Getting into a car accident can be incredibly scary. Even if you were lucky enough that no one was injured in the accident, there are still many other things you’ll need to worry about. This is especially true when it comes to your insurance as the last thing you’ll want is for your rates to suddenly go up. Your rates may or may not go up depending on a number of factors such as who was at fault, the total amount of damage and your driving history. If the other driver was drunk, this also may or may not affect your insurance rates depending on the following circumstances.
If you’re in an accident with a drunk driver, that person will obviously be charged with driving under the influence. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that the drunk driver will be determined to be at fault for the accident. For instance, if you were speeding, driving recklessly or simply not paying attention, you will still be determined to be at fault for the accident no matter whether the other driver was drunk or not. In this situation, there is a good chance that your insurance rates will go up. Still, if you have a clean driving history with no recent accidents, your rates could stay the same. This can also be the case if your insurance policy includes accident forgiveness.
Repair Costs and Coverage Limitations
If it is determined that the drunk driver was at fault for the accident, their insurance should cover the costs to repair your vehicle. However, there are still limitations to this. Specifically, it will depend on how much coverage the other driver has. Let’s say the accident totaled your expensive new vehicle, but the other driver only had $10,000 liability coverage. In this case, their insurance will only cover $10,000 in repair costs, which means your insurance will have to pay the rest. In this situation, there is still a good chance your rates will increase even though you weren’t at fault for the accident.
No-Fault Insurance and Injuries
If you live in a no-fault insurance state, another important consideration is whether any injuries resulted from the accident. In a no-fault state, your insurance company is required to cover the costs of any injuries and potentially lost wages unless the total costs exceed a certain threshold. For more minor accidents where this threshold isn’t met, your insurance rates will usually go up if you file a no-fault injury claim. However, if the injuries are deemed severe enough, you may be able to hire a drunk driving accident lawyer and sue the other driver for the damages. If the case is successful, your rates shouldn’t go up since your insurance company won’t have to pay for anything.
Determining whether or not your insurance rates will go up after an accident can be difficult. For this reason, it is vital that you carefully read through your policy to determine what is and isn’t covered. It is also important to fully document everything immediately after a wreck as this can help when filing your claim.