Accidents can happen for many reasons, and driver negligence frequently plays a role in crashes throughout California. Drivers who make mistakes behind the wheel could hit another vehicle, a bicyclist or a pedestrian. Sometimes, accidents may inflict serious harm on a victim. Insurance may cover some of the costs of a crash. However, the accident could affect insurance premiums for some time.
Effects on auto insurance
After an accident, the parties should exchange insurance information. The insurance company that insures the driver responsible for causing the crash may see claims filed against it for the costs associated with the crash. Insurance could pay for a valid claim for bodily injury and property damage up to the policy limits. Essentially, the insurance company assumes the risk of insuring the driver and can find themselves on the hook for these expenses.
If a claim is paid, it will likely impact the negligent driver’s insurance payments. The insurance company will look at many different factors, which include the driver’s record at the DMV. In California, accidents will leave a person’s driving record after three years when the collision involves a noncommercial vehicle. This varies from state to state and from insurance carrier to insurance carrier.
Do insurance companies settle claims faster when their driver is at fault?
Not necessarily. Even if the driver has engaged in some sort of negligent behavior in an auto accident, the insurance company may not be willing to pay to bring the case to a conclusion. The company looks at the big picture of an accident. It wants to determine if there is any evidence that could possibly diminish their responsibility in a claim, or result in a case having to go to court in order to be resolved.
The important thing to remember after an accident is that an insurance company, even your own insurer, is not looking out for your best interests. No matter how nice they may seem, their concern is the bottom line. They are trying to settle cases according to what makes the most financial sense for the company. Your long-term health or recovery is not their focus – and you have to make sure you have a clear understanding of the value of your claim and the impact of your accident before making any decisions on how to proceed. If you or someone you know needs advice related to an auto collision, please feel free to contact us today at The Law Office of Aman N. Shah.