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Ask an Attorney: Is My Insurance Compensation Enough?

Published on Sep 13, 2016 at 11:51 am in Law and Information.

Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task. How do you choose one? How do you know what type of lawyer to hire? What’s it like to work with an attorney and how do you know what’s expected of you? These are all questions you’re likely to have while browsing the website of an attorney, but don’t worry—we’re here to help.

Every firm’s site is filled with the same, boastful claims and pages and pages of legal speak that aren’t immediately useful. What’s useful? Answers. Real answers. Every two weeks roughly, we’ll be posting a common question a client new to the legal world might have, and we’ll provide real, honest answers to that question.


Last time, we talked about contingency fees and expenses in regards to hiring a personal injury lawyer. This week, it’s time to answer a question anyone who’s been in a car accident has asked: Is my insurance compensation enough to handle my expenses?

There’s no doubt about it—car accidents are stressful. They can also be excruciatingly expensive. If you’re in a minor fender bender, the question of expense may not even come up. Most auto insurance providers will have no issues footing the bill for a minor accident. But if your accident is significantly more serious—and includes major expenses like a totaled car to replace, the need for a rental vehicle, and days of required hospital recovery when you can’t take time off work—suddenly, the above question becomes a lot more necessary.

The first thing to do if you’re in a major accident is get medical help. Don’t worry about insurance just yet. Worry about yourself and your loved ones. Worry about the safety of everyone around you.

Once you’re able to think about insurance, you’ll want to take a moment to remember how insurance works in your state. In Kentucky, for example, you’d have what they call “no-fault” insurance. This basically guarantees that your insurance provider will foot the bill (or part of it) no matter who’s at fault for the accident. This is good news. This means that the process of settling your insurance claim should be somewhat easy. If you’re not in a no-fault state, you’ll have to question your insurance provider.

Now, even if you are located in a no-fault state, that doesn’t mean your insurance will pay for everything. Depending on the type of policy you have, your provider may be able to cover the costs of a totaled car plus a rental, but there’s also a good chance that your coverage will stop at some point. It can also take months to retrieve the insurance money needed to cover the costs of a totaled vehicle.

There’s also the factor of medical bills to consider, as well as the time you may have to take off work without pay. Even the best types of auto insurance won’t be able to cover all of these expenses. Even in a no-fault state, this is where you want to start asking yourself what happened during the accident, whose fault it was, and what you feel is the right course of action. Look at the big picture. Major car accidents can be complicated when it comes to figuring out how the accident happened and why, but that’s why seeking legal aid is always an option.

At some point, you may find yourself asking, “Am I in over my head?” If that question comes up, you should talk to local car accident or personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. If your accident was so severe that you can’t figure out how you’ll make it through financially, there’s a good chance you need legal advice. If you’re questioning who’s at fault for the accident or feel uncomfortable with anything the other driver’s insurance providers are telling you, it’s also recommended that you seek legal advice.

Most lawyers are more than happy to speak to you—in person even—regarding a serious car accident and your legal options. There are always options, remember. Louisville, KY personal injury lawyer Tad Thomas and his associates are always happy to advise you on those options. But first, you must reach out to us.