Picture this situation: You get involved in a collision. You do not admit responsibility, but you have a strong sense that you are to blame for the occurrence of that incident. What should you expect to happen next?
In most cases, your own insurance must take care of compensating the other involved driver(s) for any losses.
There is an exception to that most-case scenario. That exception relates to what would happen if the accident had taken place in a no-fault state.
In a no-fault state, all the drivers must carry a PIP policy. That is one that offers personal injury protection. In other words, their own insurance must cover the medical costs for anyone that was injured, due to the negligence of one of the company’s policyholders. In cases where the driver or passengers in the claimant’s vehicle had been severely injured, could sue the owner’s insurance company. In such cases, the limits on the policy had prevented a full reimbursement of the claimed medical expenses.
What consequences does the vehicle’s owner face, if his or her own insurance has had to pay for damages that were caused by that same owner?
That owner could expect to see an increase in the size of his or her premium. However, when vehicle owners have gone for a long period without being blamed for any accidents, the insurance company might take a different approach.
It might provide the owner/responsible driver with a testing period. During that period, typically 6 months, the tested owner/driver should not get involved in any accident, in order to avoid the consequence mentioned earlier, i.e., receiving notice of a larger premium.
Should the vehicle’s owner, the policyholder seeks the services of a lawyer?
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Romeoville could be a good course of action, if the insurance company of the allegedly responsible driver had reason to suspect that another party could be charged with comparative or contributory negligence. In that instance, the company’s investigative team might want to search for some useful video surveillance footage.
Another party’s concerns might get reduced, if a charge of shared blame led to an assessment of the damages on that party’s vehicle. Those damages could then be compared to the extent and location of damage on the vehicle with the allegedly responsible driver.
That assessment and comparison might show that only one of the involved vehicles had been driven in a negligent fashion. For instance, perhaps one vehicle had damage to one of the vehicle’s side doors, while another had minor damage around the rear taillight. That would show that only a single driver had directed a particular vehicle in the wrong direction, a direction that could cause harm to another vehicle in the area.