The 3 Biggest Myths about Car Insurance — And How They Could Cost You Big Time

There is a lot of great information about car insurance available today. However, there are a lot of things being said about car insurance that is not true. Car insurance myths may end up costing you a lot of money. Below is a list of some of the biggest myths about car insurance.

Myth: Any Type of Damage Is Covered By Car Insurance

Fact: There are different forms of car insurance coverage. Liability insurance covers damage that you do someone else’s car. It can also cover the other person’s medical expenses that occurred as the result of the accident.

Collision insurance pays for damage that is done to your own car. Regardless of whether you crash into another car or an object, collision insurance will cover the damage. Comprehensive insurance covers vehicle damage that occurs as the result of theft, fire, flooding and severe weather.

It is best to speak with insurance provider about the types of coverage that you need. This will ensure that you have all of the coverage you need.

Myth: All Drivers Have Insurance

Fact: All drivers are required by law to have insurance but that doesn’t mean they all do.

If you are in an accident where the at-fault party is the other driver and they don’t have insurance, they may not be able to provide you with a settlement you deserve.

If you find yourself in this situation, make sure that you contact legal representation right away. They will see that you receive your full settlement.

Myth: The Minimum Liability Coverage Is Sufficient

Fact: Most states require that drivers have a minimum amount of liability coverage. However, just because you have the minimum amount of liability coverage does not mean that you have enough. The minimum required liability coverage has not kept up with the rising claim and medical costs.

Experts recommend that you have more than the minimum required coverage in order to protect your assets. If the accident costs more than your insurance pays for, then you likely could have to cover the remaining cost of out of pocket.

If you are involved in a two-vehicle accident and you or the other driver doesn’t have appropriate insurance coverage, it can be costly.

Know how to protect yourself if this situation arises. Talk to your insurance provider about the possible scenario.

Also talk to an attorney if you find yourself in the situation. You want to make sure you are protected and that you receive an appropriate settlement if needed. Drivers that don’t have appropriate coverage may say that they can’t pay you, so you will need to have access to an auto accident lawyer help you get what is due to you.

 

Millions of Uninsured Drivers Are on the Road Every Day and What That Means for You

Many motorists do not actually realize that driving is a financial risk every time they get behind the wheel.

The number of uninsured and under-insured drivers on the national highways is astounding. Many consumer agencies estimate that approximately 15% of the licensed driving population drives with no auto insurance at all. Known in the insurance industry as “going naked,” the numbers of uninsured drivers are extremely high in certain areas of the country and extremely low in others.

Even within a specific state, percentages of uninsured drivers are exponentially higher in the economically depressed regions of the state, while being the opposite in areas of higher income populations.

Most drivers are compliant according to state law, but many of those are still carrying legal coverage minimums for bodily injury and property damage, and many states like Georgia have a very low coverage requirement. This combination means that being involved in a collision of any type can be an expensive problem for any driver.

Is Your State a “No Fault” Car Insurance State?

There are two types of doctrines used by states when settling auto accidents. While some states are purely “tort” states where a negligent driver who is at fault is responsible for compensating the injured victim, other states such as Georgia are “no fault” states.

This means that an injured accident victim must look to their own auto insurance company for initial coverage. How much coverage you carry in a no-fault state is dependent on what policy you choose when purchasing insurance, so carrying the minimum 15/30/10 may not always be sufficient.

This legal condition will also put the injured driver in an adversarial situation with their own insurance company in some situations, so having an experienced personal injury auto accident attorney can ensure that all of your legal rights to compensation and coverage are recognized.

It is easy to accrue a medical bill of $15,000 in any level of accident, so the risk of financial hardship and lost assets is heightened when you only carry the state minimum coverage.

Do You Have Uninsured or Under-insured Coverage Protection?

Some drivers are adamant when it comes to purchasing uninsured or under-insured auto insurance protection, but the truth is that insurance companies are not required to inform drivers that the rider option is available.

Savvy insurance purchasers will always ask for this coverage, and it can be a major advantage in an accident when you are hit by an uninsured or under-insured driver. In Georgia, this is specifically important because of the low insurance coverage requirements. However, the court verifies when an accident is classified with this coverage and it normally takes an attorney to ensure the coverage will apply. The potential for accidents involving under-insured drivers in Georgia is as high as uninsured.

Can You Pursue Additional Compensation?

The short answer to this question is yes, but it may be reduced when comparative negligence is assessed by the court. Georgia is also a comparative negligence state, which means that you may be partially at fault when the second phase of the case is applied.

This percentage determination is anything but an exact science, as negligence is determined in percentage of fault. After your personal no-fault injury coverage is exhausted you can still sue the other driver.

If they have no assets as well as no insurance, then the court can issue a payment order for the primarily negligent driver. Of course, this will clearly complicate your case and having a solid personal injury attorney can help immensely with processing this legal action.

Also remember that no-fault PIP coverage from your personal policy only includes bodily injury, meaning a negligent driver may still be liable for property damage to your vehicle.

It is clear to see that the high number of drivers on the highway who risk the lives of others with little or no auto insurance coverage leaves other drivers in peril. Regardless of the reasons that certain areas have a high rate of uninsured drivers, it is always important to reassess your personal insurance coverage and update your policy every time you renew it.

And if you are in an accident involving an uninsured driver, call Singleton Law Firm in Alpharetta at (770) 889-6010.

Hiring A Reliable Lawyer

If you find that a lawyer is actively seeking you out, refrain from hiring them. Respectable lawyers do not solicit new clients. Do your research and create a short list before approaching anyone. Instead, ask friends or family if they have used a reliable lawyer before.

Remember This Simple Advice If You Are Ever in a Car Accident (It Could Change Your Life)

Drivers that are involved in an auto accident will often find themselves shaken, confused, and unsure of how to protect their finances and their future. While it may seem easier to simply exchange insurance information with other drivers and head home, this could be a mistake with long-term consequences.

Drivers may find themselves dealing with ongoing injuries and unsure of where to turn for compensation. Here is a look at a few important steps that every driver should take immediately following an auto accident.

Think About Safety First

The safety of all passengers, drivers, and bystanders should be everyone’s priority following an accident. Even though it may seem as if you will be altering evidence, all vehicles and parties involved should be moved to a safe location. Vehicles that have not been severely damaged should be pulled off of the road and parked in a safe area.

If you suspect that anyone is injured, then it is important to call 9-1-1 even if they say they are fine. Some people will not notice their injuries immediately because of the adrenaline.

While many insist that it is not necessary to call the police immediately following an accident, it is always a good idea to have a police report made if the accident is anything more than a minor fender bender.

Collect Vital Information

It is important to collect as much information as possible, but most drivers will want to refrain from speaking with one another too much. Anything that is said to other drivers, witnesses, or police officers may be used at a later time if there is a trial or mediation with the insurance companies.

The first thing to do is acquire the names of everyone involved, their contact information, and their insurance information. If officers do arrive on the scene, then you should also collect their name and badge number.

As a general rule, you will want to give only the minimum amount of information to the other drivers and the officers. Even if the accident appears to be straightforward in terms of which parties were at fault, you may not be thinking clearly and any claims you make could be incorrect.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Most insurance providers have a very limited window in which a client must contact them following an accident. For many companies, this window ranges from 48 to 72 hours assuming the driver is healthy enough to contact them.

Failing to contact the insurance provider within that period of time can actually void the policy and make future claims extremely difficult. Much like at the scene of the accident, you should only give your insurance provider basic information before contacting an attorney.

Contact Legal Representation

An auto accident that involves an injury can become an incredibly complex situation. After paying for years of insurance premiums, many drivers assume that they will be given the financial compensation that they need to pay medical bills, repair their vehicle, and move on with their life, but that is not always the case.

Having an attorney by one’s side is the only way to ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. Even if the situation does not escalate into a civil trial, an attorney can contact one’s insurance provider and handle the amount of compensation that is received.

Continue Caring for Your Health

Millions of accidents take place every year and these collisions are almost always traumatizing. It is important for you and anyone else that is injured to focus on your recovery while the attorney carries out all of the legwork for your case. In the end, it is your health and well-being that must be protected at all costs.

6 Costly Mistakes Almost All of Us Make After a Car Accident

Car accidents are some of the most distressing events we have to deal with in our daily lives, and many times we want to put the incident behind us as fast as possible and move on. Unfortunately, trying to avoid the stress and bother of this upsetting situation can really hurt you in the long run if you forget to take some specific steps following your accident.

By neglecting to record the official details of your accident with the proper authorities, you could be leaving yourself vulnerable to greater expense and injury in the future. Below are six costly mistakes the majority of us make when involved in an automobile accident, and the various reasons why you should really follow through with these important steps.

Avoiding Police Involvement

Often times, those involved in a minor accident might want to save time and avoid the hassle of police involvement, but what you’re actually doing is setting yourself up what could be a very messy legal situation.

A police report is an official statement of what actually occurred during the accident, and having one protects you from false claims and trumped up witness reports.

Leaving the Scene without Exchanging Insurance Information

Again, it might seem like a waste of time to collect insurance, vehicle, and license information from the other driver, particularly if it appears little harm was done to your car, but making sure you have all of this written down is critical in case injuries or major internal damage develops later on.

Many medical conditions caused by impact are not apparent until several hours after the accident, and you don’t want to leave yourself with no way of contacting the other driver should this occur.

Forgetting to Document the Damage

With all the other trauma of your car accident, it’s easy to forget to take pictures of the damage done to both vehicles and the general area in which the accident took place.

Also, it’s a good idea to get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident, and who could provide an objective view of the events as they occurred.

Neglecting to See a Doctor

If you develop serious injuries from your accident and need to pursue litigation, it’s crucial that you prove your injuries were sustained in the accident and not from something else.

This becomes more and more difficult the longer you wait to see a doctor. Many injuries worsen significantly over time, so seeing a doctor as soon as possible after your accident can also help avoid some unnecessary discomfort.

Failing to Pursue Damages

Most people are easily led astray by insurance companies that won’t volunteer to cover specific damages that were legitimately caused by the other driver.

It’s important to understand that you can seek compensation for more than just the physical damage to your car and any medical bills that might have accrued, but that you also have the right to pursue lost wages and damages for pain and suffering.

Missing Your Opportunity to File

The amount of time you have to file a claim varies from state to state, and many people wait too long to pursue damages because they are involved in rehabilitation or recovery. It’s critical that you file a claim as soon as possible to make certain you receive the compensation you’re owed for your accident.

We all know the trauma of being involved in an auto accident, and the impulse to leave the scene and find consolation in a familiar face or environment is all too common in these instances.

Many times the damage to your car or the other driver’s vehicle seems so minimal you think filing an official report would be a waste of time and resources, but what you might be failing to consider is the precarious position that leaves you in should further litigation become necessary.

Gathering all the information you need from the other driver, collecting an official police report, and documenting the accident and physical condition of your car and person directly following the event will afford you the evidence you need to prove your innocence and pursue damages in court.

These small steps taken directly after an auto accident are indispensable and can end up saving you time and money in years to come.