Collision insurance will pay to repair or replace your vehicle after any accident, including ones that you cause. Similarly, personal injury protection and medical payments coverage will pay for your medical bills after an accident, regardless of fault. Several states require PIP or MedPay as part of their minimum coverage limits. And while collision insurance is not mandatory according to any state laws, it is usually required for vehicles that are leased or financed.
Liability insurance is the only type of car insurance coverage required in many states. But if you have a liability-only policy, then you will have to pay out of pocket for your expenses if you are at fault in a car accident. As a result, it’s usually recommended that you purchase as much insurance as you can afford, even if it’s more than your state requires.
The first thing you should do after a car accident that is not your fault is to make sure everyone inside your car is safe and uninjured. Next, call the police, take pictures of the scene, and exchange insurance information with the at-fault driver so you can file a claim with their insurer. You should also report the accident to your insurance company in case you need to file a … read full answercollision, personal injury protection, or MedPay claim with your own policy.
What to Do After a Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault
Move your car away from oncoming traffic and address any injuries. If your car is driveable you should try to move your car out of harm’s way to avoid further accidents or injuries.
Call the police and file a report. This will help you further along the way when filing an insurance claim since a police report will most likely determine fault.
Get the other driver’s insurance information. Take a photo of their insurance card so that you can get in touch with their insurer if you need to file a liability claim.
Take pictures of the scene and damage to the cars. Insurers require evidence before they can settle a claim. Having pictures from the incident will help speed up the claim process.
Report the accident to your insurance company. Even if you don’t file a claim with your own insurance, you should still report the accident to your insurer since they might need to update information related to your vehicle.
Document any accident-related expenses. An accident can incur a bunch of hidden costs. Make sure you keep track of all expenses related to the accident so that you can be reimbursed.
File a property damage and/or bodily injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Having gathered all the pertinent information, contact the at-fault driver’s insurer and file a claim. Make sure you have all the information and documents mentioned above so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Filing an Insurance Claim When You’re Not at Fault
If an accident is not your fault, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance. This will cover the cost of vehicle repairs and medical bills up to the limits of the driver’s policy.
Because it can take a long time for an insurance adjuster to officially determine fault, however, you can initially file a collision or personal injury claim with your own insurer to cover vehicle repairs and medical expenses, regardless of fault. Once fault is determined, your insurance company will recover the expenses from the at-fault driver’s insurer, and your deductible will be refunded.
If you’re at fault in a car accident, your liability insurance pays for the other driver’s car repairs and will likely cover any doctor’s bills if they’re injured. No-fault states are the exception, as they require each driver to use their own insurance to pay for medical expenses after an accident. But regardless of the state, fault always dictates whose liability insurance pays for property damage.… read full answer
Your liability insurance never covers your own expenses, so you will need collision insurance, personal injury protection (PIP), or MedPay in order to avoid paying out of pocket for an at-fault accident. Some states require drivers to have PIP or MedPay, while collision insurance is usually required if you are leasing or financing your car.
After an at-fault accident, car insurance rates go up by an average of 48%. The exact amount that your premium will go up depends on a few factors, including your state and how much damage you caused. But any increase is only temporary, usually lasting about 3-5 years. And if you have accident forgiveness with your insurance company, your rates might not go up at all.
Ultimately, no one wants to be at-fault in a car accident, but it’s important to understand how at-fault accidents work just in case. With that in mind, here’s a quick summary of what you really need to know.
Here’s What Happens If You Are At-Fault in a Car Accident
Your liability insurance should pay for the other driver’s expenses.
You will need to use other types of car insurance to cover your own repair and medical bills.
Your car insurance rates will go up by an average of 48% for 3-5 years.
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