Douglass, West & Associates

Frequently Asked Questions


What happens if you don’t have full insurance protection?

If you have not made the right elections on your automobile insurance policy, you could be at risk. Injured parties can be left helpless if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. You could be left helpless to collect money from the driver who hit you.

Don’t Lose Your Right To Sue

  1. You and your family need complete insurance protection: What insurance companies may call “full coverage” is not always complete protection.
  2. Insist on full tort: It gives you the unlimited right to sue for pain and suffering. Limited tort can limit this right.
  3. Insist on uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance: They protect you even if you are in an accident with a driver who isn’t insured or is poorly insured.
  4. You don’t have complete protection if you do not have both kinds of insurance: Full tort and uninsured/underinsured motorist works together to give you complete protection.

Only full tort
+ uninsured/underinsured motorist
= full protection

A careless driver hits your car. You suffer soft-tissue injuries, but it will take several months to fully recover. You’ve chosen the limited tort option. You might not be able to collect for pain and suffering.

  • You can’t collect when uninsured drivers hit you.
    Drunk and careless drivers are everywhere. More than one in thirteen vehicles that you encounter on Pennsylvania highways will be uninsured. If you don’t have uninsured motorist insurance, you could end up paying for catastrophic injuries.

  • You lose the right to collect. Limited tort restricts your right to collect for personal injuries.

  • You and your family are at risk in your car. Shouldn’t your family members also have the right to collect? Under limited tort, they can’t.

  • You and your family are at risk in someone else’s car. Your limited tort election will keep your children from being able to collect, even when they’re in a car driven by someone who has full tort.

  • You’re at risk if you don’t have both full tort and insured/underinsured motorist. Even with full tort, you don’t have uninsured/underinsured motorist protection unless you insist on that, too.

  • Think about increasing your medical benefits coverage (PIP) under your automobile insurance policy to $100,000.00. The minimum your insurance carrier is required by law to provide is $5,000.00 in medical cover-age. This type of coverage is more comprehensible than most other insurance, since there is no deductible and covers many items directly related to the accident not covered by other insurance. What happens in a typical accident is that medical bills are paid first by your automobile insurance carrier, up to the limit you’ve picked (again the minimum is $5,000.00) and then paid by your primary medical insurance carrier. The primary insurance carrier, depending on the way the plan was established, may have a right to be reimbursed for monies they have paid out on your behalf.

There is no right to reimbursement for monies paid under your PIP coverage.

Also available are Extraordinary Medical Benefits (EMB).
This is coverage of a 1 Million Dollars which pays after the $100,000.00 policy is exhausted
Total medical benefit to you would be $1,100,000.00.

Contact us now so you don’t have trouble later.
Every week we hear from people we can’t help.
Because if they’re not fully insured, we can’t turn the clock back.

We’ll be glad to explain your rights and the kind of insurance that will keep you fully protected.

Then call your agent, you’ll be surprised how little changing your policy will cost

What should I do if I’m involved in an automobile accident?

Many people panic when they are in an auto accident. They worry how it will affect their insurance rates and other matters. Sometimes, panic causes people to say things they will later regret and to overlook information that would be helpful if a dispute arises regarding the accident.

  • Here are steps to follow if you are in a car accident. They can reduce the hassles and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.
  • Call an ambulance for anyone seriously hurt.
  • Write down the name, address, phone and driver’s license numbers, and insurance company of the other driver and the other car’s owner (if the other driver does not own the car).
  • Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses, including passengers in the other car.
  • Write down the other car’s make, model, year and license number.
  • Make a diagram of the accident. Show the positions of both cars before, during and after the accident. If possible, measure skid marks, and show them on the diagram. Be sure your diagram shows traffic signals, stop signs, and crosswalks.
  • Make notes on weather conditions, road conditions, the location of the accident, and the time that it occurred.
  • Do not admit responsibility. Things you say can be used against you later and can affect the outcome of your claim. Call us before you take any blame for the accident. You may think you caused the accident and then learn that the other driver was more at fault.

If a dispute arises regarding the accident, or if you have any questions about your right to make a claim for your personal injuries or property damage, call us. Procedures for obtaining compensation are complex. Call as soon after the accident as possible, as the time right after the accident can be crucial in making your claim.

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