Last Update: 01/07/16
After being in a car accident, being treated by your doctor, and are on the road to recovery, it’s then time to deal with your financial needs and determine how your medical costs and expenses, as well as your lost wages and lost future earnings, are going to be covered. Those issues are in addition to the matter of getting your vehicle and property damage claim paid.
You know that insurance covers these issues, which is why you need to obtain the insurance information for both the driver that caused the wreck as well as your own insurance policies, auto and health. But what should you do with this information? And what happens to your insurance coverage after that — are you going to be penalized for seeking insurance benefits?
Whether or Not Your Car Insurance Rates Go Up Depends Upon Fault
Will your automobile insurance premiums jump up after you’re in an accident and make a claim? If you were not to blame for what happened, then the answer is easy. No. This is true even if you are injured in the accident and you file an insurance claim to cover your harm.
However, the answer is not so easy if you are found to be at fault and partially to blame for the accident. If you are found to be responsible for what happened to some degree, then your carrier may decide to raise your rates, because you may be considered to be a higher risk to the company.
If you were totally at fault in the crash, then you can expect your rates to rise. If you intentionally caused the crash, for whatever reason, then you may even face your insurance carrier canceling your coverage. (You may need to find a new company to cover you.)
For instance, if the police came to the scene of the accident and you were the one who received the speeding ticket, then you may face your insurance company basing an increase in future premiums on that moving violation.
Moreover, there may be an increase in your auto insurance rates if your insurance company makes a payment of damages under your collision coverage and then is not able to get reimbursement for what was paid later. For details on “subrogation” and how insurance companies get reimbursement, read our earlier post, “How Much Do You Receive If You Sue? What Are the Costs in a Florida Accident Claim.”
What about your PIP coverage?
Florida law requires everyone to have a basic insurance coverage called “personal injury protection,” or “PIP.” It is highly regulated regarding what is covered, etc., and as a general rule, your rates should not increase for your PIP insurance. This is true even if you were found to be at fault in the accident, since PIP is, by definition, “no fault” insurance coverage. PIP doesn’t determine things based upon fault.
Whether or not your insurance rates rise can be something that is addressed as part of the resolution of your accident claim.
What Should You Do Now?
A good piece of advice if you have been harmed in an accident, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you file a claim to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person) to answer your questions.
Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.