Car Insurance and Motor Vehicle Accidents With Injuries

Many of us are fortunate and have never had to deal with an insurance company outside of paying our premiums and dealing with an adjuster when there is a minor fender bender. What happens when you are injured in a car accident and you need to deal with the insurance company of the other driver?

 

Car Insurance Basics in Alaska 

Alaska lawrequires that all drivers carry a basic amount of insurance. You are required to carry liability coverage, which has two components — bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Bodily injury must have a minimum of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident while property damage liability must be at least $25,000 per accident. On the face of it, these amounts sound like substantial numbers and should provide protection in most cases. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case. Imagine you are in your new SUV and you get hit by someone who carries the minimum insurance requirement. You are injured and have to go to the emergency room and your new car is totaled. You break a leg, have a concussion, and end up spending three days in the hospital because you must have surgery to set your leg. One estimate puts the cost of surgical treatment for a broken leg at around $35,000 (not including the emergency room, hospital stay or surgeon’s fee). While it is incredibly difficult to estimate hospital costs, you are pushing close to the injury limit and that does not include your pain and suffering.  And, let us talk about your new SUV. It cost $45,000 and it was new. The person who hit you has insurance coverage of $25,000. Instantly, you seem to be short about $20,000. What about having to miss work for four to six weeks? At $1,000 per week, you are now out an additional $6,000. At this point what do you do?

 

Your Insurance

It is possible in Alaska that you have purchased Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage from your own insurance carrier. This is coverage that provides additional funding when you suffer injuries from someone who either does not have insurance or carries a policy that does not cover the full cost of the accident. In the example above, depending on the limits of your own policy, you would file a claim against your own insurance for the difference in the value between the damage and the limits of the other driver’s insurance. Many personal injury attorneys recommend carrying this type of insurance because of the chance that you may get injured by an insolvent person as a kind of worst-case scenario prevention. This is where a personal injury attorney can be invaluable.

 

When deciding how to proceed, there are a number of factors that all need to be considered in a serious car accident. These include:

  • Seriousness and scope of personal injuries
  • Property damage
  • Limits of applicable insurance policies
  • Assets of the at-fault driver
  • Past driving record of the other driver
  • Aggravating circumstances of the accident (such as alcohol involvement or excessive speed resulting in the accident)
  • Many other factors

 

Motor vehicle accidents can be traumatizing and difficult events to navigate. Even if the person who injured you has insurance, it often is not enough to cover the damages you may suffer. In determining the correct path to take to get the results you deserve, there are many factors that you need to consider. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Power & Power law have been helping victims in Anchorage make the right decisions for decades. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, give them a call at 907-222-9990 or toll free 833-669-9990 or click hereto set up your free initial consultation to see what they can do for you.