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.

Auto Accident Checklist

AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE

1. Stop immediately, but do not block traffic. Warn oncoming automobiles. Telephone the police.

2. Assist anyone who may be injured:

a. Call for an ambulance or arrange for other transportation to a
hospital or doctor if needed.

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p style=”text-align: justify;”>b. Tell the investigating officer about the injuries.

c. Cooperate fully with the doctor and medical staff.

3. Unless your vehicle is creating the potential for another accident, do not move it or the accident debris until you are instructed to do so by the investigating police officer.

4. Do not discuss the accident with anyone other than the investigating police officer, your doctors, your own insurance representatives and your lawyer.

5. Make written notes of any statements made by the driver or occupants of the other vehicle as to how the accident occurred.

6. Get the name, address and phone numbers of the driver of the other vehicle. Copy the driver’s license number of that driver. Write down the license plate numbers of each vehicle involved. Exchange automobile insurance information with the other driver.

7. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses.

8. If you believe the driver of the other vehicle may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tell this to the investigating police officer.

AFTER LEAVING THE ACCIDENT SCENE

9. Contact a law firm with experience in handling personal injury cases. At Kraft & Associates, we will be glad to give you free advice and helpful information, with no obligation.

10. Telephone your insurance agent.

11. Take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and of any injuries to yourself and others in your vehicle.

12. See your doctor if there is any chance you may have been injured. Serious injuries do not always cause immediate pain.

Keep calm, don’t argue, don’t accuse anyone and don’t admit fault.

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Avoid Auto Accidents

Switch on your headlights before sunset.

Many accidents occur after the sun has set but before night has fallen. To make your car more noticeable to other drivers, switch on your headlights at least one-half hour before sunset. Many drivers fail to do this because they do not see any better with their lights on. However, the point of switching on your lights is not to see better, but to be seen.

Be careful on wet roads.

When roads are wet, your car can fall victim to “hydroplaning” — skidding on water. If this happens, you can lose control of your car just as badly as if you were on ice. Do not slam on your brakes, because that can cause an even more severe skid. Instead, slowly bring your car to a halt turning the steering wheel in the direction the rear end of the car is skidding.

Take plenty of breaks on long trips.

It is very easy to fall asleep when you are driving long distances, and that can be fatal. Be sure to stop every two hours or each 100 miles and take a break. Heavy meals can make you drowsy, so eat light snacks along the way and wait until you are finished driving to eat dinner.

Speed limits can vary.

If you are on a road with a speed limit of fifty-five miles per hour, for example, and the weather is wet and foggy, you must slow down. The top speed you should drive under those conditions may be only twenty-five or thirty miles per hour. If you cause an accident because you are driving faster than that, even though the posted speed limit is fifty-five miles per hour, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.

Check the rear view mirror if you stop suddenly.

If someone slams into the rear end of your car at high speed, the accident may be all their fault, but the injuries will be all yours. If you are forced to stop suddenly, check your rear view mirror. You may have just enough time to steer clear of what is coming up behind you.

Wear your seat belts at all times.

In spite of all precautions you take, accidents can still occur. To reduce injuries in a collision, never drive or ride in a car without first buckling your seat belt. Be certain all others in your car have their seat belts fastened also. Infants and young children should always ride in child safety seats.