Stephen Schultz | April 14, 2015 | Car Accidents
Car accident history can affect your insurance rates. Regardless of who caused the crash, if there is damage to the vehicle or any personal injuries, all of the participants in the accident will need to contact their insurance carriers…and that can be scary.
Drivers often start to get worried and wonder how much their rates will go up. But keep in mind, filing a claim doesn’t always cause a rate increase. There are several factors that adjusters will take into consideration after your car crash.
Who’s at Fault?
The first factor that will influence whether or not your insurance rates will increase will be who is at fault for the accident. Fault percentages are typically determined during the claims process, however, there are times in which fault will have to be determined by a judge or jury at trial.
Many people assume that if their vehicle is struck by another vehicle, that other driver is automatically to blame. This is not necessarily true. If you created a situation in which striking your vehicle was unavoidable for the other vehicle, you will take the blame for causing that accident, and your insurance rates will increase.
Unfortunately, this can even happen if you swerve to avoid hitting someone else, and end up causing a separate accident. It is in these situations that fault percentages in the claims process can get complicated, so you’ll probably want to at least talk to a car crash lawyer.
What if The Other Driver Doesn’t Stop? (Hit and Run Accidents)
Sometimes, incidents and accidents will occur that you have no control over. If another driver hits you with their car, and drives off without exchanging contact information, that is considered a hit and run accident.
We primarily hear about hit and run accidents in parking lots-your car is hit while it is unoccupied, and the driver takes off. However, it doesn’t always happen when your car is unattended. Sometimes, the hit and run will occur while you are driving.
If the damage isn’t too bad, it could be tempting to just get the car fixed without filing a claim for fear that your insurance rates will go up. But remember, in Missouri, it is illegal for your insurance company to raise your rates you are not at fault!
In hit-and-run accidents, as long as injury or damage is reported to police within 24 hours, it is automatically deemed to not be your fault, and that’s good news!
Other Situations that are Not Your Fault
- Your car was parked legally
- Your car was struck in the rear by another vehicle, and you were not convicted of a traffic violation
- The other driver was convicted of a moving violation and you were not
Most of the time, it’s pretty obvious who was at fault for a car accident.
What if the Other Driver Was Uninsured or Underinsured?
Sometimes the at-fault driver’s insurance maximum is far too low to cover the extent of the damage or the injuries. Sometimes, the other driver wasn’t even insured. In these situations, you may have to make an uninsured or under-insured motorist claim on your own insurance.
Under Missouri Insurance Regulations, your insurance rates will not go up based on an accident that was not your fault. So, don’t let fear of raised insurance rates keep you from filing a claim in Missouri.
Still nervous about your insurance rates increasing?
We understand. Insurance companies are good about making you sign documents with confusing language so that they can keep money in their pocket. If you’ve been in an accident that was not your fault, and you’re concerned about your insurance rates going up, give us a call and let our car accident attorneys assess the situation.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in St. Louis, MO
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
St. Louis, MO Law Office
1430 Washington Ave Ste 225, St. Louis, MO 63103
Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124
Creve Coeur, MO Law Office
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141