An at-fault car accident can increase your insurance premiums by as much as 40% or more. In fact, in California, it could cause your insurance premium to increase by 92%. Therefore, it is crucial to fight an at-fault accusation so that your premiums don't increase, and the proper insurance company pays for damages and personal injuries. Sometimes, car accidents seem to be caused by one driver yet really are not. Here are several ways that a driver could be assumed as being at fault in motor vehicle accidents, even though they are not.
Staged Car Accidents
There are several types of scams in which nefarious people stage car accidents in order to receive compensation. These people usually have helpers who will act as witnesses that you caused an accident when the accident was actually a setup. Here are several examples:
- slamming on their brakes causing you to rear-end them
- waving you ahead of them then accelerating to make it appear that you sideswiped them
- t-boning your vehicle in an intersection and saying you ran the stop light or didn't obey a stop sign
In South Carolina, 1,915 insurance fraud complaints were lodged to the attorney general in 2016, which was triple the number of complaints that were lodged in 2010. If you feel that someone staged an accident you were accused of being at-fault in, speak with a car accident attorney.
Failure of Brake Lights
Typically, when a driver rear-ends another vehicle, they are considered at-fault. The reason for this is because drivers have a duty to pay attention to the brake lights of the vehicles in front of them and to follow behind at a safe distance to make stopping in time possible, if necessary. However, if the lead vehicle's brake lights do not work, then there is no way for the following driver to be able to easily determine when that vehicle is slamming on their brakes.
If you rear-ended someone, and there is a possibility that the lead vehicle's brake lights were not working, your lawyer can ask the court to have the lead vehicle's braking and brake light system thoroughly inspected to determine whether or not there was a failure that caused you to be unable to determine that they were braking.
In conclusion, even if there is no significant damage or there are no severe injuries, it's still important to fight an at-fault report on your records, so your insurance premiums are not adversely affected in the future. For more information, contact your local car accident law attorney.