I’m Not at Fault in an Accident, Will My Insurance Increase?
It is common for accident victims to fear that their insurance coverage rates might increase. They are not unjustified in believing that. It is a common practice in some states for an auto insurance company to increase your insurance premium in the event of an accident.
Even more so, when California is one of the states with the highest automobile insurance costs in the country, having a hike in your coverage costs can put a heavy dent in your finances.
While there is a common myth that just filling a bodily injury or car accident claim with your contact information will make your insurance provider hike up your rate. This is false and is perpetuated by insurance adjusters and insurance companies to take advantage of your suffering.
There are laws and provisions that protect the consumers in California against insurance rates hikes.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Laws in California regarding auto insurance rates
- Negligence laws in California and how it can affect your insurance rates
- Seek full compensation for your injuries and damages
Laws in California Regarding Auto Insurance Rates
Under the Good Driver Discount provisions of the California insurance Code 1861.02, auto insurance rates for policyholders are determined by the following:
- The insured’s driving safety record
- Years of driving experience
- The miles they have driven annually
When considering these, the most important factor for determining your car insurance rates is the driver’s safety record.
Negligence Laws in California and How it Can Affect Your Insurance Rates
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in vehicle damage and physical injury but you were not at fault in an accident, your premium rate shouldn’t go up. Yet, you must take into account that California is not a no-fault state for auto accidents. Therefore, determining the responsible party is done differently. This law argues that sometimes, a traffic accident is not the product of a single party’s actions, and both drivers involved can be considered at fault for the incident.
Let us help you understand this better with an example:
Jane is approaching an intersection where she wants to make a left-hand turn. She forgets to turn her lights on to signal the cars behind her and begins to slow down as she approaches the crossing.
John behind her is talking on his mobile phone and not paying full attention to the road ahead, he fails to notice Jane slowing down and rear ends her as they both approach the intersection.
In this case, John is clearly the driver at fault for distracted driving, but because Jane didn’t use her turn signals to show others her intentions to turn left, one can argue that she isn’t completely blameless either.
This is an example of how comparative negligence works. Even if John is “principally at fault” for being a negligent driver, Jane not using her turn signals made her “partially at fault” for the accident.
In a California auto accident claim, when a situation like this happens, the partially at-fault party would be assigned a percentage of fault and be charged with the damages accordingly.
Now, going back to how it would affect Jane’s insurance rates, the operative concept by which California law determines insurance premiums increase is being; “principally at fault” for an accident.
The California insurance code dictates that the party that had more than 51% of fault in the accident is deemed to be principally at fault. In our example, because John is on the phone while driving instead of paying attention to the road, he can be deemed to be principally at fault.
Jane is partially to blame for the accident for not using her signal lights, but if John hadn’t been distracted, it would have been very easy to see Jane slow down and act accordingly.
Seek Full Compensation For Your Injuries and Damages
Thankfully, California is a very consumer-friendly state regarding insurance rates. In 1988, Proposition 103 was passed to protect motorists from having their insurance rates go up when they aren’t at a majority of fault.
You won’t need to worry as long as you have a clean driving record or aren’t at a majority of fault (51% or more) in an accident. Filing an accident or collision claim will not affect your insurance premiums.
Insurance companies might try to dissuade you from pursuing an accident claim even if you don’t have most of the blame. Filing a claim against your auto insurance policy will help you get the fair accident compensation you need to recover from your injuries, cover the cost of medical treatment, the cost of repairs, and other additional costs.
As the injured party, you have the right to seek legal representation to help guide you through your auto insurance claim. If you suffered severe injuries, you have an even greater reason to want an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.
Injured in an Accident? Hire an Award-Winning Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
Filing a personal injury claim can be a complex process. In addition, an auto insurance company may try to use dirty tactics to coerce you into foregoing the claims process. Threatening you to raise your insurance rates is one of them. You must not deal with these accident injuries and insurance adjusters on your own. Hiring an experienced accident lawyer will be in your best interest.
Farahi Law Firm, APC is here for you! We will not let anyone take advantage of you nor diminish the value of your personal injury claim. We will fight to win you the maximum compensation you deserve.
Our team of expert personal injury lawyers, case managers, and doctors will help. Not only will we handle all the complexities of your case, we will also ensure that you receive the best medical attention, and see that your property damage is repaired.
We work on a contingency fee basis and offer our clients a No Fee Guarantee policy. This means you won’t need to pay a single cent, unless we win your case!
Call us today for a free consultation at (844) 824-2955. We are available 24/7!