Driving is a dangerous business — more than 30,000 people have been killed on America’s roads every year since 1945. Thankfully, that number has dropped in 18 of the last 23 years, thanks to much more advanced safety features in cars, but the number of drivers on the road continues to rise.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about driving safety that can put the lives of you and those around you at risk — not to mention the cost of a crash. In order to reduce the risk of driving as much as possible, you should be informed about the truth around car crashes.
Myth: Insurance Will Cover Everything
Car insurance is required by law, and while some drivers drive uninsured, they’re in the minority. But just because you’re covered doesn’t mean that the insurance company will pay up. Insurance companies don’t make their money by paying out for every claim that crosses their desk, and many will do whatever they can to prove that you don’t deserve a cent.
That’s why it’s crucial not to admit fault in the event of an accident until all the facts have come out and the police have filed their report. Let’s say you’re driving through an intersection with the right of way and another driver runs a stop sign and causes you to t-bone them. You get out and say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” The other driver should be at fault — you had the right of way — but in the eyes of an insurance company, you might have just admitted to being responsible for the accident, or partially responsible, based on your simple apology.
Myth: Rear-End Collisions Are Always the Fault of the Rear Driver
That brings us to our next point: establishing fault is a difficult and complicated process. The fact is, there’s no such thing as a clear-cut car crash — there are an enormous number of factors that might affect whether insurance companies accept your claim or whether you’re eligible for damages:
● Faulty stop lights or missing signs;
● Construction in the area of the crash;
● Poorly lined streets;
● Faulty equipment, like missing brake or turn indicators;
● Adverse weather;
● Diminished visibility due to other vehicles, either parked or in traffic;
● Distracted driving;
● Drivers that nearly cause a crash, but leave a crash in their aftermath;
● Drivers under the influence;
● Mechanical issues, like worn brakes or tires.
Myth: All Drivers Carry Insurance
When there’s a car crash and you’re not at fault, the way it should work is that the other driver’s liability insurance covers the cost of your lost income due to your injuries, any medical bills you incur, and any other economic and non-economic damages you suffer. In reality, that’s not always the case. If you’re involved in a crash that was caused by an uninsured driver, there may not be any policy to cover your damages. Your own insurance probably won’t cover the crash either, unless you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your bodily injury.
Even if your agent says that you have “full coverage” it’s important to understand what is meant by “full coverage.” Many agents will use that term to mean that you have the minimum amount of insurance coverage required by the law. So it’s important to ask about other types of insurance coverage, such as medical payment coverage and uninsured motorist coverage, to help pay for your damages in the event that the at-fault driver who crashes into you does not have any insurance at all.
Myth: You Don’t Need an Attorney
In a best-case scenario, you’ll exchange insurance information and go on your way. You’ll file a claim, get your check, fix your car, and be on your way. But what about medical problems, both short- and long-term? What about the time you missed at work? What if the other insurance company doesn’t offer to pay what your claim is worth? According to the insurance industry’s own statistics, claimants with attorneys get paid more than claimants without attorneys.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Mintz Law Firm will make sure that every aspect of your case is covered — including things that you have not thought of. We’ll examine every aspect of your case inside and out and get you the compensation that you deserve. For a free consultation on your case, contact Mintz Law Firm today.