Does a No-Fault Accident Go on Your Record in California?
You got into a car accident and perhaps suffered from an injury as well. The thing is that the car accident wasn’t your fault. Now, you’re worried that your insurance rates will go up because you’ve heard about a no-fault accident going on your record in California. By clarifying this policy, you can figure out how to move forward.
If you got into a car accident, we’re here to help you. Inland Empire (and California statewide) personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients with personal injury and car accidents. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve.
No-Fault Accidents in California
A no-fault accident is one in which none of the parties is deemed responsible for the accident. A fault accident is one where someone (or multiple parties) was responsible for the accident. For example, you may have been driving near a construction site when a crane fell and caused a road hazard, when another driver, going too fast, hits the crane and ricochets into you, then, you swerved and accidentally hit another car. That accident might not have been fully any individual’s fault.
A no-fault accident may still go on your driving record in California. This is because when you get into an accident, you need to call the police as well as tell your insurance company what happened. Typically, insurance rates will not go up, especially if you are not at fault.
If you’re being incorrectly blamed for an accident, it’s crucial to hire an experienced attorney who can make sure fault is properly assigned. They can ensure that the percentage of blame tied to comparative fault is correct. Then, you can get the highest compensation possible based on that fault percentage.
Initially the insurance company may reach out to you for information regarding the accident. It is very important at this point to be careful with what you say. Talking to an auto accident attorney first can help to ensure you maximize the compensation you might recover, as well as have the accident go on your insurance record appropriately.
If You Are Determined At-Fault You Can Still Lower Your Insurance Rates
If your accident was in fact your fault, there are some things you can still do to try and lower any premiums that might increase. For instance, you can bundle your insurance by purchasing different kinds of insurance from the same company. They may offer a bundle discount. You might get a discount for using autopay, automatically deducting the money from your account every month.
If there is only one accident on your record, you may even qualify to retain a good driver discount or be eligible for other kinds of discounts. Ask your insurance provider what is available to you. You may be able to get a discount for being a good student or insuring multiple cars on the same policy.
It’s also important to shop around and compare quotes from different companies. Then, you can make sure you’re getting the best deal.
What to Do After an Accident
If you, or a loved one, got injured in a car accident, there are some steps to take to protect yourself and have the best chance possible of getting an appropriate settlement.
Collect evidence of the accident and injury to show to the insurance company. This includes photos of your injuries, damage to your car, and damage to your belongings. Take photos of the responsible party’s license plate and driver’s license. Ask for their insurance information and collect witness statements from people who saw the accident occur. Call the police and generate a police report as well. Of course, if you engage a qualified personal injury lawyer, they can do all this (except what is done on the day of the accident at the scene).
If the at-fault driver (or their insurance company) offers you cash or money not to make a claim, don’t take it. You may not be able to recover a more appropriate settlement later on if you do this. Plus, it likely won’t be enough of a settlement. After all, your injuries may get worse. It is very likely that you will not hurt as much immediately following the incident as you will later. Medical care is very expensive, and you don’t want to risk not being able to afford it.
It’s critical to go the hospital right away. There, get tests taken, including X-rays. Tell your doctor about any pain you’re suffering, no matter how minor it seems.
Call a personal injury lawyer promptly. Get the lawyer involved as soon as you can. They will determine the damages you can claim for your accident and help you get the award that’s rightfully yours. You may be entitled to damages like:
- Medical expenses (past and future) and other expenses
- Loss of wages from time you took off work and even loss of the ability to earn (and even for a lifetime in appropriate cases)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
With a lawyer on your side, you can be much more confident in your case. You won’t have to worry about fighting with an insurance company. Instead, you can recover from your injuries and go back to living your life. Your lawyer will only charge you if they can get you an award. There is no risk to you.
Keep in mind that even if you were partially at fault, you could still be eligible for a recovery or a monetary award. Your personal injury lawyer will advise you on the best course of action for your case.
Reach Out to Heiting & Irwin Today
If you got into a car accident, then you’ll need to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Heiting & Irwin is here for you. We have dealt with many, many, personal injury cases and will work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us online at www.hilegalgroup.com or call us at 951-682-6400 to initiate your case.