When you are injured in a car accident it can be a very confusing and stressful time. What can make it even more stressful is if the accident was caused by you. Maybe you weren’t paying attention and somebody stopped short in front of you. Or, you were simply driving too fast.
These things happen but you are put in a difficult position no matter what the reason for the accident was. Luckily, there is help that will come from your insurance company that may even cover the bills that you incur if you are also injured. Even discount car insurance will have the coverage that you need in most cases.
In this article, we will go over several things to know so you don’t panic if you actually cause a car accident.
No-fault vs fault states
There are two main types of insurance systems that each state chooses to use for its requirements. There is a no-fault system in which each insurance company is responsible for paying damages to their client. The fault system requires an insurance company to pay the damages done by their client to the injured party directly.
Most states are fault states but it is essential that you understand which system the state in which the accident occurred is under. For instance, if you were also injured and live in a no-fault state then your insurance company will also pay for your injuries. In a fault system, you will need to have a policy that includes PIP or Personal Injury Protection that pays for your injuries as well as anybody else in the vehicle regardless of who caused the accident.
In an accident, damages are awarded to the party that didn’t cause it. Damages can be any losses caused by an injury or property such as the damage done to their vehicle. However, your insurance may not cover everything depending on the policy and the chosen coverage.
For instance, your insurance company will be responsible for the maximum damages that you opted for. There is a minimum dictated by the state where you live and if you are leasing or financing the vehicle. This minimum coverage may be a lot less than what the damages actually are.
For instance, if you have the minimum coverage that will only pay $25,000 and the other driver has serious injuries then the damages will be far over that amount. Usually, you will need to pay the balance yourself. However, this usually goes to court and the other party has to prove that the damages were the amount that they say they are.
What should you do?
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, worry about insurance later. At the time you should stop and make sure everybody in the accident is alright. Call an ambulance if you are able to check on people that might have an injury. Never leave the site of an accident until all information has been shared. Get witness information if you feel that they could help your cause in court.