If you cause a car accident, depending on the state you live in, it could affect your ability to receive compensation. In so-called “culpable” states, the person who caused the accident is liable, which usually means the insurance company paid for the damage. In no-fault states, the injured party claims compensation from their own insurer for the policyholder’s PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage, even if they cause a collision. PIP insurance covers your medical expenses and certain economic losses.
What Happens If I Am at Fault For a Car Accident
Being involved in a car accident can be stressful. If you are wholly or partially at fault, you may fear what will happen next. Accidents happen, and it’s important that you hold yourself accountable for your mistakes, as you would expect others to do if they were.
You and the other driver must report the incident to the police so they can report it. Drivers must exchange names, insurance information, phone numbers and license plates. If you have evidence such as photos and documentation of your injury, keep it as evidence.
You should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. If you fail to do so, you may lose insurance coverage.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car crashes cause hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations every year. Causing or contributing to an accident can make someone worry about their future and the well-being of those involved. You want to be informed about what happens if you are at fault in an accident; Remember that if everyone obeys, the situation can be resolved smoothly.
As the cause of the car accident, other parties involved in the accident can claim third party damages from your motor vehicle liability insurance. Even in non-leveraged countries, other parties may require your insurance company to cover losses that exceed their own PIP coverage.
Some states have comparative negligence rules that can affect how much you can recover if you are involved in a car accident. Under the “pure comparative negligence” doctrine, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of your liability for the collision. In states that use “modified comparative negligence” rules, you will be compensated if you are responsible for 50 percent or more of the accident.
However, other states follow negligence rules, which block you from recoverable damages if a jury finds you one percent or more liable for the accident.
No-Fault and Fault States
If you live in a state of guilt, the person who caused the accident is responsible for all losses. Another driver will make a claim against your insurance company and you or your auto insurance company will pay the claim. However, in no-fault conditions, each party’s auto insurance usually covers the loss.
Losses That May Qualify for Compensation
An insurance policy can be useful if you are at fault in an accident, but know that it may not be enough to cover the loss. You may not have to pay for someone else’s damage out of pocket unless the cost exceeds the limits of your auto insurance policy. If an injured driver takes you to court claiming more compensation than your policy can afford, you may be held personally liable for compensation.
If another driver is seriously injured or killed, you may face lawsuits. Your insurance company may be able to reach a settlement agreement with the injured party and you won’t have to go to court.
Damages that can be covered by other drivers from your insurance company are as follows:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
As for your own damages, if you have collision coverage as part of your policy, it should cover your damages although you will still need to pay your deductible.
If You Are Partially at Fault
Two drivers would share fault in an accident, if, for example, they are both backing up in a parking lot and hit each other. Your percentage of fault will be determined, and your losses will be calculated. Your percentage of fault will reduce the amount of compensation you may receive.
A car accident lawyer can determine what your losses amount to and ensure your rights remain protected. A lawyer can ascertain that you are not paying more than is fair.
Your Car Insurance Rates
If you were at fault for a car accident, your car insurance rates may increase when you renew your policy. If you are curious about whether your car insurance rates will go up, contact your insurance company.
When you are wondering what happens if you are at fault for a car accident, remember you are not alone and that assistance is available.
A Car Accident Lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC Can Help
If you are at fault or partially at fault for a car accident and want guidance, a car accident attorney can handle your case. Acquiring a lawyer can help determine if you were truly at fault and help prevent you from paying an unfair settlement to the other party.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-691-7111 for a free consultation with a member of our team. We fight for justice for our clients. Let us handle your case; do not wait to reach out for help.