An Accident Attorney in Mesa, AZ Weighs in on Accidents and Insurance Rates

attorney Mesa, AZ

After an automobile accident in Arizona, there is a possibility that a driver’s car insurance rates will increase.

Luckily, Arizona is one of the few no-fault states. Therefore, a driver has a few options when they need to file a claim after an auto accident. Choosing the right course of action, however, should happen after consulting with an accident attorney in Mesa, AZ.

The options available include filing a claim with the insured’s insurance company, the other driver’s insurance company, or filing a lawsuit for personal injury damages.

Scenarios that Help Put Things into Perspective

  • The Victim is Partially Responsible: If the victim is partially at fault for the accident, then the other driver has the right to report that accident to the victim’s insurance, even if the victim does not file a claim with their own insurance. Therefore, they are likely to increase rates for paying to the other party.
  • The Vehicle Damage: If the victim’s car was damaged and considered “totaled,” the other party’s insurance should cover all recovery costs. If the victim was at fault, however, their insurer will cover recovery, which means they will see a rate increase.
  • When the Victim is Not at Fault: If the victim is not at fault in any way, then they do not need to file a claim with their insurer unless the other party does not have insurance. Sometimes the insurance company will pursue the other driver for damages after paying out a claim to their insured. However, this could affect a person’s rate depending on the circumstances of the accident. Therefore, it may be in the victim’s best interest to file a lawsuit rather than a claim with their insurance.

How Accidents Affect Car Insurance Rates

Not all insurance companies increase rates, especially if it is the first claim their insured has filed. Some companies now offer an accident forgiveness program. That allows the victim to file their claim for the incident without the penalty of a higher rate in the future.

In general, however, drivers who file even a single claim will notice an increase. According to a study reported by CBS news back in 2015, drivers who made a claim of $2,000 or more saw an increase in their premiums of 41 percent. That amount calculates to $335 for the average premium per year. Those who have the unfortunate opportunity to file two claims in a year see an increase of 93 percent.

When Filing a Claim for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

After an accident, some victims do not know who is responsible for causing the accident. For example, the driver committed a hit and run. Other times, the driver who caused the crash lacks insurance. In that case, the victim may need to file a claim with their own insurer.

Drivers in the state are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, but under Arizona Statute 20-259.01, it is highly recommended. Insurance companies offering policies in the state are required to provide uninsured and underinsured coverages. Per the statute, the uninsured motorist coverage covers damages including bodily injury or death, when the vehicle that caused the accident was not insured or has an insurance policy with the standards required under Arizona Statute Section 28-4009.

An accident with an uninsured motorist can throw any victim’s finances into disarray. When filing a claim for uninsured motorist coverage with the victim’s own insurance company, there are a few factors that go into whether the premium increases.

Factors that Affect Uninsured Motorist Claims and Increased Premiums

  • The Type of Coverage: To access coverage, the insured must have uninsured or underinsured coverage through their insurer. Otherwise, the law does not require their insurer to accept the claim.
  • Determining Fault: It is illegal for the insurer to increase the rates for the insured if they file a claim and the accident was not their fault. If, however, insurance is able to prove that the victim was at fault or partially at fault, then they may increase the victim’s insurance rates for the future.
  • Limitations of the Policy: The insured can only collect based on the maximum payout they have insured themselves for. Therefore, if they only have $10,000 in uninsured coverage, they may max out that claim with their injuries, but insurance will not let them collect beyond that limit.

Hiring an Accident Attorney in Mesa, AZ

Most insurance companies will try to add responsibility to their own clients so that they can reduce how much they pay in their accident claim. For those injured in an accident who must file a claim with their own insurance company, it is best to consult with an accident attorney in Mesa.

The attorneys at Tobler Law understand how to negotiate with insurance companies. If a victim must file an uninsured motorist claim, their attorneys go to bat for them and ensure that they receive the compensation they deserve.

Contact the attorneys in Mesa at Tobler Law, P.C. today to explore options for compensation and filing a claim with an insurance company. Schedule a consultation now at 480-898-9700 or request more information online.