If you’re involved in a vehicle accident, insurance coverage is key to repay you for property damage and compensate you for the harm you suffered. Kentucky law requires drivers to have minimal amounts of coverage. If you can afford it, buy more because you may need it, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Tyler Fleck helps clients injured in vehicle accidents deal with insurance companies who aren’t being fair or reasonable. Often insurance carriers short-change accident victims and try to convince them to accept a settlement for less than their claim is worth. If you live in Kentucky and need help with a vehicle accident claim, call the Fleck Firm at (270) 446 7000 today.
What is Car Insurance?
Insurance companies pool money to pay for accidents covered by their policies. Some of the premiums go to paying claims, they pay for the insurance company’s overhead costs, and some are invested. Carriers want to charge as much as they can (state regulators set rates) to maximize profitability, but the market’s so competitive they’ll lose customers if the price is too high.
Without vehicle insurance, you’d have to pay to repair your vehicle or for your physical injuries and those made by others against you if you’re at fault in an accident. Insurance also pays to defend accident claims, so if you’re at fault in an accident and sued, you would pay for an attorney and all the related defense costs as well as any settlement or jury verdict.
Up to certain coverage limits, vehicle insurance will pay for covered accidents (it won’t pay if you intentionally damage your car). It covers your vehicle in case someone else drives it and covers you when you drive another car.
How is My Premium Determined?
You may pay for auto insurance for years or decades and not make a claim. But given the high cost of auto repairs and medical treatment, you may get much more back with one accident. Many factors go into pricing your premium. They include your:
- Driving record: The fewer infractions, the safer you appear to be, so you look like a lower risk, and your premium should be less
- Location: The more populated the area, there are more vehicles, a greater risk of an accident, and as the population increases, so do the chances of vandalism or theft
- Coverage history: Continuous protection makes you look like a lower risk
- Vehicle: Some are more expensive to repair and replace. Some cars have a higher risk of theft
- Driving habits: The farther you drive in a year, the greater the risk of an accident, the higher your rate
- Limits: You can choose how much coverage you want above the minimum. The higher limits, the more expensive the premium
- Deductible: This is the amount you’d pay to cover the harm before the company needs to pay. The deductible usually ranges from $250 to $1000
- Just liability coverage alone would be less expensive than adding collision and comprehensive coverage, which pays for vandalism, theft, and flood damage
What Will Car Insurance Pay For?
Your vehicle insurance should cover many potential costs:
- Medical bills
- Collision damage
- Glass repair and replacement
- Towing costs
- Rental car reimbursement
- Bodily injury and auto property damage liability for harm you cause to others
- Uninsured motorist coverage (if the accident is caused by someone without insurance, you could make a claim against your policy)
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury and property damage (this would add coverage in case the party at fault doesn’t have enough to cover all the harm done)
To legally drive in Kentucky, you must have vehicle insurance, but the required coverage would not be enough to cover a major accident. State mandatory coverage is:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
- $10,000 per person personal injury protection (PIP)
You should increase these coverage amounts so you’ll be better protected in case of an accident. Buy the best coverage you can afford.
How Do I File a Claim?
If you’re in an accident before you file a claim, call our office. We can explain the process and the problems you need to avoid. Your accident may be severe enough that you should have legal counsel from the start, and we should file your claim for you. Without legal assistance, you may say or write things that damage your case. You may also sign documents that could severely limit or end your claims.
If the accident’s another person’s fault, the claim is made against your PIP coverage. If the damage is over your limit, another should be made against the at-fault driver’s coverage. If you’re involved in an accident and at fault, the other driver will file a claim with their policy and be covered up to their PIP coverage. If that’s not enough, they can file a claim with your policy.
If you’re the victim of a hit and run or the other driver has no insurance, the claim would be against your policy’s uninsured driver coverage. If the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage for your claim, you can tap into your underinsured coverage to make up the difference.
If it’s not clear who’s at fault, or both drivers share the blame, whether the claim is made with your carrier or the other driver’s policy, an adjuster will investigate the accident and decide who is how much at fault. If you’re not at fault, your insurance company should try to recover your costs, including your deductible, from the other driver’s insurer.
Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer After a Vehicle Accident?
Insurance sounds great on paper and most of the time there aren’t problems when an accident causes minor injuries. Hiring an attorney makes sense when:
- You’re severely injured
- You’re not treated fairly
- You’re blamed for an accident that’s not your fault
- The company’s not living up to its obligations
- They seem to be searching for a reason to deny your claim
- You comply with their requests, but you get the run-around
- Their settlement offer is less than you deserve
If you suffer a serious injury, depending on the circumstances, the insurance company (whether it’s covering you or the other driver) should compensate you fairly for your losses and injuries. People hire me when that doesn’t happen. My clients focus on recovery and getting their lives back in order, while I deal with the insurance company.
I negotiate fair settlements for my clients and take cases to court when insurance companies aren’t reasonable. Accident cases are a numbers game for an insurance company. I let them know we’re not playing a game, and we need to be taken seriously.
Take the Next Step and Contact Tyler Fleck for a Free Consultation
If you are looking for an experienced Kentucky vehicle accident attorney, call The Fleck Firm for a free consultation at (270) 446-7000. We are dedicated and compassionate when it comes to fighting for our clients. When you reach out to us, we’ll talk about your accident, your injuries, the law, and your best options to proceed. Insurance companies have lawyers. You should have one too.