Inadequate Automobile Insurance Coverages
Prim Law Firm, PLLC has recently launched its second website, primpersonalinjury.com that focuses on victims that have gone through the unfortunate experience of a traumatic personal injury. Prim Law’s main website can be viewed at www.PrimLaw.com.
This website is also designed to provide periodic updates through this blog about the things Prim Law is doing to improve West Virginia as well as giving general information on topics that people may have questions about.
Our first blog topic that will be discussed is Inadequate Automobile Insurance Coverages. Everyone can probably agree paying automobile insurance premiums are no fun. It is generally expensive and most people never make a claim. They simply pay their premiums month after month with no visible benefits.
However, everyone can also probably agree they never want to make a claim. Making a claim means you’ve had to go through a loss that may include a traumatic experience causing severe injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. No one wants to go through that experience. However, accidents happen every day causing life changes and it is important that adequate automobile insurance coverage is in place.
Currently, West Virginia Law requires every driver have automobile liability insurance on their vehicle. In 2015, a driver is required to have what is called 20/40/10. That means a person that causes an accident has liability insurance to cover the injured victims. Subsequently, the victim that has sustained personal injuries as a result of an at-fault driver has available to them $20,000 in coverage per person, $40,000 per accident, and $10,000 in property damage. In 2015, the West Virginia Legislature changed the mandatory minimum requirements of automobile coverage to 25/50/25 that will take effect on January 1, 2016.
Nevertheless, for an example of how minimum coverage works, let’s pretend that Vehicle A runs a red light and crashes into Vehicle B in 2015. Vehicle B has two passengers that are both seriously injured. Each Vehicle B passenger has coverage for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering up to $20,000 and the vehicle has $10,000 in coverage. This can mean the innocent injured party has inadequate automobile insurance coverage.
Why you ask? If each of the passengers have an Emergency Room visit, followed by a few trips to see their primary care physician, followed by a surgery with a specialist and a few weeks of physical therapy thereafter, then the medical bills can be more than $20,000. This is even more likely if a few days are missed at work throughout this period and subsequently after treatment they have a permanent ailment that cannot be resolved by their medical professionals. If that is the case each of the passengers can easily accumulate more than $20,000 in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This results in a victim being unable to be compensated for their loss unless they have their own adequate automobile insurance and/or medical insurance.
What should you do? I always ask my personal injury clients what kind of automobile insurance coverages they have after suffering a traumatic injury from a motor vehicle accident. Why? Because when you are the victim of an automobile accident, you do not get to choose who negligently harms you nor choose the liability insurance of the negligent driver. What can you do? There is a solution to the problem of being at the mercy of others so that you are not merely hoping the person that harms you has bought sufficient insurance to cover you if you have a serious personal injury. Do you have underinsurance and uninsurance? Many people are unsure or don’t know the significance of the coverage. What is underinsurance and uninsurance? Underinsurance and uninsurance is the coverage that protects you if the at-fault driver has Inadequate Automobile Insurance Coverages.
How does it work? Let’s do another example. This time Vehicle A runs a stop-sign and negligently runs into Vehicle B. Vehicle A has minimum insurance and Vehicle B has three passengers. Each of the three passengers have medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering in the amount of $20,000. They should be okay right? Wrong! Because Vehicle A has minimum insurance, the maximum recovery available is $40,000 per accident with each $20,000 per person being reduced because there are three passengers. That means each of the victims in Vehicle B can only collect a maximum of $13,333.33 from the at-fault driver. This can result in a victim having unpaid medical bills, unrecovered lost wages, and no money for pain and suffering from the accident. However, if the owner of Vehicle B purchased underinsurance/uninsurance then additional coverage is available to them in this traumatic time in their life. The owner of Vehicle B can purchase the same amount of underinsurance/uninsurance that they purchased as liability coverage. For example, if owner of Vehicle B bought 100/300/100 coverage and 100/300 in underinsurance/uninsurance, the injured passengers will have additional coverage available to them through underinsurance portion of coverage. In this example, each of the three injured passengers would recover an additional $6,666.67 from their own insurance company to recover for their loss brought about from the at-fault driver. This allows for a full recovery for the passengers losses when they would otherwise be uncompensated. The great thing about underinsurance/uninsurance is you, the owner of the victim car, decide what coverage you want instead of relying on an at-fault driver to purchase adequate insurance.
In conclusion, if you are worried about Inadequate Automobile Insurance Coverages, check your vehicle policy to see if you have it. It is generally not that much more expensive to add to your policy and is a good peace of mind when on the open road and covers you if you are the victim in a wreck. Be Safe Everyone! Please feel free to contact the office for a free consultation if you have suffered a personal injury through an automobile collision, slip and fall, or wrongful death.
I hope this information is useful to visitors and please feel free to leave comments or post questions for future blogs. Please make sure to look us up on Facebook to view our latest Television Commercials, like our page, and leave comments!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The information provided above is for general information only. The attorney providing the information is not serving as an attorney for persons reading the blog, persons submitting blog topics and no attorney-client relationship with any such person has been formed by the reading or submitting of a blog topic. Laws may vary from state to state and specific facts change the outcome in almost every instance that may change the legal outcome or attorney’s conclusion. Please contact Prim Law Firm to discuss your legal rights available to you or inquiry into starting an attorney-client relationship today.
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