If you got into a car accident and it seems to be your fault, you probably have some questions. You may be in pain from your injuries and dealing with car repairs just like the other driver who claims you caused the crash. So, what happens now, and what can you do to protect yourself? Here’s what to know after a car accident.
How Is Fault Determined?
If you’re not sure if you caused the car accident, you might be wondering why it’s assumed you’re at fault. In most cases, insurance companies spend time looking at certain details to determine fault. They often schedule adjusters to look at the damage to the cars involved, and they’ll look closely at pictures and videos of the scene.
They will typically look over police reports, witness statements, and any citations that the police issued, as well. At that point, they will decide which driver caused the car accident. In some cases, both drivers may share fault, though one may be more to blame than the other.
Who Pays for the Damage?
The reason you have car insurance is so that you don’t have to pay out of pocket when you’re in a car accident. If you’re at fault, the insurance company that pays depends on whether you’re in an at-fault or a no-fault state.
In at-fault states like Texas and Arizona, your liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s car repairs and medical bills. But in a no-fault state like Florida, all drivers have to have personal injury protection, or PIP. Car accident victims will use their own PIP coverage to pay for their medical bills and lost wages. They will then use the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to pay for their car repairs or replacement.
What Happens to Your Insurance?
If you’re named as the at-fault driver in a car accident, your insurance will pay for some or most of the victim’s expenses, depending on the state you’re in. Your car insurance rates might increase after the crash. You can talk to your insurance company to find out what to expect from your rates when your policy renews.
In some cases, you might be unfairly determined to be at fault. If you do not believe you caused the car accident, or if you want to simply make sure the decision was fair to you, it’s important to talk to a Houston car accident lawyer. Sometimes insurance companies make mistakes or miss evidence when they determine fault, so it’s helpful to have a lawyer look at the details of the car accident before your insurance company pays. Contact our law firm today at (713) 489-4270 if you’re interested in talking to a lawyer about your legal options.