I focus on achieving favorable results with dedication & hard-work.- Griffin O'Hanlon
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
Why You Should Buy the Highest Virginia Car Insurance You Can Afford
By John Cooper, Virginia Car Accident Injury Lawyer
As an experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled cases in Virginia and North Carolina for over 25 years I know how important having high limits on your automobile insurance is and I've seen the good effects when there are clients who were able to afford and were smart enough to choose the highest possible limits versus those who did not. The insurance companies mainly want to sell you a policy to grab market share away from the other insurance companies. So Allstate cares much more about luring you away from Progressive, Nationwide, Travelers or The Hartford than they do about selling you exactly the right coverage. For them, it's all about market share and they would probably rather have less exposure on each automobile policy sold in Virginia than to have you buy high coverage to protect you and your family. That's just the way that they make money.
People who have a decent job and can afford to have good insurance on their cars in their household need to realize that they are not just protecting their assets if they make a mistake and cause someone else an injury on the road but perhaps even more importantly they are protecting themselves and their own family members as well as the occupants of their vehicles if someone else outside their car causes a wreck with injury. It is frightening how many people run around on the roads of Hampton Roads, Virginia (VA) with minimum limits of $25,000.00 per person per accident. Given the high cost of an ambulance, emergency room care, CAT scans to check for traumatic brain injury not to mention the follow-up care of physical therapy, doctors' visits and even surgery $25,000.00 does very, very little these days.
It's nothing for an emergency room bill to run $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 even in a relatively uncomplicated moderate injury situation. Obviously, if it's a severe injury which requires immediate emergency surgery or inpatient hospitalization that's a whole different thing involving tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of expense right off the bat. Instead, even just in medium size cases of injuries from automobile wrecks which I see every day in my office, the medical bills can easily get up to $15,000.00 without surgery or a broken bone or a permanent injury. Under those circumstances $25,000.00 doesn't sound like a lot of money and it isn't.
So the reason to buy higher coverage for the liability part of your automobile accident policy in Virginia is that the amount of coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists is normally the exact same amount as what you get in liability coverage. So if your policy is a 100/300 policy that means that there is coverage if you hurt somebody else with your car up to $100,000.00 per person and $300,000.00 per accident if there's more than one person injured.
That same coverage 100/300 is the amount of your UM or uninsured motorist coverage. So if some drunken person without insurance causes a serious injury to you or your family if you've got those limits then you can claim up to $100,000.00 in available coverage to step in and protect you to pay your medical bills, lost wages and other damages caused by the driver who had no insurance. If you are carrying the minimum limits of $25,000.00 then you would only have $25,000.00 no matter what the amount of your bills, economic losses and pain and suffering are. Likewise if you are carrying 100/300 and the person who hits you has minimum limits you get the benefit if needed to cover you and your family and the occupants of your vehicle for injuries which were not their fault up to the amount of your higher limits under the part of the policy called underinsured motorist coverage or UIM.
For these reasons it is really important to have as much insurance coverage as you can afford. I carry no less than $300,000.00 of coverage and have from time to time carried more than that like $500,000.00 in coverage. I realize that if my family and I are hurt seriously by a driver I want to make sure that there's at least that much protection for me and my family no matter what the other guy in the at-fault vehicle was willing or smart enough to pay for on his policy.
You would be surprised how little the difference is in going up from minimum limits to the next level which is $50,000.00 or even to $100,000.00 or $300,000.00. To find out how much it costs all you have to do is call an agent with your insurance carrier and ask. You can even do this in the middle of a policy term. You don't have to wait until the renewal. When you hear what the number is for the increased premiums for the better coverage then you can make an educated decision about whether that is worth it to you to protect you and your loved ones. Unfortunately, the only insurance that matters is the coverage on the day of the wreck. What you buy the next day or had the day before doesn't matter. So the time to look into getting higher coverage on your automobile accident policy is now. I'm always happy to talk to anybody about anything related to car accidents and injuries and if you ever had a question about this you can feel free to call me and I'd be happy to try to answer your question or send you a free book explaining some of what I've covered in this article.
For more information or of you have been hurt in a wreck due to the fault of another driver, call us at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.
John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.
Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.
Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.
Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.