Guarding against underinsured drivers
Drivers need to protect themselves against underinsured or uninsured drivers to ensure a car accident does not lead to financial problems.
Car accidents in Virginia can be devastating for all parties involved whether there is property damage, bodily injury or both. Part of this devastation comes when the aftermath of a car pileup includes big bills and inadequate liability insurance. According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 125,800 reported automobile crashes in 2015. Some accidents could result in more bills than the insurance can cover because the state only requires a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage.
Document the scene
Documenting the accident is a good practice for any type of car crash, both big and small. It may be a good idea to do the following:
- Take pictures of the damage done to the vehicles.
- Take pictures of any injuries that occurred from the crash.
- Fill out an accident report.
- Report the incident with your insurance provider as soon as possible.
- Talk with witnesses and get their contact information.
Calling the proper public servants, such as police officers and emergency workers, may help speed up the claims process and protect personal finances.
For example, if a driver receives minor injuries from a car accident and waits to report those ailments, the insurance company may be unable to pay for any medical bills because it did not have the chance to properly investigate the source of the injuries. However, if the same driver had gone to a doctor right away, or even had emergency responders come to the site, the policy provider may have an easier time investigating the source of the injuries and paying for the medial treatment.
Explore insurance options
Vigilance is an important characteristic on the road. With so many drivers operating vehicles while distracted or under the influence, attentiveness may help limit the accidents that take place. However, drivers should also prepare for the unexpected by exploring all of their insurance options. Meeting state minimums may not be enough.
An underinsured or uninsured auto liability policy can help protect a driver who is hit by someone with inadequate car coverage. This type of policy is designed to pay for bodily injury or property damage done by another driver whose insurance is too low to cover the damage. Without this extra protection, someone who has to seek medical attention after a car accident may be financially responsible for any medical bills that may come of the injury.
While most Virginia drivers have adequate insurance, there are some vehicles on the road that are not covered by enough liability to pay for property damage or bodily injury that might result from an automobile crash. Working with a knowledgeable attorney may make getting compensation from underinsured drivers easier.