Determining if the Auto Accident was Your Fault

No one likes to be in a car crash. They are extremely dangerous. Driving large machines at fast paces naturally leads to very serious injuries when things go wrong. This is part of the risk that we accept when we choose to drive on the road. The only thing that is arguably worse than being hit by a car, is hitting someone else with your car. Not only are you just as likely to be injured, but you are at fault. You feel like crap. Everyone is staring at you wondering how you could be so stupid. You know the police will show up and issue you a citation for the accident. As if it would not be expensive enough for you to be without a car for a while and to have to deal with your insurance rates being raised or perhaps your insurance company even dropping you all together. This is not a good thing. The reality is though, everybody gets into car accidents. Most of us will cause an accident at some point in our lives. If you spend enough time on the roads, odds are that you may cause an accident as well. That’s why working with the best car accident attorney in St George is so fulfilling. So if you have recently caused a car accident, there are several things that you should know.

car accident @ vestavia hills
Photo Credit: Rian Castillo
The first is that you probably still want the police involved. Although you may be nervous about receiving a citation, your insurance rates increasing would be a much larger cost in the long run, so your primary goal should be to combat that. The greatest way to combat the victim forcing your insurance to pay out more than it should, which would likely lead your rates to increase even more, is to have a third party witness statement. You could try to obtain this from a bystander, but the police report is just a phone call away and it is a credible source. Obviously if it is an extremely minor fender bender, and the victim sees no damage and is not even interested in your insurance information, then do not call the police. That would be a rather stupid move. It will take time, and you still might be given a ticket.

The second thing you should know is that your rates will likely go up, but this will take a long time. They almost never increase before your policy term runs up. Even then, they may not increase until a few more policy terms have run up because of the lengthy duration it will take your insurance company to finalize the liability claim against them. If the person that you hit was hurt, and their car was damaged, it could take up to a year or two for them to actually receive the funds from your insurer. For that reason, your rates will likely not go up for a long time because your insurance company will not necessarily raise your rates if they end up not having to pay anything out. They would still have to pay for your own car, but an amount that small will not cause them to drop you. Some insurance companies even have accident forgiveness programs where they will not even consider the affectation if it was your first accident in quite some time. These programs can save you loads of money.

The final thing to know is that if your premiums are raised, they will not be raised forever. The best way to get back to a low rate is to recommit yourself to safe driving. The best car accident attorneys can explain to you exactly how to best protect yourself after an accident.

This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes.  It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion.  You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.  

In an Auto Accident – Working Through Car Insurance and Auto Accidents

Southern Utah drivers often wonder what auto-insurance is required, and what auto-insurance they should get to protect themselves and their families. Utah does require some minimum amounts of liability protection to cover everyone in a truck accident. The state mandatory minimums are 25/65/15. Those numbers refer to policy limit amounts for bodily injury damages per person/total bodily injury damages per incident/property damage to vehicle. Utah also requires that your insurance policy cover the first $3,000 of your own medical expenses regardless of fault after an accident. Unfortunately, having state minimum insurance is not enough to protect you. Those amounts likely will not be enough to repair the harm to yourself or to others that you may crash into. They do not even address paying for damage to your own car. The following breakdown gives basic insight into what to consider when enrolling in a new auto insurance policy.

Fatal Truck Accident Grasmere
Photo Credit: ER24 EMS (Pty) Ltd.

Liability Coverage: In order to fully pay for damage that you may cause to others, many insurance companies suggest carrying 100/300/50 for your liability limits. That way, anyone that you hurt should be able to be fully compensated and taken care of and you won’t have to worry as much about being sued personally for the amount above your policy limits. It is amazing how quickly medical bills and emotional damages can exceed $25,000.

PIP Coverage: Utah has a no-fault law. Meaning that your own insurance company must cover your medical bills after a car accident regardless of who is at fault. This amount is currently set at $3,000. That gives you access to $3,000, no questions asked for an ambulance ride, emergency room exam, chiropractic treatment, or even physical therapy or massage. Once your personal injury protection fund is exhausted, additional bills would need to be paid for by the at-fault party’s liability policy.

Comprehensive/Collision Coverage: State minimum insurance does nothing to pay for the damage to your own car after an accident. When you barrow money to purchase the car, the bank will typically require comprehensive coverage with a limit of at least the value of the loan. Comprehensive will cover your own car for any damage that happens to it, whether from theft, vandalism, or any other hazard. Collision coverage is also for your own car, but it only covers the damage if caused by a car crash.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage is what kicks in when the other driver has not been responsible. If he or she does not have enough coverage to pay for you claim, and he or she does not have assets to make up the difference, you will need uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. Typically, people with cheap insurance do not have much money. That is why uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is essential for you to actually feel safe on the road.

The bottom line is that anyone with a clean driving record can get state minimum insurance for ridiculously cheap. Price is not everything when it comes to protecting your family. Auto insurance is a serious matter that should be discussed with a trusted insurance adjustor. Don’t be unpreprepared when disaster strikes. Accidents happen to everyone.

This article is offered only for general information and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice or legal opinion. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this article without first seeking the advice of an attorney.