After getting into a car accident, you will naturally have a lot on your plate to figure out: how do you pay for the repairs? How do you recover from your injuries? Are you entitled to compensation from the other driver? One of the many details that you may be wondering about is how your accident will affect your insurance rates, which is another very understandable question to ask, and one that may be difficult to get a clear answer about. We have done our best to provide you with the information below that can point you in the right direction, but the best way for you to get a clear answer to this question is to contact your insurance company AFTER you have resolved the entire case to figure out what happens next.
If you have been in an accident that someone else caused, one of the best things that you can do for yourself as soon as possible is to hire an experienced car accident attorney. By working with a legal professional, they will be able to ensure that you are cleared of any fault that the insurance company or other driver may try to wrongfully pin on you, and will be able to fight on your behalf to ensure that you get a fair settlement, and not just what the insurance company would like to pay you.
How Does a Car Accident Affect Insurance Rates?
Florida is what is known as a “no-fault” state, meaning that unless you were cited for the accident (in other words, if you were found guilty of causing the accident due to some sort of legal violation), then it will not go on your record at all. Simply being involved in an accident in Florida will have no impact on your insurance premium, as set forth in Florida Statute § 626.9541. However, there are some different issues that could impact your insurance rates, even if you were 100% not at fault for the crash.
Using Your Own Insurance Can Increase Your Rates
If you are in an accident with someone who was speeding, texting, or otherwise engaging in dangerous (illegal) behavior and they were cited for the accident, then you will be able to seek compensation from their insurance company for any property damage and personal injuries that you sustain. However, if you were to file a claim and take money out of your own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) policy in order to cover your injuries, this will impact your rates as any other time that you use your insurance.
This is why it is so important that you work with an attorney during this process. If someone else caused your accident, and they are cited and 100% at fault for the crash, then you have every right to work through their insurance in order to get compensated. An attorney will be able to lead you through this process.
Insurance Companies Can Drop You WIthout Raising Rates
Keep in mind that an insurance company is not legally obliged to continue working with you, meaning that if you are in a series of accidents that you did not cause over a given amount of time, they are entirely within their rights to drop you as a client. This makes sense since an insurance company needs to be sure that they limit the amount that they pay out for any given claim. However, this is again a reason to work with a personal injury attorney and hopefully put the financial burden on the other driver.