Although I handle many different types of cases I represent a lot of people involved in automobile accidents. Auto accident law can be very complicated because the different traffic laws, insurance coverage, and situations that people get into. Here are some of the most common questions that I get involving automobile accidents.
Q: If my brother-in-law borrows my truck and causes an accident can I be held personally responsible for the damages?
A: Good question. Probably not unless your brother-in-law is a minor, incompetent, intoxicated, or you had a reason to believe that he was otherwise incapable of safely operating your truck.
Q: I was injured in a car accident and I need to go to a doctor but I don’t have health insurance, what should I do?
A: If you have full coverage insurance on your automobile you probably have medical payments coverage which will pay for the medical expenses of anyone injured in your vehicle regardless of fault. You will have to ask the doctor you are going to see if they can file with your med pay insurance or you will have to pay for your medical treatment out of your pocket and then ask for reimbursement from your automobile insurance company. If you do not carry med pay insurance you should add it to your policy.
Q: If I’m driving someone else’s car and I cause an accident whose insurance company pays for the damages?
A: The liability insurance on the vehicle is primary and the driver’s liability insurance is secondary.
Q: Can I get compensation for injuries I suffered in an automobile accident when the person who caused the accident left the scene of the accident and I can’t identify them?
A: If you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage you can make a claim against your own UM policy and recover for damages caused by a “phantom motorist.” Uninsured Motorist coverage is probably the most valuable type of insurance coverage you can have because it is intended to protect you in situations like this and it is very inexpensive for $100,000.00 of coverage.
Q: What kind of insurance coverage should I carry on my automobile.
A: You should have full coverage unless the vehicle is not worth that much and you can afford to replace it if it is totaled. Full coverage includes at least liability (for damage that you cause to someone else), property damage (to repair your car), medical payments (to cover medical expenses of anyone injured in your vehicle), and Uninsured Motorist coverage (which protects you in the event the person responsible for the accident has inadequate insurance).