It is a stressful and often painful experience when you are involved in a car accident. Not only do you need to worry about the damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you suffered, but you also must deal with your insurance company and the insurance company of the other party involved in the accident.
One of the most common concerns folks have after a crash is about their insurance rates. More than once, potential clients have told us they’re afraid that by hiring us, they’ll look “guilty”, and their insurance costs will increase. We want to tell you that this is not true. Hiring a Nashville personal injury lawyer after you have been in a car accident should not affect your premiums, so don’t let that stop you from calling us. In fact, if you are still concerned, feel free to contact us and we can discuss this topic first before we talk about anything else. Your first consultation with us is completely free.
Here’s what else WON’T raise your premiums after a Nashville car accident
Another thing that won’t affect your insurance rates if you were not at-fault for causing the accident. As per TN Code § 56-7-1109, “Whenever a person is involved in a traffic accident while operating a motor vehicle, if the accident did not involve negligence on the part of the person, it shall in no way be considered by the person’s personal automobile insurance carrier in fixing premiums, nor shall it cause any increase in the person’s personal automobile insurance premiums.” So if you’re stopped at a red-light, and someone crashes into you from behind, it is actually against the law for your insurance to raise the premiums on your insurance.
Additionally, if you are in an accident while driving someone else’s insured car with their permission, and you are not at fault, then again, your insurance premiums will remain the same and will not be raised. That’s a relief.
What WILL raise your insurance premiums after a Nashville car accident
We’ve covered what isn’t going to raise your insurance, so now it’s time to discuss what will. It’ll come as no surprise that if you cause the accident you are involved in, then yes, your rates are likely going to go up. To determine who was at fault, your insurance company will send out an adjuster. The adjuster will look at police statements, speak to both drivers, contact eyewitnesses, and even examine medical records. This is where having a lawyer comes in handy. An adjuster may not correctly assess the situation, and if you think that you are not at fault, then a personal injury lawyer can help fight for you in your defense, re-evaluating the accident even after the adjuster has already done their own investigation.
Something else that might raise your car insurance rate is being involved in several accidents in a short amount of time that had nothing to do with bad luck. When an insurance company sees that you are getting into many collisions, they will see you as being a high-risk driver, and will ask for you to pay more as the cost of insuring you has increased. For instance, if Susie is in eight crashes over the course of the year, but Jennifer is only in one, Susie’s insurance company may have had to pay several thousand dollars in insurance coverage that year, whereas Jennifer’s insurance company may only have had to pay for a few hundred dollars.
Progressive lists several other reasons why an insurance company may raise your rates:
- Lapse in insurance
- High rates of theft or accidents where you live
- Speeding tickets or moving violations.
And this is why you need a Nashville personal injury lawyer
All these causes of increased car insurance rates are good reasons to hire an attorney who can help you navigate the complicated sea of legal documents, especially when it comes to car accidents. While insurance companies are there to help pay for damages and injuries, they are also a business, and they will do what is best for their company if they think they can get away with it. You should never trust your insurance company to do what’s best for you, and if you think they are swindling you in some way, it is important to talk to a lawyer.
Another benefit to hiring a Nashville car accident lawyer is that we know what can and cannot be used as evidence in a case. For example, some insurers will argue that Susie is partially at-fault for her own injuries in that rear-end car accident because she wasn’t wearing her seatbelt. But in Tennessee, that information isn’t admissible in a negligence case. If Susie doesn’t know that, she may end up accepting an unfair settlement from the other insurance company AND end up with higher car insurance costs.
When you work with us, you work with a team that knows the laws inside and out and know what is and what is not allowed as evidence. More than that, we know how to use black box and phone data to show someone else was distracted or speeding when they hit you, and how to recreate an accident to show a jury exactly what happened (if it ends up going to trial).
If you have been in an accident, and need help dealing with your car insurance, call Rocky McElhaney Law Firm in Nashville. Our injury lawyers have secured substantial settlements for our personal injury clients, and we know how to handle insurance companies who might try to raise your rates illegally, or who try to implicate your fault in an auto accident.
To schedule a free consultation with an attorney who will fight for you, call Rocky McElhaney Law Firm or use our contact page. We proudly serve our community through our offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Clarksville.