might have a general idea of what your claim is worth after tallying the out-of-pocket expenses for repairing your vehicle and paying for initial medical treatment, such expenses might only be the tip of the iceberg.
Attorneys pursue the full value of car accident claims from the other party’s car insurance, pushing for financial compensation that covers all expenses incurred, including years ahead until MMI is reached. MMI is an acronym that means maximum medical improvement. An attorney will seek compensation for medical expenses all the way up until the victim attains MMI, meaning additional treatment or durable medical equipment will not result in an improvement to the injured body site(s).
Importance of Paying Attention to Car Insurance Rates and Other Details
Auto insurance companies are well aware of the subtleties of insurance coverage limits in accordance with state rules regarding an at-fault accident and the statute of limitations. Likewise, seasoned attorneys also understand the importance of these details. However, most car accident victims do not have the legal knowledge and experience necessary to fully understand how easily their case can become compromised. An attorney plays an invaluable role in communicating with the auto insurance company and the legal process that might otherwise ruin the personal injury case or limit the value of the insurance claim.
Even the slightest intricacy to your case has the potential to make the difference between a massive payout and a payout that does not account for all expenses related to the accident. This is precisely why the vast majority of those injured in car accidents shift their focus to recuperating while an attorney handles the insurance and legal challenges.
While your attorney will pursue damages from the other driver and insurance providers, they will also review your own comprehensive and collision coverage from your auto insurance provider, as well. This is particularly beneficial in the event that you are found to be partially liable for causing the car accident. Depending on liability coverage and other details surrounding your car insurance policy, your car insurance rate could be affected. Average rates will be increased over a three to five-year span. However, these details will vary by state and can be further clarified by your car accident lawyer.
Pro Se Representation Is Unlikely to Maximize the Value of Your Claim
In the context of the law, pro se is a reference to representing oneself in a legal matter. Those familiar with legal proceedings including car insurance claims insist it is a mistake to represent oneself pro se. Instead of attempting to navigate the legal maze on your own and battle the car insurance company alone, consider the merits of leaning on an experienced car accident attorney for guidance.
Attorneys also help maximize the value of personal injury claims in ways beyond communicating with insurance after an accident. Attorneys understand the types of evidence that are relevant to personal injury cases and will obtain the evidence needed to support their case. Everything from the police accident report to medical reports, pictures of the accident, and eyewitness statements can facilitate the processing of the claim.
Attorneys communicate with insurance after an accident on behalf of clients. In some cases, correspondence from an attorney with “Esq.” added after his or her name (short for Esquire) is enough to convince the at-fault accident insurance provider to expedite the processing of the claim and pay it in full without putting up considerable or lengthy resistance. This will help you save money and time, allowing you to focus on recovering from your personal injury accident.