If you’re involved in an auto accident, the first thing you should do is remain calm. If you follow the standard protocol after a car crash, you will get back on your feet quickly. You should pull over to the side of the road if possible and exchange information with another driver. Do not admit that you were at fault or to blame for a car accident, even if you believe that you were clearly responsible for the collision. This advice may seem counterintuitive, but insurance companies will negotiate based on fault.
What does an at-fault car accident mean?
Most jurisdictions (at-fault states such as Colorado) that do not mandate personal injury protection (PIP) insurance for cars have at-fault incidents. Insurers will follow the laws of the state in which the accident occurred. In places where at-fault car accident insurance is compulsory, the driver to blame for the accident must pay for all losses, along with the associated medical bills and damage to property.
How do insurers evaluate who is at fault?
Your insurer will assess fault by looking at the specifics of the accident at the site, such as photographs and other hard evidence of damages. Insurers consider comments made by persons involved in the crash and, if appropriate, correlate them with third-party eyewitness testimony. Besides, they are likely to look over the investigating officer’s report for details on who was driving recklessly.
If both drivers were careless and an accident occurs, they will award each participant a proportion of responsibility. Assume Car A makes a left turn through an intersection and collides with Car B, which is heading in the reverse direction and exceeding the speed limit. Car A’s driver can be around 70 percent irresponsible, whereas Car B’s driver could share 30 percent of the fault.
Insurance firms can use this agreed level of negligence to determine parameters for determinations and reimbursements.
What do you do when you are at fault for a car accident?
When an insurer contests their policyholder’s responsibility, they basically claim that their client is not at fault, therefore not responsible for any losses. This often occurs when it is not clear who is at fault. This includes when a police statement is incorrectly documented. There could also be inconsistencies amongst the eyewitnesses. Alternatively, the insurer may decide you lack substantial proof their client was at fault.
If a crash occurs, and you are at fault, owning insurance coverage might be beneficial, but also be mindful that this might not cover all your damages. Except if the costs exceed your car insurance coverage limitations, you will not have to compensate for anybody’s losses out of your pocket. So, when an injured driver sues you for far more money than your insurance coverage can cover, then you may as well be personally liable for their damages.
You risk a lawsuit if the other driver was seriously injured or there were casualties. Your insurer and the injured party could agree on compensation without appearing in court.
Your insurer may cover the other drivers:
- Health-care costs
- Destruction of property and impairment of earnings potential
- Lost income
- Suffering and pain
If you have collision coverage as a component of your insurance, this should cover your damages; however, you will still be responsible for your deductibles.
How does an at-fault car accident affect your insurance premiums?
Your insurance premiums will not immediately increase if you are found to be at fault after a collision. It is possible that they will not rise. Before deciding on a premium, your insurer will consider several criteria; for instance, your driving history and the circumstances of the collision.
Your premiums might not increase if you have accident tolerance on your coverage. If your rate eventually goes up, restart and rebuild your driving records. A single accident will not affect your premiums indefinitely.
Would it be necessary to hire a Car Accident Lawyer in the Event of an At-Fault Accident?
If your insurer claims you caused a car accident, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Even if your insurer relies on a police record, they could be wrong. By engaging a car accident lawyer, they will look into the matter and figure out who was really at fault. Even if you are to blame for the accident, you may be partially/not entirely at fault. As part of their attempt to decrease the reimbursement, your insurer may inform you that you do not need a lawyer. You should not believe them.
Personal injury lawyers are knowledgeable about insurance agency practices and can assist you in negotiating and standing up against your insurer. The insurance company may just want to resolve your case faster and for less money. A reliable lawyer will look into your case deeply and ensure due diligence throughout the compensation process.
Contact us today for a free consultation.