What Happens After an Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
Being involved in a not-at-fault auto accident can be a jarring experience. You may be left with injuries—perhaps even serious injuries—unable to return to work and wondering what you should do next to safeguard your future. It may feel as though you truly have nowhere to turn and are facing a mountain of medical bills that you may have no way to pay. The best thing you can do at this point is to contact an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney to assist you with your not at fault accident.
The knowledgeable legal team at New Orleans Legal understands that while car accidents are fairly common when the accident is caused by the negligence of another, you are entitled to take legal action to recoup your damages from the accident. A personal injury claim arises when one person suffers harm from an accident caused by the negligence of another individual or entity. A personal injury claim is formalized when a personal injury claim attorney—like Peter J. Diiorio of New Orleans Legal—represents you in a civil claim.
Although the majority of car accident claims are resolved through an informal settlement, others will be decided at trial. We at New Orleans Legal will go above and beyond to protect your rights and your future. You will appreciate the dedication we have to each and every client. Attorney Peter Diiorio deeply believes in the New Orleans Legal tagline—Solving Problems, Making Things Right. We always put our clients first, looking at every angle to determine how their needs can be met.
Will a Car Accident That is Not My Fault Affect My Insurance?
Whether a car accident that was not your fault will increase your monthly insurance premiums depends largely on the circumstances surrounding the accident, your history of claims with your insurer, and the type of coverage you have. Generally speaking, if you were not at fault for the accident your car insurance rates will not increase because the insurer for the at-fault party will be responsible for your vehicle repairs and medical expenses.
In other words, if your insurer does not have to put out any money, your premiums probably will not go up. That being said, if you have prior accident claims in which you were at fault, your insurance premiums could go up following an accident in which you were not at fault. California and Oklahoma do not allow insurance companies to increase rates following a claim in which their insured was not at fault. Even if you were not at fault, if a claim is filed your accident will appear on your driving record and will likely stay there for three to five years.
Do I Pay a Deductible if an Accident Was Not My Fault?
If fault for the accident is unclear, it could take the insurance adjusters a long while to determine fault—which can affect the timeframe in which you can expect to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. In this case, you may have to pay a deductible to get your car fixed, but once fault is assigned, you will recoup those costs from the at-fault driver’s insurer.
If fault is clear, then usually, you will pay no insurance deductible if the accident was not your fault. In this situation, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance will cover your expenses. If you are filing with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage (if the at-fault driver had no insurance), you usually do not have to pay a deductible.
What Should I Do Following a Car Accident That Was Not My Fault?
If you are involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you need to do the following:
- If you are hurt, you should see a medical professional immediately, whether you are taken by ambulance, or you have a loved one or friend take you to see your doctor. Often, the rush of adrenaline you receive during a car accident can mask the symptoms of an injury, so be very sure you are not hurt before declining medical assistance. If you say you are “fine” at the scene of the accident, it can be more difficult to receive compensation for your injuries once you determine you do have injuries from the accident.
- Always call the police, even if the other party asks you not to do so. Calling the police means there is a police report which can help determine fault. In turn, this can help you collect compensation for your injuries. The other party may not want the police called because they do not have insurance or may have been driving while impaired. Either of those reasons needs to be put into a police report.
- If you are not seriously hurt, take photos of the scene of the accident with your cell phone. Make sure you include photos of both vehicles, including the license plate of the at-fault driver’s vehicle. Take photos of the surrounding area for context.
- If there were witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. This information could end up being invaluable later on when you file your claim.
- Once you are home, contact your own insurance company and provide the facts of the accident.
- Keep a file of every receipt and expense related to your accident-related injuries.
- Jot down everything you can remember about the accident as soon as you get home. It’s extremely easy to forget important details that could conceivably make a difference in your claim.
- As soon as you have contacted your insurance company, make sure you contact an experienced New Orleans accident attorney. This could be the most important step you take following your accident and can make a significant difference in the outcome of the accident.
How an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney from New Orleans Legal Can Help
A not-at-fault accident can result in many expenses for you, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. At New Orleans Legal, LLC, clients are everything. We work tirelessly to ensure our clients are fully compensated following a car accident. Whether your injuries are moderate, or catastrophic, medical expenses can become impossible to pay. If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be unable to pay even your basic monthly expenses. Attorney Peter Diiorio believes in you, your family, and your future. We will help you get the medical treatments you need, advocating aggressively for you to receive a full and fair settlement following your car accident. Contact New Orleans Legal, LLC today.