If I Have A Car Accident Injury, Will My Insurance Price Go UP?
A Car Accident Injury Does Not Necessarily Mean Your Rates Will Go Up.
In other words, if you get hurt in a car accident, are your insurance rates going to go up?
Young Lady And Boyfriend In A Car Accident
I wanted to tell you about a young lady who called me recently with a car accident. She was a passenger in her boyfriend's car and her boyfriend's car was owned by the boyfriend's dad. So, they were rear-ended on a road pretty big hit, and she was having a lot of neck pain and a lot of back pain from whiplash which commonly happens all the time. And a lot of times, it's delayed onset, so you don't maybe feel a little bit off at the time of the crash but over the course of the next several days to weeks, the pain doesn't go away or it gets worse. That’s sort of what was happening with this young lady that is why she gave me a call and I signed up her case.
Of course, when I investigate a case, I always look for every source of insurance because you never know how the case is going to go. Here's how it goes, obviously, the first place we look to collect money is the person who caused the crash, who's their insurance and how much insurance do they have. But there are two kinds of coverages for you or which cover the car that you're in at the time of the crash that you ought to know.
What If The Other Car Has No Insurance?
Now, what happens if you get into a car crash and the guy who caused the crash is broke? You can't really get much money out of him and his insurance is a $25,000 insurance policy. But let's say you have about $50,000 in medical bills, well, what are you going to do? Are you going to settle the case for $25,000 and get stuck with another $25,000 in medical bills. No, right?
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Luckily there's a coverage called “uninsured motorist coverage” and underinsured motorist coverage and all insurance policies in the state of Illinois are supposed to have these coverages and they usually match your basic coverage levels.
Uninsured motorist coverage is coverage where if the other guy has no insurance and runs into you your own insurance company will step in his shoes and pay the claim. You still have to prove the case you still have to assemble evidence and your insurance company sort of becomes your opponent in that situation. And it's not easy to do, it's not a slam dunk but you know there are some procedural differences. There's also something called “under underinsured motorist coverage” underinsured motorist coverage covers the situation we were just talking about so that's where $50,000 in medical bills. Let’s say the full value of the claim is 50 and you collect 25 from the guy’s insurance who hit you and then you're able to collect another 25 from your underinsured motorist coverage, so that's coverage you have on your policy.
As we did investigation on this young lady's case, and it turns out that the other driver had a fake insurance card, so his insurance had lapsed and he didn't have insurance with that company at the time of the crash. So, we were going to do an uninsured motorist coverage case for that young lady. We always send out notice to all the insurances at the beginning of the case this is what all attorneys do because we need to investigate whether we have the correct insurance information, and so the young lady called me and said she didn't want to do the case, that she felt better, she didn't want to do the case anymore.
Handling an Uninsured Case
At this point, it was 30 to 60 days after the crash. We had spent some money on the case and she had had a lot of medical care, so she went to the emergency room. She saw her family doctor and her family doctor referred her to an orthopedic doctor. The orthopedic doctor gave her therapy and she had done like a month or a month and a half of therapy. I handle the small cases like this, and you don't know whether a case is going to be a big one or a small one at the beginning of the case.
So, I explained to the young woman, that her case is not a big case but she still got injured and she still deserve a recovery, and so we spoke for a little while and then she finally sort of admitted to me that her boyfriend's dad got mad at the son. And then the son, her boyfriend got mad at her, and the reason is like they felt like she was attacking them by filing a claim.
So what's going to happen to the insurance rates? Well, let's talk about that really quick first. Just because you're making a claim against somebody's insurance does not mean that you're mad at them or you're accusing them of doing anything wrong or anything like that, so that's the first thing. It's no hard feelings if you've got a bunch of medical bills, you've got to look to the source who can pay them so there's nothing wrong with that.
But they were mad at her anyway, and then the other issue is the increased insurance rates. Now, I've been doing this for 23 years and I have literally worked on more than fifteen thousand cases in my career and represented thousands and thousands of people in car accident cases. And I will tell you in 23 years, there have only been three people who ever called me to say that, “My rates went up, my insurance rates went up now.”
You might be interested to know what those three people have in common those three people had multiple car crash claims so one had had six car accidents over the course of about two and a half years.
Very Rare For Rates To Go Up
So, under circumstances, it is extremely rare for an insurance company to increase your rates for being in a car accident, especially if you've only had one or two. I’ve had a couple of claims against my auto policy and they haven't raised my rates so I think people are afraid of that and they're they think it's going to ruin them and they're never going to be able to get insurance again. That's just not true so unfortunately there was no talking this young lady out of it and she didn't want to do a case so I wrote her a letter explaining her rights and I closed the file.
But what I’m going to tell you is to look at what situation she's in now and maybe her soon-to-be father-in-law's mad at her, and her boyfriend's mad at her for no reason. She did what they told her to do, she dropped the case, but she's going to have probably $15,000 in medical bills and the pain is going to go away because she was still in active medical care so this young lady may have a permanent minor ache and pain in her neck and back injury for the rest of her life, and she's got a bunch of medical bills for the medical care she's had probably around $15,000.
I wrote this article to inform you that if you happened to be in a car accident, talking to a lawyer is a really good idea. Injury lawyers like me give a free consultation. I'm available to give you a free consultation where you tell me what happened, and I'll ask you some questions and I’ll be able to tell you whether you have a case and what the next steps are.
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