Look Out For The Other Guy - Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

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With the economy constantly in flux, it’s easy to find ourselves looking over our shoulder for what comes next. What comes next could be an out of control car coming into your lane.

There's not much you can do to prevent a car crash caused by someone else, but there is a lot you can do to protect yourself from the consequences of being hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

 

The health of the economy has a direct connection to the number of uninsured cars on the road. According to The Insurance Research Council, for each 1% increase in the unemployment rate, there is a resulting ¾% increase in the uninsured motorist rate. In 2014, the average number of uninsured cars on the road in the United States…

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Why you should use your health insurance after an accident, even when the accident was not your fault.

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Author: Ryan E. Wind, Mechanicsville, VA Personal Injury Attorney

After being injured in an accident caused by someone else some people are reluctant to use their own health insurance.  I often hear clients ask, “Why should my insurance have to pay, if the accident was not my fault?”  This is an understandable question, but the truth is that you are generally better off, especially in Virginia, if you use your health insurance after you are injured in an accident. 

The negligent party is required to pay the full amount of your related medical bills

When you have been injured through no fault of your own in an automobile accident and have to seek medical treatment, the law…

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Understanding Your Car Insurance Policy

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Author: Bridget N. Long, Petersburg, VA Personal Injury Attorney

Often people don’t understand exactly what their car insurance covers until they are involved in an accident.  Many people believe because they have “full coverage” they are protected when they get an accident.  It is important to understand the different kinds of coverage a standard automobile liability policy in Virginia contains and how each of these coverages works. 

What is "full coverage" car insurance?

What does “full coverage” mean?  Typically, when an insurance agent or company says a policy contains “full coverage” it means the policy provides both liability and collision coverage.  In other words, if you are involved…

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Who Is My Case Against – The Other Driver, Their Insurance Company or My Insurance Company?

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Author: Robert C. T. Reed, Richmond, Va Personal Injury Attorney

People who have been harmed due to someone else’s careless conduct often know they have a right to be compensated for their injuries. But, the source of that compensation can be unclear to those who have not had such a claim before. 

For instance, take a motor vehicle collision between two vehicles without passengers.Both drivers have automobile insurance, and one driver is at fault and the other driver is injured. In this example, the injured driver has a legal right to recover compensation from the at fault driver. The injured driver’s “claim” can include medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish. …

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Virginia Auto Insurance - Uninsured Motorist Coverage:Valuable Protection in the Wake of a Collision

Author: Charles L. Allen - Richmond, VA Personal Injury Attorney

In the Commonwealth of Virginia you do not have to purchase automobile insurance to lawfully register a vehicle and drive on Virginia’s roads and highways. Instead, you may elect to pay an uninsured motorist fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles.[1] If you make the prudent choice and purchase auto insurance, every policy issued in Virginia must have bodily injury liability limits of at least $25,000 per person, and $50,000 per occurrence.[2]  This is sometimes referred to as Virginia’s “minimum limits.” This minimum coverage provides $25,000 in liability coverage to any one person who is injured in a motor vehicle…

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UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE IN THE WAKE OF A HIT AND RUN: A Touch of Relief in the Wake of Tragedy

By: Christopher J. Toepp, Fredericksburg Personal Injury Attorney

On Saturday May 11, 2013 – the day before Mother’s Day – news reports in Richmond, VA and Chesterfield, VA detailed two unrelated accidents involving hit-and-run drivers. Will Bagby and Jonathan Clark were severely injured when a tractor trailer struck their bicycles as they were riding on the side of the road.[1] Elizabeth West, a 19 year old girl, was tragically killed as she was walking across an intersection near her home.[2] Both drivers – unidentified at the time of this writing – fled the scene of the accidents.

As families across the country prepared to honor their mothers and grandmothers with a day of celebration, my thoughts…

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Car Insurance Policies: Liability and UM (Uninsured Motorist) Coverage Limits

Author: Claims Consultant Robert L. Mertig

Many states have minimum limits for automobile liability insurance.  In Virginia, this minimum is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.[1] Because car insurance can be expensive, many people are tempted to purchase only the minimum.  There are good reasons, however, to purchase  limits that exceed the 25/50 state minimum.

First, the insurance company's responsibility is to pay the limits of liability coverage if the injury claim is severe enough and to try and obtain a release on behalf of their policyholder.  The insurance company may not be able to obtain a release if the coverage is not sufficient to compensate the injured person, and the insured…

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Insurance Coverage - Are You Protected?

Author: Claims Consultant Robert L. Mertig

In Virginia, we see many instances where the at-fault party has only minimum limits of automobile liability insurance coverage, and the injured party also has only the minimum limit of $25,000.[1] Under these circumstances, often the most you can recover -- no matter how serious your injury or loss - is only $25,000.

Increasing your liability and UM (Uninsured Motorist) limits protects you in two ways.  If you are the at-fault party there is more money available to compensate injured parties and obtain a release on your behalf.  This increased coverage also comes into play to compensate you if the other driver (liable party) only had minimum limits of…

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Auto Insurance: Having "Full Coverage" Doesn't Mean You Have Enough Insurance

When I first meet a client who have been injured through no fault of their own, one of my first questions is: "How much insurance do you have?" Most clients answer, "I have full coverage." However, when we review their declaration page and policy, the clients are surprised to learn that they have minimal insurance coverage on their vehicles. The confusion comes from a misunderstanding of what the terms "full coverage", liability coverage and "amount of coverage" actually mean.

The situation becomes more difficult when we learn that the person that injured the client either doesn't have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance. The high cost of new automobiles, automobile repair work and health care often means the minimal…

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State of Virginia - Insurance Requirements

Author: Robert L. Mertig

To purchase license plates or decals, you must certify that the vehicle is covered by the minimum insurance requirements or pay the "Uninsured Motor Vehicle Fee". Insurance requirements also apply to antique motor vehicles. Virginia requires the following minimum coverage:

- Bodily injury/death of one person $25,000 - Bodily injury/death of two or more persons $50,000 - Property damage $20,000

The $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee, which is paid to the Department of Motor Vehicles, (DMV), does not provide any insurance; it only allows you to drive an uninsured vehicle at your own risk. It expires with your…

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