What Happens if I’m at Fault in a Car Accident California?
Being involved in a car wreck is extremely stressful, especially if you’re at fault – partially or entirely. Your anxiety may be through the roof as you worry about what the future holds and understandably so. Accidents are bound to happen though. While it’s a good thing to hold yourself accountable for your part of the incident, it’s also important not to beat yourself up too badly.
When an accident occurs, both you and the other driver or drivers involved should call the police immediately so a report can be filed. Be sure to exchange full names, phone numbers, insurance information, and license plate numbers.
You and/or the other driver or drivers should report the accident to the police so they can file a report. Drivers need to exchange names, insurance information, phone numbers, and license plate numbers. If you have evidence such as photographs and documentation of your injuries, hold on to these so you have evidence.
As soon as possible, you will also need to notify your insurance company that you have had an accident. Failure to do so can interfere with your coverage.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), car wrecks are responsible for landing thousands of people in the hospital every year. Being at fault for the accident will naturally cause you to be concerned about the other party, especially if there were injuries.
You can make it known to the other party that you would like updates on the condition of any who were hurt. Keep in mind that an accident is exactly that – an accident. You didn’t mean to harm anyone. The situation can be smoothly resolved as long as everyone remains cordial and compliant.
It is not a good idea, however, to communicate directly with the other party as conflicts can arise that may affect the outcome of a case against you and your insurance company.
No-Fault and At-Fault States
If you reside in an at-fault state, whoever is responsible for the accident will be held liable for any injuries suffered. The other vehicle’s driver files a claim against your insurance company. Your insurance (or you) will be responsible to cover the losses incurred. If you live in a no-fault state, the insurance company for each party pays for the losses.
Losses Which Possibly May Qualify for Compensation
Owning an insurance policy is a good thing when you are in an accident because above all else, the law requires you to have it. It may also prove to be of value in covering losses but it is wise to be aware that all of the losses may not be covered fairly. If the cost of the other party’s expenses, medical and otherwise, exceeds your insurance coverage limits, the injured driver or passenger may file a lawsuit and take you to court to secure compensation. If the court determines you are liable, you may be personally required to pay out of your own pocket which can be a heavy burden.
An option for the other party to file and pursue a lawsuit against you if there were injuries or fatalities, is an agreement between your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company. An agreement may be reached in which your insurance company would cover the determined amount and you would not have to go to court.
The other driver may be eligible to recover losses from your insurance company including:
- Lost wages and other income losses
- Out-of-pocket expenses for things like childcare, taxicabs, etc.
- Hospital bills and other medical expenses
- Damage to property (like the vehicle that was in the accident)
- Loss of the ability to earn money
- Pain and suffering
If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, providing you have collision coverage in your insurance policy, you should be covered for the damages. You will be responsible for paying your deductible though.
Sharing Part Fault
When two drivers are at fault in a wreck, they both have the partial fault. An example of sharing partial fault would be if two drivers were backing out of a parking space and hit one another. Your losses would be determined by calculating them and your percentage of fault would be figured in the same way. The percent of payment you owed for being at fault would be deducted from your compensation.
Auto accident cases can get very involved. Partial fault cases can be especially complicated. Specialists in vehicle accidents such as Los Angeles Auto Accident Lawyers can figure out what your personal losses add up to and protect your rights so that you are not being held responsible for paying more than you should be.
Increase in Insurance Rates
It’s not unusual for your car insurance rates to go up if a car accident was your fault and you filed a claim. Typically, the increase occurs when you go to renew your current policy.
If you are wondering if an increase is likely to happen, you can inquire with your insurance company and you are also at liberty to ask if there is going to be one, how much higher your rates will be.
If you’re worried about other future implications from being at fault or partially at fault for an auto accident, know that you’re not alone. It’s a situation no one wants to be in but many are. There is help available.
Auto Accident Lawyers Los Angeles Can Help
If you are totally at fault or even partially at fault for a car wreck, turn to the experienced professionals at Auto Accident Lawyers Los Angeles. You don’t want to go it alone. A lawyer can determine if you were legally at fault and can help keep you from ending up being held responsible for paying an unfair settlement to the opposing party. You’ve got enough to deal with. Call today and speak with Point Law Group for expert assistance in your case.
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