Being in a car accident is upsetting, stressful and can be devastating in serious cases. If you were the at-fault driver, it can make the situation worse. You will need to deal with the damages to your vehicle and also the damages for the other party.
If you are in an accident and you were at fault, make sure you do the following:
- Pull your vehicle over to a safe place and check for injuries in your and other vehicles. Most states require you to stay at the scene and render aid if there are injuries.
- Exchange contact information with any drivers involved. This should include phone number, name, insurance policy number and agency.
- Call the police and report the accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
When you are at fault, it can be tempting to avoid calling the police. But having a police report on file is usually an important part of the process.
In most states, if you were more than 50% at fault for the accident, your auto insurance rates will probably go up. Your insurance company will determine whether you were to blame or not for the accident and may assess you a surcharge on your auto insurance premium.
One of the reasons it is wise to have more auto insurance coverage than the state minimum is if you are at fault in an accident. For example, many states only require you to cover $50,000 of coverage for injuries sustained to any party in an accident. But if you are at fault in an accident and cause injuries worth $100,000, you could be personally responsible for the additional $50,000. Additional insurance protection for personal injury is usually not very expensive, and could really save you in a serious accident where you are to blame.