My husband got into a very minor fender bender this morning. He was driving through downtown busy traffic just a minute after the rain had stopped and the cars in front of him had to keep slamming on their breaks due to very heavy congestion. He ended up barely scraping the car in front of him.
What do we do now? Is he at fault? And if so, will the other driver probably make a claim? If we report it to his insurance will his insurance go up? No one was injured. Thank you for any information you can provide.
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
Your husband must contact his insurance company as soon as possible. A car insurance policy represents a contract between the insured and the company, in which both parties have contractual duties and obligations.
Under the “Notice of Occurrence” clause, your husband has a contractual duty to notify his insurance company of the accident. In return, his insurance company will investigate the accident, and if they believe your husband was at-fault, they may decide to pay the claim up to the limits of his policy.
Inasmuch as this appears to be a fender-bender, the compensation to the other driver will certainly fall within the policy limits. It is important to note most insurance companies will not penalize an insured for reporting an accident when it is determined the insured was not at fault.
In most cases, drivers who strike other cars from behind are considered at-fault. The State of North Carolina is one of those states. North Carolina’s Revised Statute, Section 20-152 – Following Too Closely states in part:
“The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”
Whether your husband’s insurance company will raise his rates will depend on factors such as the number of previous accidents, his driving record, and company policies.
Learn more here: Minor Collisions / Fender Benders
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
We wish you the best with your claim,
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