On behalf of Musselwhite, Meinhart & Staples posted in blog on Tuesday, December 19, 2017.
You’ve got a job with health insurance, and you carry insurance on your motor vehicle. You may assume that if you get into a serious collision while on the road that you don’t have to worry about finances. You call first responders and notify your insurance company, just like you should, so you believe you will receive the coverage you need. In reality, any crash with serious injuries could prove life-altering and leave you with substantial debt after the fact.
In situations where the other driver caused the crash, it’s easy to assume that there will be insurance to cover your losses. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Some drivers may not carry adequate insurance or may choose to drive without any insurance on the vehicle at all. Other times, your insurance could end up offering you a settlement that’s well below what your injuries have cost. You should familiarize yourself with the financial impact of collisions to better protect yourself.
Underinsured and uninsured drivers pose a real threat
There’s a reason that Kentucky state law mandates that all drivers must insure their vehicles to register them. The expenses associated with a car crash can prove to be astronomical over time. When you get into a collision with someone who doesn’t have insurance, you could find yourself struggling to pay for repairs to your vehicle and medical costs associated with the crash.
Of course, those who have only the bare minimum coverage could leave you holding the bill for the rest of your damages and losses. Kentucky law only requires that drivers carry $10,000 worth of property damage coverage and $25,000 of medical or bodily injury coverage for one injured party and $50,000 for two or more. It doesn’t take an accountant to see how repairs to a newer vehicle or extensive medical care could quickly exceed the maximum amount of coverage allowed under a minimal policy.
Medical bills and vehicle damages are only the start
There are a host of serious expenses associated with a serious car crash. As you probably already know, emergency transportation to the hospital via ambulance can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the location and timing of the crash.
From there, you have to consider trauma care, bone setting, surgery, physical therapy and even hospitalization, which can become quite expensive. Then there’s the cost associated with replacing or repairing your vehicle.
That is far from the only losses you’ll experience. If the injuries you sustain are serious enough to warrant surgery or physical therapy, chances are good that you will also be missing some work. Lost wages can have a dire impact on your financial situation, leaving you unable to pay the bills.
If a settlement offer from your insurance company doesn’t include all medical costs, property damages and lost wages, it’s probably too low. You should make sure you understand the potential financial impact of the collision before you commit to anything.