People fear reporting a car accident to their auto insurance companies for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons is they know that car insurance rates often increase after a claim. Georgia law requires drivers to file a police report for any accident involving injury, death, or damages exceeding $500. If it’s serious enough to report to the police, it must also be reported to your auto insurance provider. If you have a car accident in Georgia, it’s important to be aware of a few things that may affect whether your rates may or may not increase.

Georgia is an “at fault” state regarding car insurance. This means that when you get hurt in an accident and believe it’s due to someone else’s negligence, you have three options for seeking financial compensation to cover damage and injuries: file a claim with your own insurance provider, file a claim directly with the other driver’s insurance company, or file a claim in court.

Whether your insurance payments increase, usually depends on who is legally determined to be at fault for the collision, but it’s not always that simple. Understanding what circumstances can result in insurance rate hikes are more complex than many people think, but a car accident lawyer can explain things to you in easy-to-understand terms. If you or a loved one has suffered injury and property damage in a car wreck, regardless of circumstances, call Car Accident Attorney, Kathryn Burmeister, and set up a no-obligation consultation about your situation.

Situations that affect whether insurance premiums increase:

If you are found to be at fault for a car wreck, your insurance premiums may increase. Ultimately, this is up to your insurance company, but any negative mark on your driving record, whether it’s a moving violation or an accident can cause your rates to rise. Additionally, your rates may rise if the other driver files a claim against your insurance carrier.

If you are involved in a crash, but did not cause it – not legally liable – your insurance premiums should not increase. Georgia law prohibits insurance carriers from raising premiums if you did not cause the crash, or when you use your coverage for uninsured or under-insured motorist benefits. 

If your accident involves an uninsured driver who is at-fault, you’ll need to file a claim with your own insurance company under the uninsured/underinsured or medical benefits policy. Your premiums should not increase as long as you are not legally at fault for the collision.

How much insurance companies increase rates after an accident?

The amount of increase is difficult to predict because so many variables are involved, but a study conducted by CBS News in 2018 found that drivers who file a single (and first ever) claim with their car insurance carrier may see rate increases by as much as 41 percent. That’s a lot of extra money out of pocket each month for your car insurance.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s imperative you consult with an auto accident lawyer immediately. Kathryn Burmeister, top Atlanta Car Accident Attorney, can assess the details of your accident and determine if you have a case, even if you were the one ticketed. Just because the police officer determined you were liable and gave you the citation, does not mean you’ll be found at-fault in civil court. Civil courts make an independent determination based on the presented evidence.

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