Personal injury lawyers know all too well that the vast majority of their cases will involve accidents caused by uninsured motorists. Even if you are in a vehicle that is covered by insurance, you are at risk of property damage, injury and exorbitant costs if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Unsurprisingly, drivers who are uninsured or underinsured often fail to take other safety precautions as well before hitting the road. These negligent drivers with inadequate insurance are more likely to flee the scene of a crash because they know they are not covered by insurance in the event of a crash.
There are ways to protect yourself from uninsured motorists. The most important thing to do is to stay vigilant on the road at all times, as statistics show that many crashes happen close to home. Buckling up and following other rules of the road also decrease your chances of getting involved in a crash.
However, even if you take all the safety precautions you can, including insurance coverage for your vehicle, you could still become a victim of a hit-and-run accident or other type of crash.
One important prevention measure is to add uninsured motorist coverage to your insurance policy. The types of policies typically cover everyone in your family who may drive the vehicle, including teenagers just learning to drive as well as children off at college who may no longer live at home. This type of coverage will protect you in the event of a hit-and-run accident in which an uninsured driver refuses to take responsibility for the injuries, property damage and other costs he or she has caused.
Drivers without any form of insurance are not likely to own up to their mistake and will often instead choose to flee the scene and leave you with the bill. Insurance policies that include uninsured motorist coverage can help if this has happened to you. The coverage often includes compensation for both the immediate damage and medical attention, as well as future pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term medical costs.
The cost to repair your vehicle and pay your hospital bill aren’t the only items included in uninsured motorist coverage; emotional costs, such as the loss of the ability to enjoy life or mental anguish, are also often included.
To determine what type of uninsured motorist coverage is best for you, take into consideration what a car accident injury or damage to a vehicle could mean for your family. If you are involved in a serious crash, will you lose time from work? Does your family depend on your income to survive?
If you stand to lose a large amount of wages or decreased earning potential after a car crash, and if you are the primary or one of the main breadwinners for your family, investing in uninsured motorist that takes your earnings into account is a wise investment.
Many insurance companies offer a standard payout per person of about $30,000 for car crashes caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists. That amount can increase if you have a high-paying job and could stand to lose more if you suffer from a car accident injury. Ask the insurance company to increase coverage for parties with high-income jobs – it could go a long way in promoting your peace of mind.