Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Michael A. Schafer, Attorney at Law. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have about your accident. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.
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What Is Liability Coverage?
Liability coverage is insurance that covers other people if you are in an accident that is your fault. That is, if you cause an accident and injure a person in that accident, your liability coverage will pay for that person’s injuries (up to the maximum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident if more than one person is injured). This coverage is required by Kentucky law.
How Much Car Insurance Coverage Should I Have?
You need to buy as much insurance as you can afford to protect you and to compensate you fully if you are in an automobile accident. Ten times the insurance does not cost ten times the money. Your insurance agent may not tell you that additional insurance will not cost you that much more unless you ask. Why? It's because it's not a good deal for the insurance company and a good deal for you.
Ask your agent how much it costs to raise each type of coverage to the next level. For example, if I raise my PIP from $10,000 to $20,000, how much more would my premium be? If I raise my Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Coverage from $25,000 to $50,000, how much would my premium be? You need to be informed! Knowledge gives you the power to financially protect your family.
How Do I Get A Rental Car If I Have Been In A Car Accident?
Rental car coverage is always offered with full coverage in Kentucky car insurance policies. This is the only way to make sure you will get a rental car while your car is being repaired. The insurance company for the driver who hit you may pay for your rental car from their property damage coverage, but this is sometimes a slow process. Also, if there is a dispute as to the cause of the accident, the other party's insurance company will not pay for anything until the liability dispute is resolved. They will then pay only if the dispute is resolved in your favor. If you do not agree with their decision, your options are to forget about it or file a lawsuit.
How Soon After My Bicycle Accident Should I Contact An Attorney?
Call an attorney immediately! Do not talk with the other person’s insurance company until you have had a chance to consult with an attorney. It is very important that you understand the process before you begin answering questions. You should always tell the truth, but you should be prepared and understand the process before you do.
How Do I Pay For Legal Fees For A Bicycle Accident?
Most accident attorneys handle cases on what is called a contingency fee basis. I also handle bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay a legal fee unless money is recovered for you. There is nothing to pay up front. A fee is paid from the recovery that is made.
If I'm Injured On A Bike, How Do My Medical Bills Get Paid?
Bike accidents are a little different than other motor vehicle accident cases. The no fault insurance (also called PIP or Basic Reparation Benefits) of the vehicle that you were in would normally pay for your medical bills. In the situation of a bicycle accident, the first responsibility for medical bills is with the insurance company of the car that hit you. Your no fault application will be presented to them. If, for some reason, the car that hit you was not insured, you would proceed under the car insurance of your own vehicle.
Can I Recover If The Car Never Hit Me But I Had A Bike Accident?
Yes, many people are under the impression that there has to be physical contact between the bicyclist and vehicle for the motorist to be liable. This is not true. There are many situations were a cyclist can be injured because they had to take evasive action to avoid being hit and crashed as a result. The motorist can still be held liable if negligence can be proved. This is much more difficult than if there was contact, however. It can be accomplished if there are witnesses and if evidence can be preserved.
Can I Recover If I'm Hit By A Car And The Car Wasn't Insured?
Yes, if you had uninsured motorist coverage on your own vehicle. You can recover money for your pain and suffering from your insurance company. You may also sue the driver of the car that caused the accident. Any medical bills you have would be paid by your PIP insurance.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Me When I'm On My Bicycle?
In most instances the answer is yes. However, your insurance policy contract will tell you for sure. Most insurance policies will cover you if you are on a bicycle and are hit by a car.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Bicycle Accident Case?
This depends on the facts and circumstances of your specific case. Every case is different, and it depends on how seriously you were injured. Generally, negotiations do not begin until you have been released by your doctor and have recovered. This can take as little as three months or as long as several years.