By: David B. Lever of Lever & Ecker, PLLC
When you are in a car accident, there are numerous scenarios that may unfold for which having sufficient automobile insurance coverage provides the best protection. As those of us who have unfortunately been involved in a car crash can attest, a collision can occur very quickly, leaving those involved potentially injured or facing a claim from another individual. In either scenario, having enough insurance coverage will ensure that your insurance company will protect you from having to reach into your own pocket to cover your injuries and damages, or worse, having to reach into your own pocket to pay for someone else’s injuries and damages. Not sure if you have enough auto insurance to protect yourself? The following tips will help you navigate the important aspects of the insurance coverage process and will help you determine if you should give your insurance agent a call.
What is the Purpose of Auto Insurance Coverage?
Auto insurance coverage is primarily used to pay for your accident-related expenses, as well as to pay for another person’s accident-related damages if you are at fault for the accident. This is why it is so critically important to have sufficient coverage limits to protect you in case of an accident; this is the reason for having the insurance in the first place. Even if you are not at fault for causing the collision, there is a good chance that the other driver won’t have enough insurance to compensate you for your losses. It is for this reason that you need to make sure that your own insurance policy protects your legal and financial interests.
Unfortunately, your insurance company may not always give you the best advice, as your insurance company’s financial interests may conflict with what is best for you as a consumer. Therefore, it is advisable to speak with an attorney before an accident occurs, as an attorney who is experienced in automobile accident cases will be able to tell you if you have enough insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones. When you think about it, how would you feel if you were to learn after an accident that you only had enough automobile insurance to cover half – or even less – of your expenses?
What Happens if You Don’t Have Enough Auto Insurance Coverage?
Long story short, you potentially risk facing substantial financial exposure for costs that you may not be able to pay. No one wants to be personally responsible for paying potentially costly damages to another person out of pocket when they could instead be protected by your insurance policy. For example, if another individual sues you for injuries and damages that you caused in an accident, you become personally liable for anything that your insurance policy doesn’t cover. This can land you in a very problematic scenario where you could be forced to deplete your hard-earned life savings, or worse yet, have to file for bankruptcy. Yet, this whole situation is easily avoidable if you have enough auto insurance.
Of course, no one wants to be in a car accident, but the point of insurance is to have a safety net for when an unexpected situation arises. Costs and expenses could be in the tens of thousands of dollars if you caused damage to a vehicle alone, but if there was physical injury or death, that number could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even higher. While everyone’s financial situation is different, there is a very good chance that you do not have enough insurance coverage to protect yourself, so you should seek advice from someone experienced in insurance matters. Certainly, we have seen many instances in which someone could have increased his or her insurance coverage limits at little expense, yet their insurance agent failed to advise them properly.
How Do I Know if I Have Enough Auto Insurance?
If you are worried about higher insurance premiums from raising your automobile insurance coverage, there is an inexpensive way to protect yourself if another driver was the cause of your accident. In New York State, your insurance company is required to provide coverage for what is known as Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage is very inexpensive and will protect you, your passengers, and your household family members if the at-fault driver has no insurance or not enough insurance.
Since this type of insurance coverage is inexpensive compared to your bodily injury liability insurance coverage, there is a good chance your insurance agent did not push to sell you sufficient coverage to protect your interests. It is a good idea to talk to your auto insurance agent about this type of coverage and everything that goes along with it, to make sure you are as prepared as you can be for what could be a life changing event that happens in an instant.
If Auto Insurance Doesn’t Cover it, What Should I do?
If you are seriously injured in a collision, you should contact a lawyer who will fight on your behalf for what you deserve. Having the resources and experience that a personal injury lawyer provides will be very helpful. Remember, if the insurance company “did the right thing”, there would be no need for a lawyer. Unfortunately, as many people can attest to, insurance companies don’t do the right thing, and having an attorney in your corner may be the best thing you can ever do for yourself.
A lawyer who regularly handles car accident cases will provide you with the legal services that will help you if you or your loved ones have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another person. Most often, an accident case is settled out of court, but it is important to know that the attorney you choose to represent you is capable of going to trial so that you can obtain the best possible representation, to obtain the compensation you deserve. The right lawyer is also someone who understands how difficult a process like this can be for his or her client, and who will do everything possible to get you through this challenge as easily as possible under the circumstances. If you are in a serious car accident, you should call an attorney immediately. Your future is at stake.
David B. Lever is a prestigious personal injury lawyer who advocates for the legal rights of accident victims through his own firm, Lever & Ecker, PLLC. Contact him at (914) 288- 9191 or [email protected] for more information.