After any car accident, the insurance companies are going to get involved immediately in an effort to avoid blame. The best advice for accident victims is to say as little as possible to the insurance company and certainly do not provide them with a recorded audio statement because they are trained to use your words against you to deny your claim. The insurance company will try to assign blame to avoid paying out settlements, and they often use an accident victim’s own words against them to do this.
Still, most car wreck victims will have important questions after an accident since most accidents are a first for those involved.
1. Will My Car Insurance Cover the Accident?
The answer depends on the specific type of coverage the accident victim has. Kentucky’s auto insurance requirements state that every driver in the state must carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury for each injured individual in the accident and $50,000 per accident. Policies that only include the minimum requirements will also cover up to $25,000 for property damage to the other driver’s vehicle.
Some drivers choose to purchase additional insurance coverage as well, such as collision, comprehensive, added PIP (the most important insurance you can purchase, in our opinion), uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist coverage. Accident victims should always have their policy on hand before speaking to the insurance company and all accident victims need to have the insurance company’s best offer reviewed by an injury professional who handles Kentucky injuries every day. This is the only way to keep track of what the insurance company is telling you, and it can provide a better understanding of one’s coverage when speaking to the insurance company.
The issue that we have seen over and over again is that the insurance companies will keep insurance language in their policies that contradicts Kentucky’s established Public Policy and that is not enforceable under Kentucky law. The insurance company, knowing it’s unenforceable in Kentucky, will then convince Kentuckians that they do not have valid insurance claims! If you don’t handle injury claims every day and you don’t go toe to toe with the insurance companies every day then you will not know when they try to pull this trick.
2. Will My Car Insurance Rates Increase?
After wondering if they’re covered for an accident, the next thing most car accident victims inquire about is whether or not their insurance rates are going to increase. This is because car insurance premiums are largely based on a person’s driving record. Due to this, when someone is not at fault for the accident, their auto insurance rates are not likely to increase.
However, when a person is at fault for an accident, they should expect to see their insurance rates increase. In fact, one consumer insurance website states that in Kentucky, a person’s insurance rates will increase by an average of 19 percent if they were at fault for an accident. When asking the insurance company this, it’s important that drivers never admit fault. Instead, they should ask if their rates will increase if they are found at fault for the accident. Admitting fault is detrimental to your claim and it makes your injury professional’s job much more difficult.
3. Who Will Pay All of These Medical Bills?
In Kentucky, when you or your son or daughter get seriously hurt, your insurance company will pay the first $10,000.00 in medical bills, wage loss, and out of pocket expenses you suffer, regardless of who is found to be at fault for the accident. For medical bills and other damages that exceed the $10,000.00 in PIP coverage you will collect from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If you collect their policy limits but still have medical bills remaining then you would collect against your UIM policy (or sometime “policies”) through your own insurance company. Of course, if you still have medical bills after that then it would be wise to find out whether or not the at fault driver has any umbrella insurance that may cover additional medical bills.
Once your claim is resolved either by settlement or jury verdict, any entity that paid for your related medical care after an accident will be entitled to be reimbursed for what they paid. Most folks do not understand this and they need to know that one of the most important functions of our jobs as injury professionals is to maximize the amount of money that goes to our clients’ pockets. We can do this by not only negotiating with the insurance companies, but by negotiating with medicare, medicaid, and/or your health insurance company to reduce the amount of funds our clients are required to pay back. We regularly add thousands to our clients’ pockets through our legal arguments and negotiations with medical lien holders and insurance companies.
Contact a Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer Before Speaking to the Insurance Company
Accident victims should always ask the insurance company these three questions after a car accident but do not provide a recorded statement. However, there are many other things drivers should never say to the insurance company. A car accident attorney in Kentucky will know what these are, and will provide proper representation when speaking to the insurance company, and throughout the entire claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call the Morrin Law Office at (859) 358-0300 before speaking to the insurance company and at least before settling with them so we can provide you an estimate for what we think your claim is worth. We will inform you on what not to say, and we will even speak to the insurance companies on your behalf. If you decide at a later point to file a personal injury claim, we will also help you throughout that process to give you the best chance at a successful outcome. Time is of the essence with these claims though, so contact us today so you don’t lose out!