Fundamental Precautions – Before and After Your Serious Collision
Published to: 000116, A Small Town Lawyer's Perspective, gilmer, Perspectives of a Small Town Lawyer, randolph, West Virginia Lawyer - Tips and Techniques
on March 6, 2013 1:26 pm
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Folks; I am well aware that I sound like a nanny, but that’s what you are paying me for, or would pay me if I were your lawyer.
This is for free. Please try to imagine; you are laid up at home, can’t go to work, wheelchair in corner, lying in that recliner, with your arm in a cast in traction and your leg in a large metal brace. Your spouse is frazzled and anxious.
You can’t get the noise of the collision out of your head. Nor can you forget the $80,000 of medical bills you have received, much, or all, of which is not covered by a medical insurance.
If you are “lucky”, you were hit by a Fed Ex truck. In such cases, caused by the driver of a commercial vehicle, you may receive something close to “full reimbursement”, IF you have a good lawyer.
But, if you are “unlucky”, you were hit by someone with little or no insurance. In WV the per person liability minimum requirements are $20,000. Compare that to this hypothetical with a claim value of $200,000 – $1,000,000 depending on lost income and permanency.
Of course, in such cases, you turn to your own insurance carrier. How can it help? Because you can purchase “uninsured coverage”, “U.M.”, (it is mandatory you carry at least $20,000 per person), or underinsurance , “U.I.M.”(which you can waive).
Let’s say the other guy has $20,000 in per person liability coverage. That’s almost nothing.
You tell your sales agent, and she breaks it to you that there is a “Bias Waiver” in your file where you waived underinsured coverage. You are screwed.
You are going to lose your job, your house, your savings, your retirement, and maybe that beloved spouse. Talk about “picking up the pieces”. There are hardly any pieces.
I refer you to my earlier blog posts. Search for “insurance” or “coverage” or “umbrella”. The solution? Up your UM and UIM coverage, and if you can afford an “extra $200”, bet a personal umbrella but MAKE SURE the agent offers you UM and UIM coverage. In at least one extreme case, the agent did not and we had to recover under the agent’s “errors and omissions” coverage.
Our state Delegate, Bill Hamilton, is co-sponsoring a bill this year to increase minimum coverages. I support it, but the real solution is to purchase the insurance protection you can afford, and realize you cannot afford not to!
This post was written by Burton Hunter