If you are involved in an accident, one of your first fears might be that your insurance rates are going to go up. There are many factors that go into the question of whether your insurance will go up and how much it might go up by, but there are also other important things to consider after a crash. Our Fayetteville car accident lawyer, Ken Kieklak, discusses how much your insurance could go up by and how you can pursue other ways of getting compensation to cover your needs after a car accident.
When Does My Insurance Premium Go Up After a Car Crash in Arkansas?
To see when and why insurance rates go up after a crash, it is important to understand what insurance companies do and how they calculate insurance costs in the first place. When an insurance company insures you and your car, they set the cost of your insurance coverage based on how likely it is that you will cause a car accident. Insurance companies make some general assumptions – such as the assumption that new drivers are more likely to cause a crash compared to experienced drives. These assumptions help insurance companies set how much they want to charge for coverage. Talk to an Arkansas car accident attorney today about what to expect from your rates.
One factor that insurance companies use is your driving history. If you have a history of driving safely and not causing any accidents, the insurance company will have no reason to set your premiums very high as a low-risk driver. If you have a history of causing car crashes, they will want you to pay more since it’s more likely they’ll have to pay to cover your crashes.
If you have a history of being involved in a lot of accidents, the insurance carrier might see you as a bigger risk to insure and request higher premiums even if the accidents were not your fault. This often happens when you switch insurance providers, as many insurance companies might not clearly record that the accident was not your fault, and the new insurance company will not have clear information on which to base their risk assessment.
Your car insurance company can also adjust your rates based on your history while driving with them. This is why many insurance companies raise your premiums after a crash that you caused. But, since they usually pay nothing for accidents caused by someone else, accidents where you were the victim do not usually result in an immediate increase in premiums.
How Much Does a Car Accident Increase Insurance Costs in Arkansas?
Because so many different factors can change how the insurance company sets your premiums, it can be difficult to predict how exactly a crash will affect your insurance costs. As mentioned, your premium usually does not go up if you were in an accident that someone else caused. However, if you were at fault, your premiums could go up by quite a bit.
National averages say that an insurance premium often goes up by around 31% when a driver causes a crash. In Arkansas, that average increase is reportedly 56%. If you pay $1,427 – a reported average for a standard sedan – that could mean paying $2,231 after an accident. Note that this is not the monthly premium, but rather the yearly average.
Keep in mind that increases will often stack. That means that if you have a few at-fault accidents on your record, you could end up facing even higher increases.
Should I Report an Accident to Insurance After a Crash in Arkansas?
If you were involved in an accident, you should always report the accident to the police and the insurance companies for each driver involved in the crash. If you were the victim in the crash, this should not have negative effects for you, and it might be essential to report the accident if you are going to seek financial compensation for the damage to your vehicle or injuries suffered in the crash.
The at-fault driver might not want you to report the case to insurance and might ask that you settle the case without getting insurance involved. This could protect them from increased insurance premiums if they hide the crash from their insurance company, but that could mean you do not get the compensation you actually need. It could also cause problems between them and their insurance company.
Ultimately, you should always speak with our Fayetteville, AR car wreck lawyers after a crash, especially if you suffered injuries. The tactics that at-fault drivers use to avoid blame, avoid costs, and avoid involving lawyers often hurt victims by denying them opportunities to seek legal advice and denying them access to the funds they need to cover their injuries. If you were hurt in a crash, talk to an attorney before accepting any money or agreeing to anything.
Our attorneys can help you understand what will happen as a victim facing car accident injuries in Arkansas. We represent victims and work to make sure their case is filed with the proper insurance companies or in the right courts to help maximize damages. We can be an intermediary between you and the at-fault parties to help protect your rights and get you the coverage you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Court rulings that the other driver was at fault can also help you prove to your insurance company that you didn’t cause the crash, protecting your own premiums.
Call Our Fayetteville Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Consultation
Do not handle your case alone after a car crash. Insurance companies often fight to increase premiums and decrease coverage, and at-fault drivers might do everything they can to avoid involving insurance companies. If you were injured in a car crash, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, today for help with your case. Our Fayetteville, AR personal injury lawyer represents car accident victims and fights to help them get damages for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. For a free case consultation, call us today at (479) 316-0438.