Can My Auto Insurer Raise My Rates if I File an Accident Claim?
Even if your driving record is spotless, a motor vehicle accident can happen any time. Whether you’re sitting at a light or cruising down the highway, a reckless driver might hit you, damaging your car and leaving you with anything from broken bones to severe spinal cord injuries. You’ll need to file a claim, but you’re also asking, “Can my auto insurer raise my rates if I file an accident claim?”
It’s fair to be concerned: Car repairs might seem like short-term expenses, but an increase in your premiums can hurt you for years down the road. It leaves a lot of drivers thinking that it’s best to avoid filing a claim at all.
You should, however, look at your accident and how your insurance company will handle it before you choose not to file. An experienced auto accident lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates can help you determine the best approach for you and your claim.
Fortunately, your insurance company knows that the accident may not have been your fault, and that you shouldn’t be punished for someone else’s negligence. An auto accident that wasn’t your fault shouldn’t hurt your driving record, and in turn, your insurance premiums.
If you’re in a fault state, such as Washington, you’ll need to prove that you weren’t at fault for the accident. In these states, the person at fault will also be financially responsible for your damages. So, if they’re responsible for paying for the wreck, your insurance shouldn’t be affected.
Remember, though, that if you’re deemed responsible for the accident, it could affect your insurance rates. A lawyer can help you fight back against accusations of fault and help gather the necessary evidence to prove your lack of fault.
The Severity of the Crash
The amount of damage caused by the accident can also affect your rates. For example, a minor fender bender, especially if caused by the other driver, shouldn’t cause a hike in your rates. The repairs should be fairly inexpensive, and you weren’t responsible for the vehicle collision anyway.
If you were in involved in a more serious accident, however, your insurer might not be so willing to pay out and help you. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and that means their profits often come before your health and damages.
For example: If another driver hit you and you suffered a spinal injury, leading to paralysis, the costs could be extraordinary and ongoing. If you filed with your insurance company, it might try to diminish your claim’s worth or raise your rates to protect profit margins.
Avoid Insurance Rate Increases with a Lawyer’s Help
A car accident can leave you struggling to decide whether to file. That’s especially true if you’re whether your auto insurer can raise your rates if you file an accident claim. Fortunately, although it’s possible that your rates could increase, it’s certainly not guaranteed.
To file without paying higher premiums in the future, you’ll need to show that you weren’t responsible for the auto accident. That’s where a lawyer from Craig Swapp & Associates can help. Get started with a free consultation, where we’ll review your claim and show you how we can help before you sign anything.
With an experienced lawyer on your side, you’ll have the best chance of fighting back and avoiding an insurance rate increase. Reach out to us by calling 1-800-404-9000 or by completing the online form below.