Automobile Accidents

The Importance of Car Insurance

Being involved in a car accident is bad enough, but the added stress of having no or insufficient car insurance makes it worse. The main purpose of car insurance is to protect the driver from the consequences of an accident whether due to negligence or not.

Car insurance is required to drive legally in all states in the U.S. (except New Hampshire) although the requirements differ from state to state in terms of minimum amount and type of coverage. In general, third party liability (TPL) auto insurance is mandatory to operate a vehicle.  TPL coverage applies to property damage and/or bodily injury of the other vehicle and its occupants up to a prescribed maximum amount.

While most states only require TPL, 12 states and Puerto Rico have a no-fault scheme for automobile accidents which require motorists to apply to their own insurance for medical costs related to an accident. Aside from TPL, therefore, motorists are required to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Some states also require motorists to include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in case of a hit-and-run and where the at-fault uninsured driver is financially incapable of paying for the damages.

Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® warn that uninsured, negligent drivers in most states are not only criminally liable and may see the inside of a jail but may also be sued for the medical expenses and property damages of the third party. Even when not at-fault, an uninsured motorist who sustains multiple injuries and acute emotional distress in a truck accident is generally barred from suing the other driver for non-economic damages i.e. pain and suffering.

Clearly, the importance of car insurance cannot be over-emphasized. Without coverage, the costs of property damage and bodily injury can run be very high, and may even force the driver to bankruptcy. If you or someone you know is operating vehicle without auto insurance, don’t take the risk; an accident can happen at any time, and the consequences for all involved can be grim.

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