How Does a Car Accident Affect Your Insurance

You’ve just been in a car accident, and you feel like you have dodged a bullet because no one is seriously injured. However, your next thought is, will the accident affect my already high insurance rate?

If you are at fault for the accident, your insurance premium will increase, and even if the accident’s not your fault, your premium could increase. The determining factors include your driving record, claims history, and type of insurance policy you have.

Insurance companies are in business to make money. If you become a risk to their earnings potential, they raise your rates. Persons who make car accident claims are deemed high risk insured and pay higher premiums to offset the risks. Let look at the effects of car accidents on insurance in greater detail.

Does Your Insurance Go Up if Someone Hits You?

Just because you got hit by someone doesn’t automatically cause your insurance rates to go up. But if you file a claim against your insurance policy, then yes, it will likely increase. Ideally, the at-fault party has a valid insurance policy to cover your losses; if so, it’s unlikely your rates increase.

Raising rates for not-at-fault accidents varies by company, some raise your rates, and some apply a surcharge, and others may not raise rates, especially if it’s your only claim within the last three years.

Why might you need to file a claim with your own insurance company when you are not at fault for the accident? If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have sufficient coverage, or flees the scene of a crash, you may have to file a claim with your insurance to recover your losses from the accident.

Filing a claim, regardless of fault, raises the possibility that your premium could rise. However, if it’s your first accident and you have a good driving history, without moving violations and no prior insurance claims, your insurance may not increase at all.

If your insurance company increases your rates for a first time filing of a not-at-fault claim, it may be wise to start looking for a new carrier. When choosing a new company, ask if they surcharge for a not-at-fault accident.

How Long After a Car Accident, does it Affect your Insurance?

Accident claims typically affect your insurance for three years. How it affects your insurance varies by company. Some will raise your rates a set amount over the next three years, while other companies raise your rate initially then gradually decrease it over three years.

To ensure your rates return to its initial levels, you need to avoid tickets and accidents. Also, contact your local DMV and review your driving record to confirm its accuracy.

It is not uncommon for citations or accidents to be erroneously included in government records. If you are a victim of DMV errors, contact their office to have the information removed from your driving record and update your insurance company.

How far back do insurance companies look for accidents?

Your driving history is the critical factor used by insurance companies to determine your insurance rates. Most insurance companies review your last five years of driving records, looking for traffic violations, accidents, and vehicular crimes, like DUI. Expect higher rates if you have had speeding tickets, reckless-driving convictions, and accidents.

How much does insurance go up after an accident?

At-fault insurance claims will raise your insurance rate. How high is goes depends on the amount of damage, and if a bodily injury claim is involved. The average rate increase across the United States for an at-fault accident with over $2,000 in property damage is $450 per year or an average increase of 31 percent.

This average was calculated using a first-time at-fault claim. If you have had multiple prior applications or have moving violation tickets, the increase will likely be higher.

To determine the amount of increase, insurance companies use a surcharge schedule. Some states place limits on what can be surcharged and regulate the surcharge schedule.

Can I cancel my car insurance after an accident?

Yes, you can cancel your insurance after an accident, and in some instances, it is a prudent decision. If your car is repairable after the accident, you shouldn’t continue to pay insurance.

Before canceling your insurance, contact your states’ Department of Motor Vehicle to ensure you are following the proper procedures. You can be fined in some states for not have insurance on a vehicle registered in your name.

What happens if I don’t tell my insurance company about an accident?

Not reporting an accident to your insurance company could result in their refusal to cover the damages you discover later. In some states, you have a legal duty to report all accidents to your insurer.

You may also have a contractual obligation with your insurer to report all accidents, and failure to abide by the terms in the contract could result in the termination of your insurance policy.

It is best to report all accidents to your insurance company as soon as you can. Some accidents may seem minor at the time but later reveal serious severe damage. It is best to have a record of the accident than to be stuck with losses.

Do I Have to Talk to the Other Driver’s Car Insurance Company After an Accident?

No, you are under no obligation to speak to the other driver’s car insurance representative. If you have been involved in a major accident, you could damage your claim by speaking with an insurance adjuster.

The insurance companies are in the business to save money, and they have very well trained people to help them achieve this goal. They know how to converse in a friendly manner to draw out information from the unsuspecting.

If an adjuster calls, the best idea is not to take the call and talk to an attorney. The attorney will notify the insurance company to refrain from contacting you directly and will take control of the situation.

If you elect to speak to the other driver’s insurance representative, be aware that they will record the conversation and could be used against you at a later date. If your claim ends up in litigation, the recorded interview can be used during your cross-examination.

If you were involved in a severe accident or liability is an issue, don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company. However, if the accident was minor and the other drivers’ responsibility is established, you may want to speak to the adjuster to get the matter settled fast.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, call our office, The Law Offices of Sonja Bradley, to speak to an experienced attorney. We have offices in Hammond and Livingston Louisiana.

No Pay No Play Law in Louisiana

What is Louisiana No Pay No Play Law?

No Pay, No Play, refers to a Louisiana law restricting the rights of a victim of an automobile accident to recover full damages.  It a person is driving an automobile without the legally required insurance coverage his right to recover damages is limited.

To legally drive on the roads and highways in Louisiana you must have a valid drivers license and have automobile insurance coverage.

Under Louisiana’s “no pay” “no play” insurance laws you may lose the right to recover for your losses suffered in an accident if you didn’t carry automobile insurance on the vehicle you were driving, even if you were not at fault for the accident.

Under this statute (No Pay, No Play) victims of an accident without insurance can not recover the first $15,000 of bodily injury damages and the first $25,000 of property damages.

There are some important exceptions you need to be aware of:

You are only required to carry a minimum liability insurance;

Drivers from other states are not covered by the statute;

The law doesn’t apply if the at fault driver broke certain laws before the crash, such as driving under the influence, fleeing the scene, or it tha at fault driver is in the commission of a felony.

if the car was legally parked

A passenger may recover for his damages, so long as he was not a co-owner of the uninsured vehicle.

Purpose of No Pay No Play Law

The purpose of the law is to reduce the cost of insurance rates in the state. The theory is the limitation on recovery will encourage more driver to buy insurance coverage. 

More insured drivers results in a lower number of uninsured drivers on the roads.  The less uninsured drivers reduce the cost automobile insurance companies spend covering accidents caused by uninsured drivers.  The lawmakers hope the savings for the insurance companies “trickle down” to consumers.

Currently, Louisiana has the second highest insurance premium rates in the country. To check the current statute La. R.S. 32:866, the statute governing No Pay, No Play in Louisiana click here

The statute reads, in part:

“[t]here shall be no recovery for the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and no recovery for the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damage based on any cause or right of action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, for such injury or damages occasioned by an owner or operator of a motor vehicle involved in such accident who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security.”


If you are involved in an Automobile Accident Contact Sonja Bradley your attorney in Hammond Louisiana, Denham Springs, Louisiana, Ponchatoula Louisiana, Livingston Louisiana, Albany Louisiana, Amite Louisiana, Walker Louisiana and surrounding areas to ensure your personal injury case is handled right.

Check out our article on steps to follow when you have been in a car accident.

The following is the Louisiana Revised Statute 32:866. It is essential to visit the website to check the current status of the law for any updates.

§866.  Compulsory motor vehicle liability security; failure to comply; limitation of damages

A.(1)  There shall be no recovery for the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and no recovery for the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damage based on any cause or right of action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, for such injury or damages occasioned by an owner or operator of a motor vehicle involved in such accident who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security.

(2)  For purposes of this Section, the meaning of “bodily injury” and “property damage” is governed by the applicable motor vehicle liability insurance policy or, in the event of security other than an insurance policy, the meaning of such terms is that which is commonly ascribed thereto.

(3)(a)  The limitation of recovery provisions of this Subsection do not apply if the driver of the other vehicle:

(i)  Is cited for a violation of R.S. 14:98 as a result of the accident and is subsequently convicted of or pleads nolo contendere to such offense.

(ii)  Intentionally causes the accident.

(iii)  Flees from the scene of the accident.

(iv)  At the time of the accident, is in furtherance of the commission of a felony offense under the law.

(b)  The limitation of recovery provisions of this Subsection do not apply if at the time of the accident, the other vehicle is not being operated and the vehicle is not in violation of the provisions of Chapter 1 of this Title.

B.  Each person who is involved in an accident in which the other motor vehicle was not covered by compulsory motor vehicle liability security and who is found to be liable for damages to the owner or operator of the other motor vehicle may assert as an affirmative defense the limitation of recovery provisions of Subsection A of this Section.

C.  If the owner of a motor vehicle, who fails to own or maintain compulsory motor vehicle liability security, institutes an action to recover damages in any amount, regardless of whether such owner or operator is at fault, and is awarded an amount equal to or less than the minimum amount of compulsory motor vehicle liability security, then such owner or operator shall be assessed and held liable for all court costs incurred by all parties to the action.

D.  Each person who applies for a driver’s license, registers a motor vehicle, or operates or owns a motor vehicle in this state is deemed to have given his consent to be subject to and governed by the provisions of this Section.  All persons who apply for the issuance or renewal of a driver’s license, motor vehicle title, or motor vehicle registration shall sign a declaration on a form developed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections pursuant to rule and regulation that the person acknowledges and gives consent to the requirements and provisions of this Section and that the person will comply with all provisions of this Section and the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law.  Proof of whether the person obtained or signed such declaration is irrelevant to the application of this Section.

E.  Nothing in this Section shall preclude a passenger in a vehicle from asserting a claim to recover damages for injury, death, or loss which he occasioned, in whole or in part, by the negligence of another person arising out of the operation or use of a motor vehicle.  This Subsection shall not apply to a passenger who is also the owner of the uninsured motor vehicle involved in the accident.

F.(1)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no insurer shall lose any rights of subrogation for claims paid under the applicable insurance policy for the recovery of any sum in excess of the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damages.

(2)  In claims where no suit is filed, the claimant’s insurer shall have all rights to recover any amount paid by the claimant’s insurer on behalf of the insured for the recovery of any sum in excess of the first fifteen thousand dollars of bodily injury and the first twenty-five thousand dollars of property damages.

G.(1)  Except for newly acquired vehicles added to a policy subject to the policy terms, the issuance, change, or adjustment of any motor vehicle liability security or insurance policy subsequent to a motor vehicle accident, without proof of coverage having been bound prior to such motor vehicle accident, shall not effectuate any of the following:

(a)  The recovery for injury or damages that are otherwise prohibited under this Section.

(b)  The defeat of any affirmative defense otherwise allowed under this Section.

(c)  The avoidance of liability for court costs otherwise required under this Section.

(2)  Reinstatement provisions of a policy during the premium payment grace period specified in the policy shall not be invalidated by the provisions of this Section.

H.  The provisions of this Part shall not apply to any vehicle which is legally parked at the time of the accident.

Acts 1997, No. 1476, §4, eff. Sept. 6, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 1085, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2003, No. 532, §1; Acts 2008, No. 921, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010; Acts 2014, No. 149, §1.

NOTE:  See Acts 1997, No. 1476, §5(D)(2).  The rate reduction day was the date on which the judgment in the lawsuit became final, May 8, 1998.  Sections 2 through 4 became effective 120 days thereafter, Sept. 6, 1998.


You’ve just been in a car wreck, so what do you do next?  Know this, insurance companies are in business make money, they collect premiums and fight, so they don’t have to pay claims, especially for personal injury.  To help protect yourself, you need to follow these necessary steps and then call Sonja Bradley your lawyer for personal injury claims.


You may feel you are alright, but sometimes severe injuries can occur in even a minor accident.  You need to stay at the scene until emergency personnel arrives.


If you or anyone else involved in the accident has been hurt immediately call emergency personnel and request an ambulance.


Notify the police of your accident, and this must be done right away and give them the location where the accident occurred.  They will send an officer to the scene to gather information, investigate the crash, and make a fault determination.  They will write this information in a report and file with their agency.  You need to ask the officer for the report number and request his name and contact information.  The more information you have, the better protected you are.


Most people have smartphones today, so take advantage of this technology and take pictures.  Take pictures of the vehicles, the accident site, the other driver and passengers, the license plate of the other driver, the damage to the cars and the investigating officer.  If there are witnesses, ask for their names and contact information and take a picture of them as well.  If you don’t have a smartphone, take out a pen and paper and record this information. Information is vital.

When You Have Been a Car Wreck Contact Sonja Bradley Your Personal Injury Attorney in Hammond, Louisiana, Livingston Louisiana, Denham Springs Louisiana, Ponchatoula Louisiana, Albany Louisiana, Amite Louisiana and surrounding areas.