Auto-insurance – whether it’s a great policy or no coverage at all – has a direct impact on an individual’s experience with auto-injury. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand their coverage or don’t prioritize it before they really need it. But when it gets to that point, it’s too late to make changes to fix a problem. That’s why it’s important to be thorough. You may also want to consider expanding your coverage.
Auto Accidents are Harder than Ever to Avoid
Drunk driving has been a hazard to drivers and a major cause of accidents since the creation of the automobile. One of the worst bus accidents with more fatalities than any other drunk driving accident in the U.S. happened in Kentucky in 1988. It involved mostly teenagers with 27 fatalities. This devastating incident should be a deterrence to all Kentuckians for drinking and driving. Since we cannot control the decisions of other drivers, it should also remind us to do all we can to protect ourselves and our families in the case of injury from a collision with a drunk driver.
A new hazard sweeping the nation, becoming more prevalent for causing an accident than drunk driving, is distracted driving. Again, even the most careful driver can be a victim since they can’t control the decisions of others. Expanding one’s insurance coverage can be one of the best safeguards in case of this kind of accident.
Sometimes an accident involves an injury to someone where the other driver was at fault but is uninsured. Even if the driver at fault has assets, many individuals do not want to go after those assets when it’s someone’s home, etc. In these circumstances, having a policy that includes uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage is extremely helpful. It’s these options we want to be sure you fully understand.
Ancillary Coverage You Should Consider
Understanding your insurance policy is very important. One aspect many policyholders in Kentucky do not know is that they are automatically given $10,000 in coverage just by having a policy. This money covers medical bills and lost income because of a wreck. It can even include lost services if there are responsibilities outside of your job that you can’t fulfill while recovering from an injury. This coverage is called “No-Fault” because it’s allotted to you no matter what. This is a benefit of having insurance, however, for many people this figure is definitely not enough to match their income or to completely cover medical expenses. This is why you may want to consider other ancillary coverage options. You might consider:
1. Liability Insurance- This protects your assets if a claim is made against you because you were at fault for an accident. The amount for this coverage is dependent on your assets. This does not help you when someone else is at fault. It also does not help with your own injuries. It protects you if you caused injury to someone else.
2. Collision Coverage- This pays for damage to your vehicle, usually accompanied by a deductible. If you want to repair or replace your vehicle, this coverage is helpful, especially if the other driver has no coverage or poor coverage.
3. “Added” PIP- You have the option to have more than the $10,000 automatically available. This is a good thing to have. When $10,000 was chosen as the financial figure for “No Fault” coverage it was decades ago, and it does not align with the cost of living today.
4. Uninsured Motorist- This coverage can make a huge difference in your experience with an auto accident, and you can have great coverage at a low cost. If you or a family member is injured in an accident that is someone else’s fault, this helps with those injuries when the driver at fault is uninsured. A reckless driver is more likely to make the bad decision of also driving uninsured. But the impact of their poor judgement doesn’t have to extend beyond the moments just after the accident for you. You will still receive compensation through uninsured motorist coverage, or UM.
5. Underinsured Motorist- Similar to the previous coverage, this will cover you if the driver at fault has inadequate insurance coverage that does not cover your injury or losses. The minimum coverage a driver in Kentucky has to have is relatively low – $25,000. So, it’s likely many of the drivers you encounter have inadequate coverage.
Be Thorough with Your Auto Insurance
Here are some other best practices recommended for managing your auto insurance.
- Read every word of your policy. If you haven’t done this before, that’s not uncommon. But it’s not wise. You can consult a professional like a lawyer or your insurance provider to walk you through every section.
- Be sure you understand all your options like the ones we’ve mentioned earlier.
- Review your coverage regularly and BEFORE you’re in the tough situation of the auto accident aftermath.
- Be sure you see the insurance card(s) of the other driver(s) when you’re involved in an accident. Also get other information of any person involved including passengers. You can read about steps to take right after an auto accident in our recent post.
- Always be as thorough as possible when listing injuries on a PIP form. Consider consulting an attorney or doctor for help in filling out PIP forms. This is one area of insurance where people find the most loopholes that do not benefit the policyholder.
- For claiming lost wages, always include a PIP claim form, verification of employment, and a statement from the doctor treating you mentioning your injuries and any restrictions because of the injury.
- You should retain copies of any paperwork you receive which has to do with your claim, injury, or expenses. You will need proof that you did your due diligence if you feel the insurance company does not fulfill their end.
An automobile accident is an unfortunate thing made even more difficult when it involves injury. At Kentucky Pain Associates we want to help you navigate the physical pain you experience from that injury. But we hope you will not experience a painful process with your insurance company. We want you to be equipped to choose the best coverage for you.
We are participating in a fundraiser on September 9th that will not only be a lot of fun but it benefits a great nonprofit– WaterStep. It’s the 6th annual music festival for this cause featuring lots of great entertainment. Most of them are local to Louisville. You can join us for this event! Read the recent press release below for more info.
Stress- What is it Doing to Us?
Stress can come at us from every angle. It wears on us physically and emotionally and can affect nearly every part of our lives. We know it’s bad for us, but eliminating it, or even reducing it can be difficult. Stress is our bodies natural way of coping with tough situations. It’s bound to happen, but we can take steps to reduce constant stress and manage how we react to stressful situations.If you have recently had an injury, it’s likely you could be suffering from stress. Even if your injury is not recent, reducing stress is critical in helping your body heal. Stress affects us both immediately and in the time to come following stressful seasons or events. The immediate implications of stress are felt in our bodies; our blood pressure rises, breathing becomes more rapid and our muscles become tense. Irritability and anxiety set in and your mind starts racing. It’s our bodies sympathetic nervous system preparing us for “fight or flight”.
Experiencing this chronically over time is proven to reap serious, long-term ramifications for us. Shortened life expectancy, impaired physically functioning, anxiety, depression, insomnia and many other chronic illnesses. To read more about the effects of stress on your body check out this article. Here are three things you can do today to help reduce your personal stress.
1. Practice Mindfulness
What is mindfulness? “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us” (https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/). Holistic mindfulness, mindfulness with our bodies, our boundaries, and our surroundings, can do wonders for stress. It’s more than simply being aware. It’s being totally and completely in-tune with our mind, body, and what’s going on around us. If you are suffering from an injury, mindfulness can help you stay in-tune with what your body is telling you and how you are healing. Our bodies are an amazing communication tool. Our bodies tell us when to eat, when to sleep, when we are thirsty, when we need social interaction, and so much more. Mindfulness over time, can change how we react to stressful situations and help us to develop coping skills that keep us healthy.
Some ‘mindful’ questions to ask yourself:
- What do I need right now?
- Am I breathing deeply?
- What am I physically experiencing?
- What am I emotionally experiencing?
- Am I fully present where I am right now?
2. Get Moving
Exercise helps with stress. It’s mentally, emotionally, and physically beneficial. Yet it is one of the hardest ones to do, especially for those suffering from pain. When we are under continued stress, our muscles never get the opportunity to relax. Constant tight muscles cause physical pain in our bodies and make any existing physical pain and injuries worse. Ever get a headache or painfully tight neck and back after a stressful day? That is the effect of stressed-out tight muscles unable to relax after prolonged stress.
When you get moving, it can feel like that one thing we just don’t have time for, but actually doing it can be the antidote to the symptoms of stress. In general, it distracts our minds, calms our bodies, and gives us energy. Here are some activities to try:
- Take a walk: clear your mind and take a mental break. If your schedule is tight, try using part of your lunch break or taking a walk right before or after work. Listening to music or a podcast while walking can also be a great distraction from a racing mind.
- Yoga: stretching, moving, bending, and breathing deep. All great ways to relieve a stressed mind and body. Focus on clearing your mind and being aware of the amazing capabilities of your body. If you are experiencing pain, listen to your body and try a different stretch.
- Swimming: swimming is a full-body work-out that is excellent on your joints and easy on injuries. It is also excellent for clearing your mind and giving you energy. Swimming is particularly appealing in warmer months, but you can swim year-round at many indoor facilities and health clubs.
Want more ideas for exercises that are good for pain management? Read this blog.
3. Ask for Help
When in doubt, this is one of the best things you can do to practically reduce stress. If too much is on your plate, delegate some of your responsibilities or ask others to help you share the load. Process your stress with trusted friends and family members who can provide support, encouragement, and assistance in your time of need. Speak up and tell others what you need. This can be difficult because it means being vulnerable. It can make us feel weak and powerless, yet admitting when we need help can exude true strength and self-awareness. It might mean communicating to your family that you need 30 minutes of uninterrupted time by yourself daily. It might mean telling your boss you need a day off to rest. After practicing mindfulness to decide what you truly need, speak up and tell others or ask for help. For especially stressful seasons, it can also be helpful to talk to a professional who can help you process what you are experiencing. Having someone listen to us and help us problem-solve our stress can do a great deal to lower our stress.
How Can Kentucky Pain Associates Help?
We understand stressful situations can bring about pain, and pain can bring about stress. Reducing the pain you are experiencing can do a great deal to help with your stress and relax your body. We are here to help you manage your pain, especially after a recent accident. See the treatments we offer and contact us today!
When you are in pain, what you eat can have a big impact on your health. If you don’t get the proper vitamins to heal, you can prolong the pain that you are in. In addition, certain foods can help fight inflammation, while other foods can make you feel worse. Whether you are in pain after an injury, or you have a condition that causes pain, you can get some relief by eating a better diet. You can improve your mood, get better sleep, and help the healing process all with the food that you eat each day.
Over 43,000 automobile accidents occur each year in Jefferson and surrounding counties. Over 11,000 of these accidents result in injuries to drivers and/or passengers. If you are involved in an automobile accident, there are certain things you must do to protect yourself and your interests.
The following is a list of the top ten things you must do if you are in an automobile accident: