How Auto Liability Limits Can Leave You Hanging
When the unthinkable happens and you are involved in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, auto insurance is what usually foots the bill for your resulting expenses. The state of Oklahoma requires that all drivers on public roads carry at least a minimum amount of liability protection. This way, if a driver is responsible for any incident that happens, the affected parties can at least receive some form of compensation for any resulting expenses.
Oklahoma requires all owners of registered vehicles to carry current insurance with minimum liability of “25/50/25.” More specifically, this means coverage of up to $25,000 for injuries or death per person, $50,000 total for injury or death if multiple people are affected, and $25,000 in property damage. Now this might seem like a significant amount of coverage on its face, but these minimums prevent countless car accident victims from receiving the financial relief they need and deserve.
Limits May Not Cover Everything
For example, say you drive a brand-new luxury car that is declared a total loss after you are hit by a driver who carries minimum liability insurance. Odds are since your car was brand new, it would be worth far more than the $25,000 the offending party’s insurance is willing to cover. Let’s say your car was worth $45,000. Well when the other person’s insurance company sends you a check for only $25,000 of that, what are you supposed to do about the extra $20,000 that you’re suddenly losing out on?
To further the same example, say you and your passenger were both severely injured and needed serious medical treatment, accruing medical bills for over $50,000 each. Since multiple people were hurt in the accident, the other person’s insurance limit is the higher $50,000 limit, but that’s barely enough to cover the medical expenses for one of you, let alone both.
This is where an experienced Tulsa personal injury lawyer becomes crucial. Insurance companies may be unnecessarily slow in sending you your compensation check for your expenses from the incident or may only pay a portion of the expenses you actually incur, despite the policy limits being higher. A skilled lawyer can help you pursue the maximum coverage you due as an injury victim. It may be necessary to bring an insurance provider—or even the negligent driver themselves—to court if your claim is unduly delayed. You could also consider filing an insurance bad faith suit in this case, as well.
It is also wise to carry Uninsured and/or Underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) on your own personal policy. This additional coverage addresses any gaps in a negligent party’s policy limits should they hurt you on the road. Adding this coverage usually doesn’t cost much more per month and is designed to make sure you are not left with large expenses as a result of getting into a crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.
If you have been severely injured in a car accident, the skilled Tulsa personal injury attorneys at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC may be able to help you. Our lawyers have accumulated numerous accolades throughout their decades of combined legal experience, including being named to Super Lawyers®, The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms list, among others. We work on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we successfully recover compensation in your case.
Contact us to request a free, confidential case evaluation from one of our highly regarded legal advocates.