Think You’re Fully Covered? Think Again ~ Attorney Donald P. Edwards
“I am fully covered.”
That’s a phrase Attorney Donald P. Edwards, who specializes in personal injury cases, hears constantly in his law practice. What his clients often mean is that they have just enough auto insurance to be legal.
Edwards has a stern warning for those of you who think if you drive carefully, you can avoid getting into an accident. Statistics show us that every 14 seconds, one person is injured in a car accident in the United States. Sometimes an accident cannot be avoided.
“I’ve interviewed thousands of clients who have been injured and they did absolutely nothing wrong,” Edwards says. “Some people think they can avoid being involved in an accident, but no matter how careful you are, how exceptional a driver you are, there are drivers out there distracted by cell phones, texting, alcohol, drugs, and any number of things that can cause them to hurt someone else.”
And for those of you trying to get by in life with your fingers crossed hoping that you won’t be involved in an accident with either someone who is driving illegally without insurance – not that unusual in these tough economic times – or a driver who is underinsured, please don’t learn the hard way.
Uninsured/underinsured coverage is not legally required, but is fairly inexpensive and an absolute must, according to Edwards.
Take the example of one of Edwards’ clients who was driving a motorcycle when the driver of a car ran a red light and hit him. His client was significantly and permanently injured. However, the driver of the car only carried the minimum insurance coverage required in Georgia: $25,000 for one injured person. Not nearly enough to cover his client’s expenses.
“My client did not have or choose uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage,” Edwards explains. “He had a claim worth maybe $500,000 ; however was only able to collect $25,000. That’s something you just do not like to see.”
Edwards has seen countless similar heartbreaking cases during his 30-year career. He warns that people who carry no insurance or minimal insurance typically do not have assets to go after in a law suit.
Georgia requires bodily injury liability maximum of $25,000 for one person injured in an accident and $50,000 for all injuries in one accident. According to The Insurance Information Institute that’s not enough. They recommend you carry at least $100,000 of bodily injury protection per person and $300,000 per accident. Edwards agrees with that recommendation and adds that you should also carry at least $100,000 of uninsured/underinsured coverage. In addition, Medical payment coverage or Med Pay is essential if you do not have health insurance. Call your Insurance agent today to make sure you truly are fully covered.