Personal Injury FAQs

Q. If I’m a driver and I am hurt in an accident but the other driver’s at fault, do I need insurance?

A. Yes, but there are exceptions. If the other driver was drunk or you were driving in the course of your employment you may not be required to have insurance. You also might have auto insurance and not even know it! It’s true. I have found insurance that covered injured drivers who literally did not know they had insurance.

Q. What is my case worth?

A. The value of your case depends primarily on the severity of your injuries; whether you will have a permanent injury and how bad it is; whether you will need future medical care; the amount of your medical bills the amount of your lost earnings and future lost earnings and several other factors including how much money is available to pay you. The question simply cannot be answered in a few paragraphs. Everyone’s case is different. However, it costs you nothing to find out. Consultations are free.

Q. If the other driver has no insurance am I out of luck?

A. Not necessarily! There are several different ways you can get compensation even if the other driver has no insurance.

Q. What if the driver who caused my injuries only has a minimum $15,000.00 policy? Is that all I will get?

A. Not always. There are several avenues of recovery to obtain compensation even when the other driver has only a minimum policy.

Q. Will I get more money if I settle the case myself?

A. Probably not. You probably don’t know the value of your own case and the insurance adjuster won’t tell you the value of your case even if they do know. The law says you are in an adversarial relationship with the insurance company, EVEN IF IT IS YOUR OWN INSURANCE COMPANY! They are not required to treat you fairly. They represent the driver who hurt you.  An insurance company is NOT your friend. If you take nothing else from this web site, remember the last sentence. An insurance adjuster can offer you a settlement that you think is a great deal only to find out after you have signed your life away that you received less than nothing. If you think I am kidding or exaggerating I’m not. It happens every day. An offer gets accepted and the claimant finds out later that he actually owes more money for medical and other expenses than he actually received in settlement. You may be required to pay back your health insurance company, medical providers or the government after you get a settlement. Then, what do you have? The settlement you thought was a winner turns out to be a financial disaster.

Q. All I need is the bare minimum insurance right?

A. Wrong. Buy the best insurance you can afford. A cheap bare bones policy might cost $600 a year and a really nice policy might cost $800 per year or a $17 per month difference. What’s the difference? A minimum policy in California is generally a 15/30/5 policy. This policy will pay nothing if you are hurt. It pays nothing if your car is damaged. If you are involved in an accident and cause severe injuries or death to someone else, the most your insurance company will pay is $15,000 for any one injury or $30,000 for two or more injuries and $5,000 for property damage. First, a 24 hour stay in the hospital will exceed $15,000. How much protection does that offer you? How many cars on the road are worth more than $5,000.00? The answer is almost all of them and you are still financially responsible for the difference. Insurance companies have entire departments dedicated to obtaining judgments and garnishing the wages of people who do not have enough insurance to cover the damage to cars. If you are on a really tight budget and a minimum policy is all you can afford OK. But, I have seen homeowners with a minimum policy. That’s just crazy. For the extra $17 you might get a 100/300/25 policy with 100/300 uninsured motorist coverage and $5,000 in medical payments and collision coverage too. What’s the difference? If you hurt someone it will pay up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. That is a huge difference. But there is more. This policy also pays up to $100,000 to YOU if someone with no insurance hurts you and up to $300,000 to others in your car who are hurt due to the fault of an uninsured or underinsured motorist! There is more. The policy also pays up to $5,000 per person for your medical expenses or anyone else in your car. It also covers repairs your car if you are at fault. For $17 per month more, you get a huge jump in benefits for you and your family.

Q. Why do I need uninsured motorist coverage?

A. Because nearly one-third of all the cars on the road in California are either uninsured or underinsured. That’s more than 10,000,000 cars! These cars are poorly maintained and their drivers have little regard for other motorists. They cause billions of dollars in property damage, personal injury and loss of life every year. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from uninsured and underinsured drivers. Buy as much as you can reasonably afford.

 

Please see our blog for answers to more frequently asked questions