I have been representing people after they have been in serious auto accidents. Time and time again, the at-fault party either has no insurance or has insufficient insurance to cover the victim’s medical bills, lost wages and other legal damages. It is a difficult discussion to explain to an innocent victim, who has done nothing wrong, that there not enough money available to pay for all the medical bills and lost wages the client has incurred.
There are coverages that are both cheap and absolutely necessary to protect your family’s health and welfare that insurance companies don’t try very hard to sell. In fact, the state of South Carolina has had to pass a law requiring insurance agents to offer these coverages. I’ll explain why the law was necessary.
I have spent years representing individuals when their health and livelihoods are on the line due to personal injuries. My practice has an emphasis on auto accidents, personal injuries, wrongful death cases, workers’ compensation accidents and social security disability cases. Hopefully this book will help you in advance and prepare you for if and when you or a family member are a victim of a reckless or negligent driver.
As you leave your driveway today, and begin down the highway, you will be coming within 3 feet of passing vehicles driving in the opposite direction at 60 miles per hour. You will be passing within 3 feet of potential disaster repeatedly until you reach your destination. Do you really believe they are all sober, all paying attention to the highway, all healthy and all concentrating on avoiding contact with your vehicle?
Do you realize some are drinking alcohol, some are texting friends, some are talking on the phone, some are putting on make-up, some are thinking about problems they are having in their lives, some are fussing with kids, some are dividing food out of the fast food bag and some are just not paying attention.
Add that most South Carolina drivers carry either no insurance or extremely low liability insurance and potential Disaster becomes obvious .
According to the South Carolina Insurance News Service, 1 out every 7 drivers nationwide has no insurance. 1 out of 10 South Carolina drivers have no insurance. Do the math. You pass 100 cars, on average, 10 have no insurance.
Did you know that if you are riding down the highway with your family, and a drunk or reckless driver runs into you, and they have no insurance, the EMS service, the hospital, the doctors all look to you for the payment of your bills even if you are a completely innocent victim who did nothing wrong?
It doesn’t matter that it’s "not fair"!
Did you know that if you don’t pay these health providers, that it can ruin your credit? These providers can obtain legal judgements against you and legally go after assets to pay the bill.
Did you know that if you are unable to work and the at fault party has no insurance that your creditors continue to look to you for house payments, car payments, utility payments, etc...
You can work your entire life to provide for your family, buy a home, and buy vehicles and other property, then because of one drunk driver, a teenager texting a friend or inattention by an uninsured driver, your health and livelihood can be in jeopardy.
If even the at-fault driver has insurance, the majority of the cases I see, the driver’s only have the state required minimum of $25,000/$50,000 in Liability coverage. That means the most that any one person can obtain from them in an accident is $25,000. Additionally, there is a $50,000 limit to what can be paid out TOTALLY among all the injured victims of a wreck.
$25,000 is nothing compared to the costs of doctors, hospitals, surgeries, etc. A client of mine who was transported from Conway to Charleston by helicopter received a bill for $19,000 for the flight. A short hospital stay, one surgery, or a disability of any kind can "eat up" a $25,000 policy in no time.
Thereafter, if you have not protected yourself with your own insurance coverage, you may be unable to obtain the necessary healthcare and receive the needed compensation for your loss wages and injuries.
You may ask if the At-Fault party does not have sufficient insurance, can I sue them personally?
The answer is yes. But the truth is that the great majority of drunk drivers, reckless and negligent drivers as well as ordinary working people do not have sufficient assets to obtain in order to pay a significant judgement. There is a reason they have no insurance.