Car accident costs can be devastating. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the total cost of losses from motor vehicle accidents over the course of 2013 exceeded $277 billion. Costs can include loss of wages and lost productivity, but also actual tangible monetary costs like medical bills and funerals for people who do not survive collisions.
Victims and family members of people who are killed in automobile crashes frequently face difficulty paying for the damages associated with accidents. News 9, for example, reported last year on Oklahoma City families who were seeking help from the community to cover the costs of funerals and medical expenditures when their family members were injured or killed in accidents.
Crash Costs Can Devastate Families
When motor vehicle accidents happen, victims can try to get the costs of their losses covered if another driver was responsible for the car accident they were involved in. Oklahoma law requires drivers to carry $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage so as long as drivers comply with insurance requirements, there should be at least some money available.
The problem, however, is sometimes drivers don't have insurance or drivers do not have enough insurance. If a crash causes serious injuries to multiple people, a $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident insurance policy is going to provide only a small portion of the money the victims may actually need to recover for damages. Victims could try to go after the driver who caused the crash personally, but the driver may have limited or no assets so this may not be a useful endeavor even if the victims win a court judgment exceeding insurance policy limits.
In some cases, drivers operate their vehicles illegally without insurance, so there is no money at all available to provide compensation for crash victims and their families when these uninsured motorists cause collisions to occur. Uninsured motorist coverage isn't required in Oklahoma, so drivers do not have to buy it. If a victim of a car crash doesn't have an uninsured motorist policy and is hit by a driver who has no insurance or is hit by a driver in a hit-and-run crash, the victim will be out of luck as far as compensation and will be left trying to pay for losses out-of-pocket.
Motorists should carefully consider their insurance needs to make sure they have enough coverage in case they get into an accident with a driver who has limited or no insurance. Crash victims should also explore all possible options for pursuing damage claims, as there may be multiple defendants in some cases who could be responsible for covering crash losses after car accidents. For example, victims may be able to sue both truckers and drivers, or may be able to sue the designers of vehicles or roads if a problem with the car or the road contributed to causing the accident.