The Consequences of Causing a Car Crash
Accidents are an unfortunately common part of driving. Most drivers will be in an accident during their time on the road, and many experience multiple crashes throughout their lives. Fortunately, many of these accidents are relatively minor: backing into obstacles, sliding into a ditch, or other incidents that cause minor damage and few, if any, injuries. However, to say car crashes can come with severe consequences would be an understatement. A larger accident brings all kinds of negative impacts to you and your life—and that’s certainly true if you caused it. Here are some of the consequences of causing a car crash you might face.
Whether you’re at-fault or not, a car accident can have a major impact on your wallet. You’ll have to deal with the cost of repairing your vehicle, covering any resulting medical bills, and possibly a spike in your insurance rates. If you cause an accident, these expenses can get even more drastic, as you’ll also have to pay for much of the other party’s bills. It’s important to know what kind of financial consequences you might face, so you can plan for how to deal with them in the months or years following your accident.
Your Insurance Rates Go Up
Auto insurance companies determine your policy’s price with a number of factors. Some of these are out of your control—your age, where you live, how long your commute is—but one of the biggest factors is your driving record. To your insurance provider, your driving record is an indicator of how safe you are to insure. The more accidents or traffic violations you’ve accumulated, the more money an insurance company thinks you’re going to cost. Because of this, many auto insurance providers will increase your rates after an at-fault accident. This is especially common for accidents that occur when you’re uninsured, driving under the influence, or demonstrating other reckless driving behaviors. In these situations, the state might require you to obtain SR22 insurance, which might raise your auto insurance premium even more. Fortunately, there are insurance companies that offer SR22 policies to work with you and your situation. Serenity Group can help you find the best fit for your circumstances so you can deal with your insurance and get back to your normal life as quickly as possible.
If your car accident results in physical injury—either to you or to another party—you’ll have to pay medical bills. These might include a simple check-up to ensure everyone is okay after the incident. However, they might also include emergency room visits, surgeries, or weeks of physical therapy. Of course, the rules surrounding medical bills and other damages vary from state to state. If you live in a negligence state and cause an accident, your auto insurance will have to cover the other party’s expenses.
Like with medical bills, you might face auto repairs for yourself and the other party after an at-fault accident. In minor crashes, these might be as simple as replacing taillights, buffing out scratches, or other minor body repairs. Depending on the severity of your accident, however, you could be paying a lot in mechanic fees. You might even have to purchase a new car altogether. You might also have to factor in the cost of a tow truck or other expenses. These kinds of damages can take a toll on your insurance premium, your budget, and many other aspects of your financial life.
Other major consequences of causing a car crash have to do with the law. There are many legal regulations and processes surrounding car accidents, insurance, and traffic violations. Even in unintentional crashes, you can still get a mark on your driving record or face personal injury charges. Details about these potential consequences will vary depending on where you live and what kind of accident you’re in. They may also change depending on how another party in the accident reacts.
Any accident you’re in can impact your driving record. Of course, more severe crashes will result in more significant consequences. Accidentally rear-ending another driver won’t do as much damage to your record as driving under the influence. However, even smaller incidents can build up over time. Many states have a point system on their driver’s license. At-fault accidents will add points to your license. The specific number of points—and the resulting consequences—will vary depending on your state, but you can expect to pay fees or attend required driving courses. After so many points, the state will suspend your license. This and other incidents on your driving record can have lasting effects. It can come up during school or job applications. Auto insurance companies will also use your driving record to determine your premiums, which means an at-fault accident can keep costing your money even long after the accident.
An at-fault accident might also show up on your criminal record, depending on the circumstances surrounding it. Many at-fault accidents are a result of other violations such as reckless driving, aggressive driving, or driving under the influence. These are all serious offenses with far-reaching consequences. You may face an arrest, jail time, court dates, and fines. As mentioned above, traffic violations can eventually lead to you losing your license. These kinds of charges will also show up on your criminal record, potentially impacting your career, degree programs, or other aspects of your professional life.
Not all consequences involve other people. If you cause a car accident, many of the repercussions you face will be personal. You might total your vehicle and have to adjust to life without your own car for a while. This can make it harder to commute to work, drive the kids to school, run errands, or perform other necessary day-to-day tasks. You might also face physical or emotional hardship after your accident. A serious car crash can leave a major impact on your body and your mind. If another party is involved, those consequences only worsen. This is why it’s important to be aware of your actions while driving, as well as the potential consequences of an accident.
If you were recently in an at-fault accident, know that you’re not alone. There are plenty of sources that can help you through the financial, legal, and personal consequences that follow. When it comes to auto insurance, Serenity Group can help you find an SR22 insurance policy after any DUIs or reckless driving charges you may face. With the right information and dedication to making things right, you can recover from your accident and help yourself return to your normal life.