Dumb Driver News: South Carolina Motorcyclist Hit Twice: At Fault Driver Calls Boyfriend Before 911

Recently, one of my clients had the misfortune of being in oncoming traffic while a young girl was talking on her cellphone with her boyfriend. The young girl veered into oncoming traffic and struck my client.

When she got out of the car to check on my client, he begged her to call 911 because he was in a great deal of pain (he was suffering from a broken hip-among other things). She screamed and jumped into the car which did not have the emergency brake on, causing it to roll back over my client in the road.  She jumped out and said, "Oh no!" She then used her cell phone to call her boyfriend to ask what to do. Either her boyfriend heard my client screaming in the background for medical help or he was smarter than his fifth grade educated girlfriend and told her to call the POLICE.

Eventually my client was able to get his cellphone from his pocket and call 911  and get much needed medical attention. After a  week in the local hospital his medical bills from the collision greatly exceeded the dumb girl's insurance coverage.

This is an excellent illustration for the need in having UIM, or underinsurance, coverage and PIP, or personal injury protection, coverage.  There are a lot of dumb drivers out there with minimal limits which in South Carolina is $25,000.00. You don't want to be on the receiving end of their ignorance and negligence.

Yes, this is a true story.

 

Related Posts:

"Full Coverage" Automobile Insurance

Bad Economy Leads More Drivers to Drop Insurance

 

Three Coverages South Carolina Insurance Policy Holders Should Add

As mentioned in my previous post, I am amazed at the insurance coverages my clients never even knew existed. This challenge goes out to all insurance salesmen to better inform your clients of  the coverages and give them examples of why they need it. I know they probably don't want to pay the extra money and you don't get much additional commission but it's your job to explain why $50-$100 extra a year can save them $1,000-$25,000.  I have these three things and so should you:

  1. Personal Injury Protection (P.I.P) and/or Medical Payments (Medpay) coverage- this covers you and all the passengers in your automobile regardless of fault or liability- if you don't have health insurance this is a must;
  2. Underinsurance (U.I.M) coverage-exactly what it sounds like, except easier to understand when I explained that it helps cover you and your passengers or family when someone injures them that does not have enough insurance or assets to go after; and
  3. GAP Coverage & Renters Insurance-both of these coverages take care of your possessions when they are damaged. The first being your automobile that is over financed and not worth what you owe on it. The second for your possessions while renting someone else's home or apartment.

I can not help you if you are not helping yourself by taking advantage of the insurance coverage that actually benefits you and not someone else. As much as I comment about how I hate insurance companies, they are a necessary evil. If you are able to play the game of insurance successfully you can and will come out on top.

 

Previous or Related Posts I Have Written on these Coverages:

 

Who Pays for the Defense Attorney: You or the Insurance Company?

I represent plaintiffs, or those injured by the negligence, ignorance, and omissions of other persons, employers, and corporations,  100% of the time. Conversely that would mean I work against defendant's that have injured my client. OR DO I? Yes and no.

Actually, I work against defense attorneys that are paid hourly or on retainer by insurance companies. These insurance companies hire defense attorneys to protect them when their insured, or client that pays for insurance, does something wrong.  Understand?

Let's look deeper. We all buy insurance. We buy insurance up to a certain amount and pay a premium.  That premium is paid to an insurance company to protect our interest if something goes wrong or something bad happens. We usually pay that premium towards a particular amount of coverage to have the insurance company come in and protect us when something goes wrong. Do insurance companies really protect their insureds?

Now let's talk about insurance companies:

  • Did you know if someone hits you without auto insurance that your insurance company, the company you pay your premium to protect you, stands in place of the person that hit you without insurance?
  • Did you know if a drunk driver hit you and hurt you so badly to require more than your insurance coverage and you were smart enough to purchase UIM, or underinsured coverage, that your insurance company will stand in for the drunk driver and protect them against you stacking that coverage?
  • Did you even know you could stack certain insurance coverages?
  • Did you know that insurance companies pay lots of money for expensive software and research programs that let them know as much about you as possible?- ie Ever watch one of those movies where if it has ever been put into a computer or mainframe system they know? (Those aren't science fiction movies anymore). Confidential medical records--ha ha. Funny.

Defense attorneys love to point out shiny objects in your past. If you have ever hurt yourself in the past then they will say that was the result of your current injury not the fact that the person they are paid to protect by the insurance company ran their 5,000lb car into your front seat.  In their minds it was most likely a result of the fall you had when you were 3 years old and it just never healed right.  Understand better?

Certain things can not be brought in front of a jury at trial regardless of how relevant they may be to a lay person:

  • I can't bring into evidence the ticket the highway patrolman gave to the at fault party;
  • I can't talk about the defendant's insurance coverage;
  • I can't even mention the word "insurance";  

Ironically, defense attorneys get paid by the hour and don't care how quickly the case moves. Remember they get paid by the hour. Would you rush a project that paid you by the hour or would you work at it so long as you could? Also, it helps the premium you pay build interest and that interest to make them money while they stall on giving you any money. Funny isn't it?

If you remember nothing else, remember this:

Insurance companies don't make money paying you money, they make money keeping it away from you.

 Now, who do you think pays for that defense attorney? You or the insurance company?

"Full Coverage" Automobile Insurance

When I turn to my clients and ask them about their automobile coverage, they quickly respond back that they have "Full Coverage".  Full coverage to them and full coverage to me are two different things. My idea of full coverage is below:

  1. $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 Liability and Property Coverage ( Minimum insurance limits in the South Carolina are mandated by S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-140 and at the present time are 25,000/50,000/25,000. Likewise, UM, or uninsured coverage is mandatory but you should carry higher than the minimum limits).
  2. Personal Injury Protection/Medical Payments (PIP/Medpay)- $25,000.00.  This is no fault insurance that protects you and other occupants of the car. This is optional coverage you can request that is very inexpensive.
  3. Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)- $100,000.00. In accordance with S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-160, this is optional coverage you can purchase in the event that damages are sustained in excess of the liability limits carried by an at-fault insured (driver) or underinsured motorist. Remember minimum coverage is $25,000.00 per one person.
  4. Comprehensive/Collision Coverage-Again these are optional coverages you can get that provide deductibles you pay to have your automobile repaired if it is in a collision or damaged as a result of something other than collision, ie fire, theft, weather, vandalism, etc (comprehensive). Often times collision coverage is required if you finance your vehicle through a bank, or lender.
  5. GAP Coverage-Gap insurance covers the difference between what the insurance company says your car is worth versus what's left on your car loan, or note. I was not going to include this in my "Full Coverage" but in the past few weeks I have had 3 clients that would pay triple their premium in exchange for GAP coverage.  

Full coverage to my clients usually means the bare minimum it takes to drive on the roadways of the state of South Carolina. As stated above, that would be liability coverage if you cause injury or property damage to someone else at $25,000/$50,000/$25,000 and Uninsured Motorist Coverage for incidents where you are injured by someone that failed to follow the law and carry the minimum insurance coverage. The amounts I use above can be adjusted to fit in each individuals budget. If you carry the bare minimum required by law, just remember the old adage that "You get what you pay for!"

INSURANCE is just that, coverage and protection when losses are injuries occur to you or your family as a result of the negligence or lack of responsibility of another party.  Be prepared when that time comes. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety put out a report a few years ago that indicated a traffic wreck occurred every 4.7 minutes.