Car insurance – what you really need

Posted on: Aug 04th, 2016 by Bill Gregory

If you are in a car accident, your car insurance will almost certainly be involved.  It is at this moment when many people find out that they are not fully covered for the losses that they caused or sustained.  Take a moment to read this article, then check your automobile insurance to make sure that you and your family are covered.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me, attorney Chad Rankin, a partner at the personal injury law firm of Rankin & Gregory, LLC.

When I ask a client whether they have full tort, the most common response is that they have “full coverage”.  Full coverage usually means that people have collision and comprehensive coverage to protect their damaged car.  The tort option protects the people who are injured in a car accident.   Everyone in Lancaster and all of Pennsylvania who have car insurance or are covered under a car insurance policy are either full tort or limited tort.  Most people have no idea what these terms mean.  Before I started representing car accident victims more than fifteen years ago, I thought a tort was a dessert.  Well, it is a dessert, but it is also a type of coverage under your car insurance.  If you or a family member choses limited tort for your car insurance, then you are giving up many rights that you may need in a car accident.  People injured in an auto accident who are stuck with limited tort, are limited to only the economic or out of pocket damages.   In far too many instances, a person’s losses after a car accident are mostly non-economic damages such as the loss of enjoyment of life or the pain associated with an injury and rehabilitation needed. 

Another common car insurance short fall is with underinsured and uninsured coverage.  You purchase underinsured and uninsured coverage to protect you and your family in case you get hit by someone who does not have enough liability coverage or has no coverage at all.  The minimum liability coverage required in Pennsylvania is $15,000.  $15,000 is not nearly enough to coverage any extended period of lost wages, medical expenses, or the non-economic damages discussed above.  The only way to protect yourself is to purchase adequate underinsured and uninsured coverage on your own policy.  I have had far too many clients who were killed or significantly injured only to have very small insurance coverages available to help the car accident victim or their family.  

The two coverages discussed above are the most important when injuries are involved. However, there are additional coverages that you should have or, at least, consider when purchasing or renewing your car insurance.   My partner, Bill Gregory, and I have spent almost our entire careers helping peopled injured in car accidents.  Please call us if you have any questions about your car insurance or if you need our help after a car accident.   We have offices in Lancaster and Leola.   You can reach us at (717) 406-3216 or visit us at www.rginjurylaw.com