Well, here we are – the second week of January. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Or as some people refer to them: casual promises I make to myself but I am under no legal obligation to fulfill. If you are struggling with your resolutions, you are in good company. Twenty-five percent of resolutions fail within the first week and the overwhelming majority fail within the first month. For this reason, every January, we like to give people some resolutions that are easy to keep and can make a huge difference in your life. More good news: these three can be done together!
- Check your car insurance policy and make sure you have adequate liability insurance if you are involved in an accident. You will need to assess your financial status and the extent of your assets. For example, if you own your own home and have a nice nest egg in the bank, you are going to want more insurance than a college student who is renting an apartment and only has enough money to get through the week and buy pizza and beer on weekends. If you are involved in an accident and you do not have sufficient insurance to cover the harm that you cause and a judgment is entered in excess of your insurance coverage, a lawyer for the injured person will likely take steps to seize your bank accounts and assets in order to compensate their client for the remainder of the money that the court says you owe the injury victim. Schedule a call with your agent to get pricing on different levels of coverage so you can make an informed decision about how much insurance you need.
- In Tennessee, one in five drivers do not have any insurance. Another large percentage only have the bare minimum of coverage (remember the broke college student above). If you are involved in an accident with someone who has zero coverage or bare minimum coverage and you are seriously hurt, you need uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage to protect you. This coverage is for you in the event your damages exceed the insurance proceeds from the at-fault driver. For this reason, it is incredibly important, and it is surprisingly affordable. So check your policy for this coverage and call your agent to get it if you do not have it.
- Check your car insurance for gap coverage. If you owe more on your car than it is worth (which is the case the moment you drive off the car lot), and you are involved in an accident, even if it was not your fault, you could end up paying a car loan on a car that is now in the junk yard. Gap coverage protects you from this situation by covering “the gap” between what you owe and what your car was worth, which is all the other driver’s car insurance is obligated to pay after an accident.
So, there you have three easy-to-do resolutions that could protect you in the event of an accident. Before you go to bed tonight, pull out the Declarations Page of your car insurance and check to see (1) if you have enough liability coverage for your financial situation, (2) if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the event you are injured by someone who does not have any insurance or enough coverage and (3) if you have gap insurance in the event you would need it given your financial situation.
This is our firm’s 30th year representing injury victims, and we are here if you need us. Give us a call for a free, no-obligation review of your case. Our award-winning lawyers handle all injury cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you.