How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

November 1, 2023 | By DJC Law Attorneys
How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After an Accident?

If you are like most Americans, you already pay a lot for your auto insurance premiums. Learning that your premium may go up after a car accident can frustrate and overwhelm you. You may feel helpless and at the mercy of your car insurance company.

Some insurance companies might raise the rates of their insureds by 20 to 50 percent after recent accidents. Whether or not yours will go up depends on who is liable for your car accident.

You can't change the fact that you were in an accident. Still, you can hire an experienced car accident lawyer in Austin to prove the other party's liability in your accident. By decreasing or eliminating your liability, you can significantly reduce the chances that your car insurance rates will increase.

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Do You Have a Car Accident Injury Claim?

Most injury claims are rooted in negligence. Negligence is the failure to act in a way that a reasonably prudent individual should under the same circumstances.

For a car accident injury claim to be valid, it must have the four elements of negligence:

  • Duty: The person who hit you, or in some cases another party, had a duty to conduct themselves in a manner that will keep you safe. For example, they shouldn't run red lights.
  • Breach of duty: The person who hit you violated that duty somehow.
  • Injuries: The breach of duty was the cause of your injuries.
  • Damages: You incurred compensable damages as a result of the accident.

What Rate Increase Should You Anticipate After an Accident?

There isn't a specific standard for predicting how much your premium will rise after an accident. These adjustments often vary from state to state, ranging from as low as 12 percent in New York to as high as 87 percent in Minnesota.

If you have multiple accidents on your record or were at fault for the incident, you should anticipate accumulating additional premiums over time.

How Can I Address an Increase in My Insurance Premium?

If you notice a hike in your insurance premium after an accident, there are steps you can take. Firstly, if this is your initial accident or you were not at fault, discuss the possibility of a premium reduction with your auto insurance provider.

In fact, many insurance companies offer accident forgiveness, providing a pardon for the incident on your record to prevent a significant surge in your premium.

Avoiding Car Insurance Premium Increases After an Accident: Prove Liability by Hiring an Attorney

Remember that fault is typically determined by insurance companies and sometimes by courts, not by the drivers. The best way to avoid car insurance premium increases after an accident is to prove the liability of another party. To accomplish this difficult goal, even in minor accidents, and protect your interests, hire an experienced car accident attorney.

The Importance of Determining Liability in Car Accidents

Your car accident attorney plays a crucial role in establishing liability for your injuries. Sometimes, multiple parties may share liability. Civil cases and hold those who acted negligently and caused the accident responsible.

The liable parties or their insurance companies must compensate you for your injuries. When you hire a highly skilled car accident attorney dedicated to constructing the strongest possible case on your behalf, you can decrease the chances that your car insurance premiums will increase after your accident.

How a Skilled Car Accident Attorney Can Work to Prove Liability

Determining liability is a pivotal aspect of any car accident claim. To secure compensation, victims and their legal representatives must establish that the other party, typically the driver, bears responsibility for the incident.

Your attorney will gather evidence linking the other driver's liability to the collision. Having an experienced attorney with a track record in this area, who knows which crucial evidence to gather, can significantly bolster your claim.


Eyewitnesses play a crucial role in supporting the victim's account of what happened in an accident. They might have observed the other driver's actions leading up to the collision, like texting while driving or erratic behavior.

Often, eyewitnesses notice things that the victims themselves might have missed. Don't forget to keep their names and contact details in a safe place, as your lawyer will likely get in touch with them later for verification or further questions.

Accidents sometimes lead to severe injuries, including loss of consciousness or mobility. In such situations, the responding police officer's responsibility is to gather statements from witnesses and include their comments and contact information in the police report. Always have an experienced attorney who can review these reports to help establish liability.

Police Reports

Always report the accident to the police. They can compile a report with vital information about the incident.

Their report may mention:

  • The officer's opinion on who's at fault
  • Any traffic citations issued
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Specifics about the time, date, and location of the accident

If the person responsible for the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the police report should include any details from a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test conducted at the scene.

Traffic Camera/Surveillance Footage

Even though witnesses and police reports offer accounts from unbiased third parties, insurance companies might still question the objectivity of a police officer, witness, or even a passenger in your vehicle. In such cases, additional video evidence can support your claim.

Luckily, a nearby surveillance camera, traffic camera, or dashcam might have captured the accident. Video footage is typically more difficult to challenge as it lacks the human element of subjectivity.

Securing video footage may involve navigating legal complexities, such as having law enforcement request it, which is why you need an attorney on your side. They can handle the process of obtaining the necessary video evidence for your case.

Phone Records

Your attorney might obtain phone records from the other driver involved in the accident, which can establish whether they used a cell phone while driving.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

Your lawyer may call upon the expertise of an accident reconstruction specialist. These experts excel at discerning the party responsible for the accident.

These expert witnesses can reconstruct the accident scene using their advanced understanding of physics and engineering. This reconstruction can show another driver’s fault for the accident that led to your injuries.

Beware of Insurance Company Tactics

When dealing with insurance companies, whether it's your own or the other driver's, remember that their primary goal is to minimize payouts. They will use various strategies to achieve this.

One common tactic is to reach out to you shortly after the accident. During this call, you can inadvertently jeopardize your claim in several ways. You might say something that insurance adjusters misconstrue as admitting fault.

Even if the adjuster seems friendly and appears to be on your side, it's essential to remember that they are not your advocate and will do whatever it takes to elicit information that benefits them.

Another tactic is for the insurance adjuster to present a low settlement offer, hoping you'll accept it. By making an early low-ball offer, they anticipate that you might not have sought legal representation and might agree to it.

Never engage with the insurance company directly. Instead, reach out to a car accident lawyer in your area. Your car accident attorney can communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and handle settlement negotiations. Attorneys possess the experience to navigate interactions with insurance companies and can protect you from making statements that can compromise your claim.

Examples of Driver Negligence

Driver negligence can take on many forms. Here are several examples of driver negligence.

Following Too Closely

Two drivers are both heading eastbound on the highway. The first vehicle is in the right-hand lane, maintaining the speed limit. The second driver is tailgating despite both traveling at 55 miles per hour. The gap between them is just 10 feet.

Suddenly, a deer darts into the road. The first driver manages to apply their brakes swiftly, avoiding a collision. However, the second driver rear-ends the first. This is a clear case of negligence as the second driver was following too closely, also known as tailgating, or failing to maintain a safe distance.

Bad Weather

Heavy rain has made the roads slippery, reducing visibility. Despite the conditions, a driver is traveling at the speed limit. They fail to see the vehicle in front until it's too late, resulting in a rear-end collision.

While the weather itself is beyond control, drivers must adjust their driving for such conditions. Failing to do so is negligent.

Drunk Driving/DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a prime example of negligence. Drivers are well aware of the dangers of getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. The duty of care one owes to others on the road prohibits such behavior. Any driver causing harm or property damage due to intoxication acts negligently.

Road Rage

Engaging in road rage is not only a display of negligence but can escalate to recklessness or intentional misconduct. Even if provoked, retaliating is not acceptable. Any driver motivated by road rage is at least guilty of negligence, if not more severe misconduct.

Running a Light

Two drivers approach an intersection. The light turns red, but one driver attempts to push through. They proceed through the intersection on a red light, colliding with another driver turning left on a green arrow. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to obey traffic signals like red lights or stop signs.

Driving Drowsy

A driver, awake for the past 24 hours, is struggling to stay alert. They are unfit to drive but push on, unable to maintain focus. Drifting in and out of sleep, they cross the centerline and collide with an oncoming car. This driver's decision to operate a vehicle in a state of extreme fatigue is a clear case of negligence.

Going Too Fast Around a Corner

Exceeding safe speeds around a corner demonstrates negligence. Drivers must take road conditions, including curves and corners, into account. If a driver loses control and ends up off-road or in oncoming traffic due to excessive speed, they must pay for damages.

Texting While Driving

A driver decides to text, diverting their attention from the road for three seconds. Unfortunately, this brief distraction leads to an accident. Texting while driving causes drivers to lose focus on the task at hand, and they should pay for the resulting collisions.

Neglecting Maintenance

Drivers must maintain their vehicles in working order. When issues arise, they must address them promptly. While unexpected problems can occur, neglecting routine maintenance or failing to address known issues can make a driver responsible for resulting accidents.

Afraid Your Insurance Premiums Will Go Up After an Accident? Hire an Experience Car Accident Attorney to Protect Your Interests

Dan Christensen, Car Accident Lawyer
Dan Christensen, Austin Car Accident Attorney

If you recently suffered injuries in a car accident, you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side as soon as possible. Your attorney will protect your rights and help prove the liability of other parties. This can prevent insurance rate increases once you demonstrate someone else was to blame for the crash, and also provide compensation from the at-fault party for your injuries and losses.

The best part is that most car accident attorneys offer free case consultations and work on contingency fees, so you owe nothing unless they obtain compensation on your behalf. Seek a free case evaluation with Austin personal injury attorneys near you.