Navigating the legal landscape of car accidents can be complex, particularly when it comes to understanding how insurance rates are affected. California law specifically prohibits insurance companies from raising rates after a car accident where you weren’t at fault.
Our Los Angeles auto accident lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.
Defining No-Fault Accidents
In legal terms, a no-fault accident refers to a situation where you are not responsible for causing the collision. This is distinct from an at-fault accident, where you would be the party liable for the incident.
Legal Protection for No-Fault Accidents
In most states, a no-fault accident does not typically result in an increase in your car insurance rates. This is because the at-fault party’s insurance company is legally obligated to cover your medical expenses and vehicle repairs. However, certain circumstances may still lead to higher rates, such as the specifics of the accident, your coverage types, and your claims history.
California’s Unique Stance
California stands out in its approach to no-fault accidents. It is one of only two states, the other being Oklahoma, that legally prohibits insurance companies from raising rates after not-at-fault accidents. This means that if you’re a driver in California and you’ve been involved in a no-fault accident, your insurance rates should not increase.
How Much Will Rates Increase?
According to NerdWallet, if you cause a car accident, your car insurance rates will go up by $72 per month for full coverage, on average. This rate hike is the largest in California, where an accident more than doubles insurance rates.
Typically, after an accident, you can expect your insurance rates to rise between 26% and 32%. This translates to an additional cost of about $360 to $460 per year. For insurance policyholders who file a claim after an accident, the average annual premium sees a nearly 50% increase, rising by $767. This results in an average rate of $1548 for drivers, compared to those with unblemished records.
Usually, the increase remains for at least three and up to five years, which results in a total increase of $2300 according to calculations.
Legal Recourse for Wrongful Insurance Rate Increases
In the event that your insurance rates are increased unjustly after a no-fault accident, you have several legal options available to you in California.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
The first step is to contact your insurance company. Ask them to provide a detailed explanation for the rate increase. If the increase is due to an error, they should correct it and adjust your premium accordingly.
2. File a Complaint
If your insurance company refuses to adjust your rates or if you are not satisfied with their explanation, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance. They can investigate your claim and may be able to assist in resolving the issue.
3. Seek Legal Advice
If your issue remains unresolved, it may be time to seek legal advice. A lawyer who specializes in car accidents can provide guidance on your rights and potential legal remedies. They can also represent if you need to file a car accident claim against the other driver.
Call Our Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyers Today
It’s important to note that even if you’re not at fault, any reckless behavior on your part, such as speeding, could potentially make you partially liable for the accident. Always remember to drive safely and responsibly to avoid legal complications and keep your insurance premiums low.
Understanding the legal implications of no-fault accidents is crucial for every driver. If you have been involved in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact our Los Angeles injury lawyers at 818-960-6155. We’re here to provide the legal support you need.