What to Expect After a Car Accident in Which You Were at Fault

In Uncategorized by Matador Sol

Being in a car accident can be traumatic even if no one was physically injured. To add to an already stressful situation, drivers may be unsure of the financial and legal consequences they will face as a result of causing an accident. Consider a few key pieces of information that may prepare you to handle the aftermath of a collision in which you are at fault.

Legal Concerns

First, you may be responsible for covering the damages of the other party if you caused the crash; however, the laws regarding car accident liability vary from state to state. If you live in a no-fault state, each driver may have to file an insurance claim to cover his or her own expenses. In at-fault states, your insurance will likely cover the other person’s damages. If you only have liability insurance, you may have to pay for your own expenses out of pocket.

To complicate matters, some states calculate your percentage of fault. If the other driver or some other factor contributed to the accident, you may only be responsible for part of the other driver’s expenses.

When a lawsuit is filed against the driver at fault, the plaintiff could be awarded an amount that exceeds your insurance’s coverage limits. In this situation, you could be stuck with a sizable bill.

Changes to Your Insurance

Oftentimes, when you file a claim with your car insurance company, your monthly premiums will increase. This is because your insurance company is at greater risk for having to cover future claims.

Action Steps

There are a few things you can do to help the post-collision process go as smoothly as possible. For one thing, gather as much evidence as possible at the crash site. For example, you may wish to call the police so they can complete a formal report. You can also create your own records by photographing the damage to each car and any relevant objects surrounding the cars. You could even talk to witnesses to write down their accounts of the event. After handling these initial steps and seeing to any potential injuries, be sure to contact your insurance agent. 

Above all, don’t leave the scene until speaking to the other driver and exchanging insurance information. Hit-and-runs have steep consequences.

If you were in a serious collision and believe you may be at fault, be sure to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can keep you informed of your rights and may be able to identify factors that contributed to the crash that were out of your control. Contact a car accident attorney, like someone from Ward & Ward Law Firm, to discuss your next steps.