Picture this: you're cruising down the open road, enjoying the freedom that comes with the wind in your hair and the hum of your engine. But in the blink of an eye, a car accident in Milwaukee, WI, changes everything.
Car accidents have the uncanny ability to not only dent our vehicles but also leave a lasting impact on our wallets in the form of higher insurance rates. However, working with an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer at Hupy and Abraham to file your claim and implementing a few money-saving tips when you renew your policy can help you keep your budget in check.
How Fault Affects Car Insurance Rates
According to our experienced car accident attorney in Milwaukee, one of the most important factors that can affect your insurance rate after an accident is whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
Your insurance rates will likely increase if you were at fault for the accident. This is because the insurance company will see you as a high-risk driver. Insurance rates are not solely based on a single accident, however. Insurance companies typically consider your overall driving record, including any previous accidents or traffic violations. If you have a history of accidents, you may face steeper rate increases than a driver with a clean record.
If you did not cause the crash or have accident forgiveness in your insurance policy, your rates should stay the same.
How Is Fault Determined in a Milwaukee Car Accident?
We are constantly asked how fault is calculated in a crash case. Below, our Milwaukee car accident lawyer, Jason Abraham, details what goes into that decision:
How to Prove Another Driver Caused Your Accident
If you were not at fault for the accident, you may be able to get the other driver's insurance company to pay for your damages. Hiring a lawyer can help you prove that another driver caused your accident. Our Milwaukee car accident lawyer can guide you through filing a claim and help build a strong case by gathering and presenting evidence to the other driver’s insurance company.
Some types of evidence that can be used to prove fault include:
- Police and medical reports. Contacting the police after an accident is essential, as they will create an official report detailing the incident. It is also important to seek immediate medical attention after an accident and get treatment for any injuries you sustained, even if they appear minor. Be sure to obtain copies of both police and medical reports.
- Eyewitness testimony. If there were witnesses to the accident, their statements could play a crucial role in determining fault. Collect contact information for any witnesses to the crash.
- Photographs and videos. Take pictures of the accident scene, including any damage to the vehicles involved and relevant road conditions. If possible, obtain video footage showing how the accident occurred.
- Expert opinions. In complex cases, accident reconstruction experts can analyze the evidence and provide professional opinions on how the accident unfolded. Their expertise can help establish fault more definitively.
How Long Will My Rates Be Higher?
The amount of time for which insurance rates may increase after a car accident can vary depending on several factors. Generally, insurance companies consider the accident's severity, your driving history, and your insurance provider's policies when determining the length of the rate increase. Insurance rates tend to increase for three to five years, but this time period can vary according to the company’s underwriting guidelines.
When every penny counts, there are several things you can do to unlock the door to budget-friendly coverage. For example:
- Maintain a clean driving record
- Increase your deductible and review your current coverage
- Shop around for the best rates
- Bundle your car insurance with your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance
- Decrease your driving to qualify for a low-mileage discount
- See if you can get a discount for taking a defensive driving course
- Install anti-theft devices on your vehicle
- Inquire about accident forgiveness
- Improve your credit score