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Understanding Car Accident Insurance and Legal Issues Surrounding Insurance

By | Insurance | No Comments

While all drivers have car insurance it doesn’t necessarily mean they are ever expecting to be involved in an accident and many times, drivers purchase insurance based on the price and not the coverage. With many factors on the roads that can result in accidents, including distracted and inexperienced drivers, the possibility of being in an accident is always present and that is why it is important to know exactly the kind of coverage you purchase from the beginning. It isn’t always easy to know what kind of coverage will best suit you.  Here are some of the basics that you should be aware of when it comes to car insurance, coverage, and the law:

Types of Car Insurance

Car insurance will cover the cost of damage caused in an accident up to a certain point and is required by most states. Liability insurance, for example, is the minimum coverage required by most states, covering the property damage and bodily injury to the other party caused by the insurer. Full coverage insurance is a term that is often used when discussing car insurance. However, it’s a bit of a misnomer. In order to be fully covered, you’ll want to make sure you have a policy that covers the following:

  • Bodily Injury Liability –This covers the damage to other people in the event that you are responsible for the accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection –Also known as PIP, this covers your injuries. With this coverage, you will be protected whether you are at fault or not.
  • Property Damage Liability – Covers damage to property, like a building or a fence, incurred by you or another person driving your car.
  • Comprehensive – Protects the insured vehicle from theft, vandalism and natural disaster.
  • Collision Coverage – Covers the damage to your property in the event of a collision, be it a car or object.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Being in an accident can be challenging enough, but even more so if you have been hit by an uninsured driver. It is recommended that you consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself. If you purchase uninsured motorist coverage, your own insurance can provide coverage for your damages and make up for the lack of coverage from the at-fault party.

Determining Liability

Liability is the term used for the at fault driver. Legally, the driver that was responsible for causing the accident is liable for damages. There are several ways insurance companies determine which driver is at fault.

  • Police Reports – The primary document in determining liability. A police officer will file an incident report based on their observations at the scene of the accident. Attaining a copy of this document is important when filing an insurance claim, as it may corroborate your case.
  • Traffic Light Photos – More and more, traffic accidents are being photographed and documented at stop lights, providing substantial evidence in determining liability.
  • Type of Accident – Many types of accidents will indicate fault on their own. Rear-ends, for example are the fault of the rear driver in almost all cases. If a car was T-boned, that can be a clear indication of running a red light.

Other Types of Liability

Many accidents are not caused by driver malfunction, and the fault of the accident may be due to poorly constructed roads or a manufacturing error. Examples of manufacturing liability include faulty tires and defective parts. An embankment could be unmarked, or a traffic control officer may have misdirected traffic. If you feel the cause of your accident is due to the negligence of the liable party don’t hesitate to contact a Tampa personal injury attorney today.

Dealing with an accident can be a traumatic time as one deals with physical pain and suffering. Understanding car insurance and the legal issues surrounding insurance can help get you the compensation you deserve, make sure you have the proper insurance, and help you build a case should you find yourself needing an attorney.

Insured Driver Tired of Paying for Uninsured

By | Automotive Safety, Car Accident, Insurance | No Comments

According to the Sun-Sentinel, a 35-year resident of South Florida is upset because she has been rear-ended twice by drivers with no insurance. She told the paper that it is time to take action to prevent incidents like this from taking place.

“They are out there, and they are going to hit you and injure you. We, the citizens who live by the rules and laws, are paying for it,” she explained to the paper.

Earlier this year, an analysis found that Florida auto insurance rates are a bargain compared to other states. Its average annual premium of $1,364 resulted in a 2013 state ranking of 34th, below the national average of $1,510. But rates may have been even lower if there were less uninsured drivers.

The Sunshine State was ranked among the highest uninsured motorist rates in the U.S. in a study by the Insurance Research Council released a few years ago. The IRC reported that approximately 23 percent of Florida drivers are uninsured, the fifth highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the nation. Researchers predicted that this rate would likely increase in the future with the economic downturn.

Uninsured motorist coverage is not required by law, but it may be worth considering, especially if you’re worried about getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. UM coverage can pay for expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you have been injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver that was at fault, it may also be wise to consider contacting a qualified personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights.