It seems lately we are seeing and hearing about tragic deaths and serious injuries arising from buses or trucks going left of center, cars smashing into innocent bicyclists, cars having defects (GM) that cause people to die unnecessarily, pedestrians being run over while minding their own business, and so on. Obviously, we cannot avoid certain tragedies no matter how advanced we are scientifically or how careful we are. That is life’s tough reality. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind to be in the best position possible if something horrible happens to you or your loved ones:
- Purchase Underinsured Motorist and Uninsured Motorist Coverage and if you can afford it, buy Umbrella coverage that includes BOTH types of coverage. Often people think they are fully covered by having Liability coverage and an umbrella that covers liability. But many times people do not have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Please check with your agent to make sure you have this insurance, no matter what state you live in. This protects you in case the person at fault has no insurance or does not have enough to cover those who are killed or injured. Some auto carriers, like State Farm, no longer offer Umbrella coverage for Uninsured Motorist claims, so it is more important than ever to find out what you have purchased. Ask for the declaration sheet and talk in detail to your agent.
- Some people like to malign and abuse lawyers until they need one. The recent fiasco with GM would never have occurred but for corporate greed. And had the surviving families not hired a tenacious, hard working trial lawyer who was willing to go up against a billion dollar company, the cover up would not have been discovered. Senator McCaskill, a former trial lawyer, does an outstanding job cross examining GM’s president on its actions. At the same time, she makes sure folks know it was trial lawyers who uncovered the problem. She recognizes that trial lawyers fight hard to protect families. Watch this video of Sen. Claire McCaskill questioning GM CEO Mary Barra: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qfy6p73CAVw
- If you can take some time and have a little extra money, take a defensive driving course. You will learn how to drive in inclement weather, how to be on guard for those who might hit you, learn the science of how your car and brakes work, and overall how you can improve your skills behind the wheel. Of course, never drive distracted. We lecture on this topic extensively and any distraction can lead to a catastrophe. By taking a certified course, you will be surprised at how you will never drive the same again, and that you will be a better driver, as well as someone who is more likely to avoid potentially bad collisions.