We don't sell car insurance, but we've learned a lot about it by specializing in car accident injuries for the last 20 years. Mostly, that there are many misconceptions about coverage, and every year there are some injury victims who are shocked to discover how little insurance money is available for them.
How does this happen? Well, here's a common example our Lincoln car accident lawyer sees quite often. Let's say you're seriously injured by a negligent driver. You require hospitalization, surgery, and follow-up therapy. You also lose time at work, and are never quite the same physically again. So, you go after the other driver for compensation from their automobile insurance carrier - only to find that they carry the minimum liability coverage ($25,000). Then, you check your underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) only to find your coverage is only the minimum – $25,000. So, the maximum insurance compensation available to you is only $50,000 – a fraction of what you need just to cover your medical bills!
3 Types of Car Insurance Coverage in Nebraska
So what went wrong? For starters, let's review the three basic types of car insurance in Nebraska:
1. Liability Insurance – protects your assets if you cause an accident and hurt someone. Your insurance could pay the person you injured up to the limits of this coverage. According to our Lincoln car accident lawyer, Nebraska requires a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage;
2. Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) – protects you against the driver with no insurance. Your insurance could pay your damages (medical expenses, pain-and-suffering, wage loss, etc.) up to the limits of your UM coverage;
3. Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) – protects you against an underinsured driver who doesn't have sufficient liability coverage to pay for your injuries (see the above example). Here again, your insurance company can only pay you up to the limits of this coverage. According to our Lincoln car accdeitn lawyer, Nebraska only requires a minimum of $25,000 UM and UIM insurance.
The pity of all this is that often the most negligent drivers are the same drivers who carry very little liability insurance or worse yet, none!
A Negligent Driver's Coverage Likely Won't Be Enough
Many believe that in these situations, they will simply sue the negligent driver to collect. Unfortunately, that rarely fixes the problem. Because the same type of individual who carries little or no insurance on their vehicle, seldom has any assets to go after (they have nothing to lose). So, even if you get a large judgment against such a driver, they will simply file bankruptcy, discharge the debt, and leave you holding the bag.
How to Protect Yourself With Car Insurance
So how do you protect yourself? Simple, buy more UIM auto insurance! I suggest at least a minimum of $250,000 of UIM coverage. Thankfully, 10 times the minimum insurance coverage will not cost you 10 times as much. This will vary of course, but typically it amounts to the cost of two extra-large pizzas a month. It’s a small price to pay for protection against negligent drivers with little or no insurance.
At the request of our Lincoln car accident lawyer, we urge you to check over your auto insurance declaration page, and see what your coverages amount to.
Don't get hurt twice in an auto accident – once by the negligent driver, and secondly, by your own lack of insurance coverage.
Contact Our Lincoln Car Accident Lawyer for Help Today!
If you are unsure of your coverage and how it will affect your ability to pay your medical bills after an accident, contact your insurance company to review your coverage. If you’ve already been injured in an accident and need help, our car accident lawyer at Steffens Law Office in Lincoln, NE, is ready to assist you in getting the best settlement possible. Call us today at (308) 872-8327 or fill out our online contact form and we will help you get the compensation you deserve!