Underinsured Motorists Are Spooky!

Most of our readers know that our work often involves helping people injured in auto wrecks.  We often get a puzzled face as a response when we ask, “How much UM coverage do you have?”  Often, clients do not even know that UM/UIM is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.  These are benefits on your auto policy that serve to protect you when a driver hits you and either doesn’t have enough insurance or has none at all. Once you have been hit, there is nothing we can do after the fact to add coverage.  Here are steps to take to protect your family:

  1. Get a copy of your automobile insurance declarations page.
  2. Talk to your insurance agent about your coverage and ask tough questions about what happens if someone hurts you and has no insurance. 
  3. Call us.  We will review your declarations page free of charge to make sure you are protected.

As always, it is our privilege and pleasure to serve you.  

Who is at Fault in a “Blind Spot Accident”

               Blind spot car wrecks occur when a driver merges over and hits another car that is traveling in a blind spot. There are many ways to eliminate blind spots and avoid these wrecks. The most effective way is to simply turn and look for a car before merging. Another way is to position your side-view mirrors to eliminate the blind spot.  Proper use and positioning of your mirrors can help prevent a car wreck.  Some cars and trucks now come equipped with technology to alert the driver to a car being in the blind spot.  However, people sometimes just forget to check or are distracted while changing lanes. In the event of an accident where the other party is negligent, they are liable for your injuries and damages from the car wreck. They have the responsibility or duty to not hit your car while they are traveling on the road. Even if they were well intentioned or simply did not see you doesn’t mean that they cannot be held liable for that damages. They were still negligent in not checking their “blind spot” and running into your car. The law protects you from drivers who run into you whether you are in their blind spot or not. If you find yourself personally injured in a car wreck contact the lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, they would be happy to talk with you about your rights.

Dangers of texting while driving

Despite all the warnings and illegality, people are still using their phones while driving.  Adults and teens have formed a habit of reading and sending emails and text messages while driving their cars.  Warnings and statics about the dangers of distracted driving have been published over and over again.  Laws have been passed to make the use of cell phones while operating a car illegal.  However, people continue to ignore the warnings, statics, and laws.

     The dangers of using your cell phone while operating a car are due to the fact that your attention is on your phone instead of the road.  In order to use your phone you must look down at the phone which takes your eyes from the road.  You might as well be driving blind. You are not paying attention to your driving much less the driving of the other drivers on the road.  A distracted driver is more dangerous than a drunk driver.

Auto Insurance: The “Full Coverage” Myth

Greg is married and a father of three.  Driving home from work he gets slammed by a distracted driver that blew through a stop sign. After a long hospitalization, two surgeries, physical therapy and two months away from work, Greg contacts a lawyer to help him and his wife.

“Greg,” says his lawyer a week later after a short investigation. “I have bad news: The driver was uninsured and has no assets. Even worse, we can only recover part of the damages for the injuries you suffered because you purchased the minimum UM/UIM coverage.”  This scenario is all too familiar to those of us who help people hurt in car accidents.  The following tips will help you be sure this never happens to you.

Make sure your liability limits are adequate.  If you are at fault and the other driver’s damages exceed coverage, you can be held personally liable.  Experts suggest liability limits of at least $100,000/$300,000 for injuries and $50,000 for property damage. Even more if you own a home or other assets.  Adding relatively inexpensive “umbrella” coverage to your existing liability and UM/UIM benefits for more protection is wise as well.

Consider increasing your UM/UIM coverage limits.  One in eight drivers across America is uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council.  Many more drivers carry minimum liability; in Alabama this is only $25,000.00. If you are in a serious accident with an uninsured driver, you will need more coverage.

To offset some of the cost of the coverage described above, explore available discounts.  There are many discounts for which you may qualify. Ask your agent for a complete overview of every possible discount.

This is a simplified overview of auto insurance coverage. If you’ve been in an accident, call us as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your particular situation.