One of the concerns people have after a car accident is how it will affect their car insurance premiums. If you are found to be at fault, your insurance rates could go up significantly. This shouldn’t happen if another driver caused the crash.
Keep in mind that the other driver’s insurance company may try to shift blame onto you, especially if you don’t have an experienced Columbus car accident lawyer on your side.
Let us examine in detail how a traffic accident can impact your insurance premiums and how to avoid it.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Drivers in Georgia?
First of all, it is important to know that all drivers in Georgia are required by law to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage amount is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident.
You must remember that these amounts will pay for the other driver’s injuries and damage if you are at fault for the crash. If you want to cover your own damages, you will need comprehensive and collision insurance policies, which are optional.
How Much Will Insurance Rates Go Up for At-Fault Drivers?
If you are found at fault for a car accident, this will trigger several penalties. First of all, under the comparative negligence principle applicable in Georgia, you cannot recover your damages. Also, you will be responsible for paying for the other driver’s economic and non-economic damages out of your insurance coverage.
Afterward, your insurer may increase your car insurance premiums by as high as 60%, according to an insurance company. These increased rates will stay the same for years and you must avoid any kind of traffic violations.
Can You Get Better Rates by Switching Insurance Companies?
Some people wonder if they can avoid the increased rates on liability insurance if they cancel their current policy and look for another insurance company. Any Columbus car accident attorney will tell you that this won’t work.
All insurers perform background checks on applicants. Your accident will show up and the company may quote you an even higher rate than the one increased by your previous insurer.
Will My Car Insurance Rates Go Up If I’m Not at Fault?
So far, we have explained that your car insurance rates will go up if you are found at fault for the crash. If you aren’t at fault, an accident shouldn’t increase your premiums. Georgia Code § 33-9-40 prohibits an insurance company from raising your rates if you did not cause the accident.
However, liability may be difficult to pinpoint in a car accident. This is where an experienced lawyer can make a difference.
How Can an Attorney Help?
A skilled lawyer can make all the difference in your car accident case.
Investigate the Crash
Your car crash attorney will gather evidence to support your case. This may include police reports, photos, and videos. If necessary, they know where to find experienced accident reconstructionists, who will recreate the entire sequence of events leading to the collision.
Also, the lawyer will speak to all available eyewitnesses. They can provide extremely helpful clues that shift the fault to the other driver.
Calculate Your Damages
Lawyers assess the extent of their client’s injuries, property damage, and other losses to accurately calculate the damages owed. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Demand Fair Compensation
Many car accident cases are resolved through settlement negotiations before going to court. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company for a fair and just settlement.
If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney will be prepared to represent you in court.
Contact a Columbus Car Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible!
Every day that passes after a car accident blurs eyewitnesses’ memories and makes evidence harder to find. Thus, you may end up blamed for the crash, ultimately leading to an increase in your car insurance rates.
You can prevent this by seeking advice from an experienced Columbus car accident lawyer at Joe Durham Jr., P.C. As a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us as soon as possible after your accident at 229-210-6226!