auto motorcycle accident insuranceThis is going to be a rather grim article, I’m afraid. Sadly, in my line of work as a Denver accident attorney, I go through some pretty upsetting stretches when I meet with families of people who were killed in deadly accidents, and the conversation can turn to the topic of motorcycle and car accident insurance. Recently, I have taken cases for three people who died through no fault of their own in accidents involving cars and motorcycles. There is absolutely nothing that these people could have done to halt the catastrophes that took their lives. And now their families are bereft and, in almost every case, dealing with financial ruin, as well.

In one case, my client was a passenger in a car. The driver of the car made a bad decision and it took the passenger’s life. The driver lived.

In the second case, my client was riding his motorcycle legally and lawfully. A young girl was driving her friend’s car and took a turn that took my client’s life.

In the third case, a father of three was riding his motorcycle and a car driver disobeyed traffic rules, taking this young father’s life.

All three of these people died through no fault of their own! There is very little – if anything – that they could have done to prevent the accident that took their lives. And in every single one of these cases, the negligent drivers had the bare minimum (or no) accident insurance. Worse, in two of the cases, the victims also didn’t have the proper insurance to help their families cope through this emotionally and financially devastating time.

Deadly Accidents: Is Your Family Set Up to Survive Without You?

What if this happened to you? I’m positive that each of the people who died thought it would never happen to them – just like you’re thinking it will never happen to you. If they had taken the time to look at their insurance card, call their agent, and request more accident insurance, their families would be less devastated right now. (Oh, and make sure your will is up to date! I’ll briefly cover that below, though it’s not my area of specialty.)

So, here’s what you need to do:

Accident Insurance: Get Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Look at your insurance card right now. Is there a “U” on it or a “UIM?” If yes, good. If not, you need it. NOW.

If you ride a motorcycle, you need no less than $250,000 of UIM because most motorcycle accidents render the rider unable to work for long periods of time. I see motorcycle accident victims lose their homes and all their property as they try to pay off medical bills with no source of income. And honestly, the more you own (cars, toys, home) the more coverage you need because those assets will be on the table when creditors come to collect for your medical bills.

You may be looking at your insurance card thinking, “I have liability insurance. I’m covered.” But you’re not. Liability coverage protects you only if you cause the accident and it will help you to pay for the damage you’ve caused. Your UIM coverage can cover your medical deductibles, lost wages, unpaid medical bills, co-pays, pain and suffering and more.

If you DON’T have UIM, and the other driver only has $25,000 (the minimum required by the law), you will only get $25,000, which won’t even come close to covering your expenses.

If you like to have a catchy way to remember the difference between liability coverage and UIM, our attorney Eli Ohlhausen says, “UIM protects your assets. Liability protects you’re a**!”

Get Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)

If you are seriously injured, or if you die after a long battle to live after a car or motorcycle accident, you are going to rack up significant medical expenses. If you die, your family will be left to pay those bills. Imagine losing someone you love and then losing your home, too, because you can’t pay the bills that keep pouring in after your loved one dies. That is the ultimate “insult to injury” scenario.

MedPay is a critical component of accident insurance you need. MedPay coverage pays for first responders, emergency room bills, co-pays, deductibles, doctor visits, chiropractors, massage therapy, physical therapy… In essence, it may cover a lot of things that your health insurance doesn’t. And if you die, your family can use it to pay off the bills that may have stacked up in the medical efforts that failed to save your life.

I know it’s simply awful to imagine something that horrific happening to your family, but I am literally helping three families right now through this exact tragedy. Please take the necessary steps with your accident insurance to protect your family today!

I’ve seen too many families completely collapse after the death of a loved one because there was no advance planning for death.

Review Your Will (You do have a will, don’t you?!)

Another thing I’ve noticed from the recent cases I’ve taken is that nobody keeps their wills up to date. It’s just like buying UIM – people don’t think they’re going to die! But it happens every day. You need to make sure that your will provides for the people you love.

Of course, estate planning is not my area of expertise but I can share some cautionary tales from the cases I’ve seen.

First, if you die without a will, the state gets to decide who gets your money. Now, imagine that you have a twisted family tree, like most of us do. Maybe you married someone who had kids previously, and you also had kids, but that marriage went awry and you separated. When you die, that estranged spouse and those children could get a whopping share of your estate.

Families are complicated! Just close your eyes for a minute and think about your own family and how the state could possibly mess things up if you should suddenly die.

Or, perhaps you created a will a decade ago and, since that time, you had a second or third child who isn’t even named in the will. That child will get nothing and you’ll have to hope that the rest of the family behaves properly and provides for that child fairly from your estate.

I’ve seen too many families completely collapse after the death of a loved one because there was no advance planning for death.

I know this is an unsettling topic, but I sincerely feel that it is my job to help people understand what could happen if you aren’t prepared for sudden death. You need to prepare your family for the possibility that you may not come home one day. Please call me or email me if you have any questions about your insurance.