Category: Automobile Insurance

Dealing with the Insurance Company

If you’ve been injured in an automobile collision you should of course first seek treatment for your injuries. But the next thing you should do is to contact an experienced personal injury law firm. You have rights and responsibilities following a collision, and it is important to have those matters explained to you as soon as possible – before you say or do the wrong thing.

If you’ve been involved in a minor car accident – with no injuries – you probably don’t need a lawyer. Our Texas Non-Injury Accident Kit answers your questions and tells you what you need to do to make sure you’re treated fairly. This kit is too large to be included online. To obtain a free copy, please call us or use our Guestbook request form.

For free advice and helpful information after a motor vehicle accident, call us now.

Automobile Insurance Limits

Automobile Insurance Limits

You might think million-dollar insurance settlements and jury verdicts are common. They are not.

Your odds of being on either end (payer or payee) of a million-dollar suit are less than your odds of winning the big prize in the Texas Lottery. These long odds are not good for lottery players. However, they are good for injury claims.

You do not want to sue or be sued for a million-dollar injury. Claims of this size generally are reserved for those who suffer catastrophic injuries. Money never can adequately compensate for these losses.

But while million-dollar injuries are rare, claims that exceed minimum levels of insurance coverage are somewhat more common.

A million dollars in liability insurance coverage may be unnecessarily high for most people, but it appears that most Texans are seriously underinsured.

Most automobile owners who have insurance carry only the minimum levels of coverage required by state law. The majority of homeowners and renters are no better protected.

These coverages are inadequate for most people.The effect of insufficient insurance protection can be devastating. Because marginally higher coverage is so affordable, it is unwise to run even the modest risk associated with having only a minimum amount.

We recommend at least these levels of insurance coverage for all automobile owners:

Personal Injury Liability – $100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability – $50,000
Personal Injury Protection – $10,000
Uninsured Motorist – $100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident
Underinsured Motorist – $100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident

Homeowners and renters should have liability protection of at least $100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident.

Types of Auto Coverage

Bodily Injury Liability

If another person is injured because of your carelessness or the carelessness of someone driving your car, this coverage typically requires your insurance company to pay the claim. The company’s obligation is limited, however, to the amount of coverage you purchased. For example, if your liability limits are the minimum of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident, your company will pay no more than $20,000 to each injured person and no more than $40,000 total for any one accident.

Property-Damage Liability

This is similar to bodily injury liability except that it covers damage to another person’s property rather than physical injuries. The company’s obligation to pay also is limited to the amount of coverage you buy.

Comprehensive

This category of protection generally requires your insurance company to pay for damage to your car caused by something other than an auto accident (for example, fire, theft or vandalism). The company’s obligation to you will be limited by the amount of any “deductible” you may have purchased. A $100 deductible means that you pay the first $100; the company pays the rest.

Collision

Your insurance company pays for damage to your car caused by an auto accident. Deductibles also are common with this coverage.

Personal Injury Protection

Your company will pay the reasonable medical expenses of anyone in your car who is injured in an accident. Under this coverage, it does not matter who was at fault in the accident. You and most members of your household need not be in a car for this coverage to apply. For example, you also would be covered if struck by a car while you were a pedestrian. A portion of your lost earnings are also covered by this type of insurance. As with liability insurance, the company’s obligation is limited to the amount of coverage you buy.

Uninsured Motorist

If an uninsured driver injures you or other occupants of your car, this coverage will pay your claims for physical injuries. It serves as a substitute for the bodily injury liability insurance that the other driver did not have. This coverage also is limited to the amount of insurance you buy. As with personal injury protection coverage, payment is not limited to automobile occupants.

Underinsured Motorist

If a driver injures you or your car’s occupants, and his liability insurance is insufficient to cover the full value of your claims for physical injuries, this coverage will make up the difference. Again, your company’s obligation is limited to the amount of coverage you purchase. Like personal injury protection and underinsured-motorist coverage, it is not limited to automobile occupants.