One of the most common personal injury claims comes from car accidents. The most well-known driving proverb is to drive for yourself and others, but that sometimes isn’t enough to avoid other drivers who aren’t as considerate. It is important to not only know the rules of the road, but also the law of your state for when the unfortunate happens. This knowledge can pertain to lawsuits and the coverage that you have on your car that protects you from paying for damages and injuries out of pocket.
Like with the personal injury statute of limitations, insurance laws vary from state to state. “Car insurance is required in almost all states. Known as a mandatory minimum, drivers must purchase and maintain a certain level of car insurance from an insurance company in case of an accident or injury to another person or property,” (FindLaw). Even if you happen to reside in a state that does not mandate that you buy insurance for your car, you must be able to show that you have a history of financial reliability.
Basic requirements for insurance by the state are “expressed like this 25/50/25 ($25,000/$50,000/$25,000), with the numbers corresponding to the individuals: 1. Personal injury damages, 2. All personal injury damages for the particular accident, and 3. All property damages for the one accident,” (FindLaw). This shows how much and exactly what a basic insurance plan should cover in case of an accident. Each state, however, will have differing requirement rates. For instance, the state of Alaska has a 50/100/25 basic rate while the state of Texas has a 30/60/25 basic rate.
The beneficial part of finding out the basic coverage rates for your state is that you can always buy an insurance plan that covers more than what you need to further protect yourself when faced with the possibility of having to pay to fix a damaged car (no matter if it is yours or the other driver), personal injuries, etc. Part of being proactive is also knowing what to do if you are involved in an accident.
Always contact the authorities before interacting with the other driver. When the police arrive, tell them your side of what happened to keep on record. Also, use this opportunity to get the information of the other driver. Of course, go to the hospital if need be to tend to any seen and unseen injuries.
When you are of sound mind, contact your insurance company to see what is covered and to find out about any claims that you can file. But, the best way that you can be proactive is to be a safe driver. Never go over the speed limit, always signal before changing lanes, pay attention when you pull up to an intersection (even if there is a light), be mindful when driving near schools and watch for any children that might be nearby, watch for other vehicles on the road, and never drive too close behind a car.