Many people find car insurance policies confusing. When a car accident causes injuries, insurance issues can become especially complicated. In this post, you'll find answers to a few frequently asked questions from our Dexter, Missouri car accident lawyers .
What is liability insurance? Do I have to have it?
Liability insurance pays for injuries and property damage in the event of a collision where you are at fault, meaning you are liable for damages and medical bills. The state of Missouri requires that all drivers carry liability insurance and carry proof of that insurance in their vehicles. You are required to have coverage in these minimum amounts:
* $25,000 per person for bodily injury
* $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
* $10,000 per accident for property
What if I am hit by an uninsured driver?
Even though it is illegal to drive without insurance, there are many drivers on the road who are uninsured or under-insured. The above listed amounts will not cover the costs normally associated with a serious accident. If you have adequate insurance, your insurance company will pay claims for your injuries and property damage under an "uninsured motorist" clause. It is also possible to pursue damage claims through the court systems.
What is "bad faith" insurance?
Most insurance companies are reputable and operate fairly. However, the term "bad faith" refers to any circumstances where an insurance company issues a policy they do not intend to cover, or refuses to pay a valid claim, or tries to pay far less than the coverage amount warrants. In some instances, a settlement offer is made without an investigation, or that offer is based on unreasonable interpretation of the evidence. Bad faith can also refer to a false or exaggerated claim made for the purposes of obtaining money fraudulently. It is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer to determine if your settlement offer is fair, and whether it will cover all of your expenses now and in the future, including your lost wages, pain and suffering.
Can I talk to the insurance companies myself, or do I need an attorney?
If you are injured in a car accident, it is in your best interest to talk to a personal injury lawyer before you talk to the insurance companies. This is particularly true if you were not at fault: an insurance company's goal is to keep costs down by only paying what they have to. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be aware of all of the possible costs and future outcomes. Many people are worried and upset and just want to put the accident behind them. A lawyer can help you cover all of your bases so you don't miss an expense and then be unable to claim it.
Do I have to give a recorded statement to the insurance company?
You are not required to give a recorded statement to an insurance company. A recorded statement can be used to reduce or limit your settlement. You have the right to refuse. In fact, a recorded statement can be used against you later if you take your claim to court. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, he or she will talk with the insurance companies and operate on your behalf.
Insurance companies operate as a business. They have lawyers and deal with claims every day. You do not. This is why it is important to consult with or hire a personal injury lawyer to make sure you are getting a fair settlement and your future needs are taken care of. Contact the Dexter Missouri car accident lawyers to discuss your case.