California Insurance Claims for Minor Car Accidents
Should You File an Auto Insurance Claim After a Minor Car Accident?
When to File a Claim
Are you unsure whether or not to file an auto insurance claim? West Coast Trial Lawyers is here to help. Before deciding to file an insurance claim, it’s important to understand how auto insurance claims can work either in or against your favor. Overall, it is ideal to file an insurance claim immediately after an injury or property loss. By doing so, you are protecting yourself legally and are protecting your pocket, as well. You pay your insurer to help you take care of any losses in the case of an incident so you won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses. However, it is important to be aware that for each inquiry or accident report you make, the higher your premium may become. Also, you must consider how your deductibles might affect your coverage when deciding to file a claim.
Do You File a Claim When the Other Driver Is At-Fault?
If the other driver involved in the car collision was at-fault, you must file a claim. This will result in your insurer contacting the other driver’s insurance company and reporting that accident as the fault of the other driver. They will then be responsible for covering any injuries or losses caused.
It’s Best Not to File a Claim When There Is No Other Party Involved and There Are Only Minor Damages
When there are minor accidents that don’t involve another person, it would be best to look over the damage and determine if you are able to afford paying it yourself. If you believe your insurance company isn’t capable of covering your damages because it does not meet your deductible, it is best not to file a claim or contact them about the collision. It’s better to pay for any minor damages, especially if there weren’t any other drivers involved, because insurance companies will assume you are accident prone due to recurring reports you would make if you were to call them every time there was minor damage made.
Calling Your Insurance Company to Inquire About a Possible Accident
Making an inquiry with your insurance company about a possible accident is essentially reporting it. Insurers keep a record of these inquiries and if they think there was damage done, they may increase your premium, regardless of whether it was your fault or not. Depending on the number of inquiries or accident reports you make, insurance companies may view you as accident prone.
Determining Whether to File a Claim or Not by Considering Your Deductibles
A method of determining whether you should or should not file an insurance claim is if the incident exceeds your deductible amount for a collision. Deductibles are certain amounts implemented into your insurance policy for collision repair. You have to meet the minimum deductible amount before your insurance company initiates the payment for any damages done.
For example, if you have a $500 deductible, then you must pay for the first $500 worth of repairs. Once that is completed, the insurance company will pay the remaining amount. Make sure you carefully choose your deductible amount because predicting how much something is going to cost to repair is nearly impossible. Factors that contribute to the cost of repairs include:
- Severity of damage to the car body.
- Paint requirements.
- Certain types of materials.
- Difficult time locating the parts.
Overall, it is recommended to file a claim that is over your deductible amount. If you are primarily paying for minor damages, it would help you keep your premiums low without having any repercussions on your driving record. However, if you continuously report accidents, your insurer may consider raising your premiums because they see you as a risk.
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.
A few examples of economic losses include:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
West Coast Trial Lawyers will not charge you for a consultation. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out. Our qualified personal injury lawyers are highly-trained and have extensive experience with cases that are similar to yours. We are committed to helping you resolve your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results.
Read More About Car Accidents
Our excellent team of car accident attorneys have created several resources for you to read through. Feel free to browse these topics and read the ones you would like to learn about more.
- 7 Crucial Steps To Take After a Car Accident
- Car Accident Victim Compensation
- Uninsured Car Accidents
- How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
- Accidents and Injuries by Aggressive Drivers
- Accidents and Injuries by Distracted Drivers
- Accidents and Injuries by Drowsy Driving
- Accidents and Injuries by Impaired Drivers
- Accidents and Injuries by Drunk Drivers
- Accidents and Injuries by Inexperienced Drivers
- Accidents and Injuries From Speeding
- Head on Collision Considerations
- Multi Car Collision Considerations
- Rear End Collision Considerations
- Side Impact Collisions
- Car Accident Injury Types
- What to Do After a Hit and Run Collision
- Comparative Negligence – Seat Belt Law in California
- Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
- DUI in California
- Multi-Car Collision
- How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident
- 50/50 at Fault Car Accident
- Car Accident – No Police, No Insurance
- How Can I Stop My Insurance From Increasing
- Whether to File an Auto Insurance Claim or Not
- Compensation for Lost Wage From a Car Accident
- Car Accident Recovery Tips
- No Fault Car Accident
- Legal Guide to Own a Classic or Custom Car in California
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- California Sees Speeding Double Due to Coronavirus: It’s Impact on Insurance
- Can I Change My Car Accident Lawyer?
- Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
- Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
- Single Vehicle Collisions
- Most Common Types of Serious Auto Accidents
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- What Happens If I’m Injured in an Accident While Visiting California?
- Psychological Injuries After a Car Accident