There’s a good chance that it’s been a while since you last shopped for and purchased a car insurance policy. There’s also a good chance you aren’t entirely certain which types of coverage you purchased, or the exact policy limits of the various types of coverage.
When it comes to car insurance, most people are primarily concerned about getting a good deal. In fact, recent research shows that about half of consumers surveyed said competitive pricing is the most important factor in helping them decide where to buy car insurance. But the ways in which a person’s insurance coverage can impact their financial life down the road is often overlooked.
Low Liability Limits
If you purchase liability coverage for your vehicle, then your insurance policy will provide coverage for any injury or property damage to another driver or their vehicle to a certain limit following an accident. However, if the damage you cause is more severe than the limits of your insurance will provide, then you may be legally required to compensate that person for their damages.
There are different levels of liability coverage, and your insurance company will be able to provide more information about specific coverage levels and premium rates. However, the cost of purchasing adequate liability coverage is typically minimal compared to the potential financial impact of having to pay for the damages out of your own pocket.
Uninsured & Hit-and-Run Drivers
If you’re involved in a car accident and the other driver either leaves the scene or does not have insurance, you may be facing a difficult financial position. If your insurance policy does not include additional coverage specifically for situations involving an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, then it will be difficult to file a claim for compensation because you won’t know the identity of the driver. If you don’t know the identity of the driver, you won’t know which insurance company to file a claim with.
There are sometimes other options for injured victims in these situations. As mentioned already, some insurance companies offer an Uninsured Driver Promise. You may also be able to file a claim with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), though these claims can be complex and take a significant amount of time to process.
When To Get A Lawyer Involved?
The decision to hire a personal injury lawyer after a vehicle accident can be difficult, as there are not necessarily any hard and fast rules for determining whether you need legal representation. As a general rule, more serious and complex injury cases are typically more likely to benefit from a legal expert.
The good news, according to Seattle car accident attorney Chris Davis, is that a majority of personal injury lawyers will offer free initial consultations to people who believe they may need a lawyer. This is beneficial because it allows you to pitch your case to the law firm and gauge their interest in representing you without you being required to pay any up-front fees.
In these arrangements, the law firm will typically deduct a portion of the total settlement for your case once the case has been successfully resolved. This also incentivizes the attorney to get the best possible result for your case, as it has a direct effect on how much they get paid for handling your case. So if you’ve been in an accident and aren’t sure where to turn or whether you need help, you should be able to find an attorney who will answer some of your initial questions and point you in the right direction.