Will My Car Insurance Rates Go Up If Someone Hits Me?
Car and truck accidents are traumatic experiences. As soon as we regain composure after the collision impact, the next thing that we usually worry about is how the accident is going to change our lives. Naturally, most injured victims that contact our firm want to know about the financial consequences of the collision.
A common question that potential clients ask us when they call is whether their car insurance rates will increase as a result of the collision – even if they weren’t at fault. The answer: no.
Georgia Code 33-9-40 provides that “no insurer shall surcharge the premium or rate charged on a policy of motor vehicle insurance or cancel such policy as a result of the insured’s person in a multi-vehicle accident when such person was not at fault in such accident.”
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car or truck accident, you should speak with a car accident attorney in Atlanta, GA. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys will help you identify all potential sources of insurance that can help compensate you for your injuries. We will be glad to answer all of your questions if you’re concerned about making a claim against a particular insurance policy.
What If I Make An Insurance Claim Against My Own Car Insurance Policy?
Most people generally understand that their own car insurance company cannot increase their insurance rates if another driver harmed them. But what happens if the driver that injured you didn’t have enough insurance to cover all of your injuries? Should you make a claim against your own insurance company? Would that increase your premiums?
Yes, you should make a claim against your own insurance policy. No, your insurer cannot increase your premiums as a result of that claim.
Georgia law only requires auto drivers to maintain $25,000 of insurance per person and a total of $50,000 of insurance per accident. In other words, if you’re the only victim injured in a collision, there is $25,000 of coverage available to you from the at fault driver’s insurance policy. However, if more than one person is injured, there is only a total of $50,000 coverage. So, if there’s two of you that are injured, you both could recover up to $25,000. However, if there’s three or more people who were equally injured, the victims would have to split the available $50,000 coverage three ways. In that case, each victim could only recover a maximum of $16,666 from the at fault driver’s policy.
Even in a scenario where you were the only injured victim and could recover up to $25,000 coverage from the at fault driver’s insurance policy, your medical bills may quickly exceed $25,000. At that point, the driver that injured you would become “underinsured”. You typically will need to make a claim against your own insurance company in order to recover any additional insurance coverage. That is known as an underinsured motorist claim. If your own insurance company provides “add-on” coverage, the coverage on your policy stacks on top of the at fault driver’s insurance policy. So, if the at fault driver only had $25,000 liability coverage, and you had a $100,000 add-on underinsured motorist coverage, there would be a total of $125,000 coverage available to you.
Some of our clients fear that if they make a $100,000 claim against their insurance carrier, they will be penalized for making such a large claim. They fear that their insurance carrier will either significantly increase their insurance rates or cancel their policy. The answer again is that the law prohibits them from penalizing you in either of those ways.
What If I Was Injured By A Hit-and-Run Driver?
All too frequently, careless drivers flee the scene of the collision after they cause harm. Some flee because the driver was intoxicated. Others flee because there is a warrant out for their arrest. Some just don’t care.
If you were injured by a hit-and-run driver, you should file a claim against your own insurance carrier. A hit-and-run driver is classified as an “uninsured driver” which means that your claim would be covered by the uninsured motorist coverage that you purchased on your insurance policy.
Under these circumstances, your insurance carrier still cannot punish you for making a claim by increasing your premiums or canceling your coverage. However, they will typically try and find a reason to deny your claim. For instance, they might argue that you staged the collision if your vehicle is an older model, there was some damage on the vehicle that predated the collision, and the damage from the collision that injured you was relatively light.
Therefore, it is very important for you to call the police as soon as possible after the collision. You should also check to see if there were any witnesses in the vicinity. If there were, make sure to get their contact information. If there was a business in the area, check to see if they have security cameras facing the road. If so, make sure to notify your injury lawyer so that he or she can request to review the surveillance footage.
Contact An Atlanta Accident Attorney for Help
If you or someone you love was harmed in a car or truck accident, you should not hesitate to contact Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers. Our veteran auto accident attorneys will help you recover the compensation that you deserve.