At Parrish DeVaughn, we regularly go to bat against insurance companies that refuse to pay victims the money they’re owed. But we’ll be the first to admit that insurance serves an important purpose. After all, it’s much better to fight for a settlement from an active policy than to not have any coverage at all.
The question then becomes, how much insurance is actually needed? Insurers are happy to sell their customers the biggest, most robust, and most expensive policies they have. Meanwhile, they hope those policies are never cashed in, and if they are, they hope to find ways to reduce the amount they have to pay.
Minimum Coverage Is Rarely Enough
Because Oklahoma is a “fault” state, most auto accident victims will file claims against the other drivers’ insurance policies. And like all states, Oklahoma requires drivers to carry valid auto insurance to legally drive their vehicles. But drivers can get away with having the minimum coverage, which is:
- $25,000 bodily injury protection per person
- $50,000 per accident
- $25,000 property damage protection
Unfortunately, many auto accidents result in greater expenses than this. For example, a wreck that totals a vehicle and sends two or more victims to the hospital can easily cost more than $100,000 when you factor in vehicle repair costs, ambulance rides, overnight hospital stays, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
Too Little Coverage May Mean Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Our Oklahoma City auto accident lawyers do everything we can to get our clients full compensation for their injuries and property damage. Sometimes, that means pursuing out-of-pocket payments when negligent drivers don’t have enough insurance. To avoid ending up in this situation yourself should you ever cause a crash, insurance companies recommend increasing your coverage to:
- $100,000 bodily injury protection per person
- $300,000 per accident
- $100,000 property damage protection
It can be difficult to budget for a “just in case” scenario such as causing a serious crash. But having enough insurance to cover most or all of the expenses related to an auto accident is important, especially if you don’t want to risk paying out of pocket.
Don’t Forget to Protect Yourself, Too
Although Oklahoma allows at-fault drivers to be held liable for crashes they cause, there’s no guarantee the driver who hit you will have enough insurance to pay your bills—or even any insurance at all.
According to the Oklahoman, as many as one in four drivers in the state don’t even have liability insurance as required by law. That means if they hurt you in a crash, you’ll have to pursue money from them out of pocket, and that can be difficult to get.
You can purchase additional peace of mind by adding MedPay coverage to your auto insurance policy. MedPay coverage is designed to pay injured drivers and their passengers money for their medical bills regardless of who is at fault. That means that MedPay can kick in whether another driver caused your crash or you caused it. MedPay also pays for injuries sustained as a pedestrian or while bicycling.
What About Health Insurance?
Health insurance can be extremely beneficial to injured victims after auto accidents, especially while they’re waiting for their auto accident claims to settle or if the other driver isn’t insured. However, it’s important to note that your health insurance provider will want to be reimbursed if you receive a settlement. This process is called subrogation.
That means any money you win from an injury claim will pay your health insurance provider back for the money they spent on your medical treatments. MedPay coverage is exempt from this process, however. Any money you receive through MedPay is yours to keep, even if your health insurance kicked in to cover some or all of your crash-related medical bills.
Get Insured, Then Call Us After a Crash
The most important thing you can do is purchase enough auto insurance to protect yourself after a crash, whether you cause it or if you are an innocent victim. Then, get a lawyer. Our legal team deals with insurance companies daily, and we know that they’re resistant to paying people like you the money they’re owed. Call today for a free consultation.