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Generally speaking, if you are financing or leasing a brand new vehicle, you should probably have Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance. Buying a new car is a great feeling. But if the worst case scenario happens, such as your new car is stolen or written off in an accident, you could be left with a hefty car loan to pay off and no car.

Is GAP insurance worth having?

Like most things in life, there are risks - good or bad - with every decision. Consider the financial costs of paying for insurance and also the risk that comes with not having insurance and losing such a huge asset. Could you afford to be without a car? Could you afford to keep paying for a car loan after the car has been totaled? Only you can make this decision for yourself.

GAP insurance is optional car insurance coverage that helps pay off your auto loan if your car is totaled or stolen and you owe more than the car's depreciated value. Keep in mind, GAP insurance will only cover the difference between your car's actual cash value at the time of loss and the amount you owe on your car loan. Of course, GAP insurance is not useful if the amount owed on the vehicle is less than the current value.

Do I still need to buy collision or comprehensive coverage if I have GAP insurance?

Most likely, yes. Many GAP insurance policies can only be bought if you have collision/comprehensive coverage for the vehicle. Collision coverage pays for damages resulting from a collision, regardless of who is at-fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages from non-collision events such as fire, vandalism or falling objects.

Both of these coverages will only pay for damages up-to the current Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your vehicle. If the damages exceed the value of your car, the insurance company will deem it a total loss.

Imagine a scenario in which you purchase a new car with a loan of $30,000. Your monthly payments are $300. 6 months later, due to an unforeseen circumstance, your car is totaled by your insurance company at a market value of $25,000. You have only paid $1,800 towards your loan at this point. Let's break it down.

Purchase / Loan Amount$30,000
Amount Paid Towards Loan after 6 months-$1,800
Collision/Comprehensive Pays Actual Cash Value-$25,000
Total Amount Still Owed Without GAP Insurance$3,200
Total Amount Still Owed With GAP Insurance$0

In the above scenario, GAP insurance will then pay for the remaining $3,200 owed to the loan company after your collision/comprehensive coverage pays the current cash value of your car.

Always read the terms and conditions of any insurance policy you purchase.

Just like collision or liability policies, GAP insurance policies have policy limits. Policy limits are the maximum dollar amount an insurance company will pay out for your vehicle. Some have a flat dollar amount and some cover an amount as a percentage of the actual cash value of your car at the time of loss. Make sure to choose a policy that will cover your financial situation.

If you've been seriously injured in a car accident, Stanley and Associates is here to help!

Call 972-833-8000 for a free consultation regarding your potential injury case. Don't let the insurance company tell you what your case is worth.

We've all heard the horror stories about insurance companies raising insurance premiums for customers who were not at-fault for simply filing a claim. The reality is that this is less likely due to filing a claim and more likely to occur because the insurance company has now deemed the customer to be a higher risk.

Insurance companies charge higher premiums to drivers who pose a high risk of liability versus drivers they consider to be low risk. They take multiple factors into consideration, such as your driving record, your age, the type of vehicle you are insuring, and how you use the vehicle. Essentially, the less likely the insurance company thinks you are to be in an accident, the lower your insurance premiums will be. Be mindful that not all insurance companies play by the same rules.

Don't be discouraged to file an Uninsured or Underinsured motorist claim!

If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident or by someone who didn't have insurance (or not enough insurance), you should absolutely file a claim on your own policy. Why? Because this is what you've paid your insurance premiums for. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you from this type of loss so that you don't suffer the financial burden alone.

Many insurance companies will not raise rates on their insured after a no-fault claim has been filed while some might. If you find that your insurance rates have gone up significantly, you can try to negotiate a better rate with your current carrier or begin looking for a new insurance carrier. If it is in their best interest to raise rates, it is in your best interest to find an insurance carrier that suits your needs, too.

Did you know that insurance companies in Texas are required to offer Uninsured Motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection? If they fail to offer these coverages to you and obtain your signed, written rejection of these coverages, then this coverage may be applicable to you.

Beware of purchasing a "full coverage" insurance policy. This term is meaningless and causes confusion for many people thinking their injuries would also be covered just to find out they had a minimum liability policy with collision and comprehensive coverage for their vehicle only. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is not required per Texas statute but is highly recommended in case you are seriously injured in a car wreck.

If you've been in an accident and are unsure what to do, consult with our law office today by calling 972-833-8000. Stanley and Associates has over 20 years of combined experience in accident injury law. We fight to protect our clients' rights, help them seek medical treatment, and win compensation for their injuries.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is incredibly useful coverage when you've been involved in an accident whether you or someone else is at-fault. It is often called “no-fault” coverage because it pays out claims to the insured regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

Why should you include PIP on your insurance policy? Because it can help cover some of your lost wages and medical bills or expenses incurred whether you caused the accident or not. Liability coverage only pays for damages you cause to other people and Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage will only cover your medical expenses if you did not cause the accident.

Be wary of any insurance agent that tries to sell you a "full coverage" insurance policy. "Full coverage" is a meaningless term as far as insurance coverage goes.

Personal Injury Protection in Texas

In Texas, insurers are required to offer PIP when purchasing an insurance policy OR they must obtain an authorized signature from the policy holder rejecting the coverage. One caveat is that if there is no signed written rejection, you are covered. It is up to you to reject this coverage.

$2500 is the minimum amount of PIP coverage that auto insurance companies are required to provide. Depending on the company you choose, you can select up to $10,000 or more in PIP coverage if requested. We recommend that you obtain as much PIP coverage as your insurer will sell you due to the astronomical costs of medical care.

Unfortunately, many Texans often do not include this beneficial coverage on their policies because they are unaware that:

  1. PIP coverage is often more affordable than they think
  2. in addition to medical bills, PIP can be used for lost wages, up to 80% of lost income, and reasonable household duties
  3. rejecting this coverage could potentially cost them more if they are ever seriously injured in a car accident

Stanley & Associate's Recommendation

The attorneys at Stanley & Associates recommend that drivers include Personal Injury Protection in their auto insurance policy. Due to the rise in the cost of medical bills, we recommend that you carry $10,000 in coverage or more. Even the minimum $2500 can help with out-of-pocket expenses from your injuries.

You may be hesitant to hire an attorney after you have been injured in a car accident or other accident injury for many reasons. Undoubtedly, you will ask yourself, “aren’t attorneys expensive?” Or “the insurance company will take care of me, right?”

We aim to help assure any doubts you may have so you can be confident and informed when making your decision. Let’s go over the top 5 reasons why it’s worth hiring a personal injury attorney.

1. Insurance Companies Do NOT Have Your Best Interests In Mind

They are only interested in protecting their bottom line. They have teams of attorneys looking for ways to minimize the amount of money they pay-out to badly injured victims. You should have an attorney fighting for you and your rights.

2. Injury Attorneys Help You Seek Medical Treatment

Many injured victims don’t realize how severely they were hurt without proper medical treatment and professional diagnosis. Not to mention, insurance companies will actively discourage treatment so they don't have to pay. We help find doctors so you can be seen ASAP instead of waiting weeks through your regular healthcare network.

3. Proving Your Case Is Complicated and Time Consuming

Our personal injury law firm has decades of experience handling scrupulous insurance companies and navigating the legal challenges an injury claim presents. You can count on our attorneys to fight for you while you recover and get back to your normal routine.

4. Injured Victims with Legal Representation Receive Larger Settlements

Why manage a case on your own when you can have a legal team do it for you? Insurance companies know that claimants are not trained negotiators. According to a report conducted by the Insurance Research Council, settlements were 40% higher when claimants were represented by a lawyer. Our attorneys know the tricks and strategies that will lead to the best resolution.

5. If You Don't Win, You Don't Pay

There is no cost to you up front - no legal fees of any kind. Seriously. You won't have to worry about "billable hours." Our attorneys will work your case on a contingency fee basis which means you pay nothing unless you win. There is no out-of-pocket cost to hire a personal injury attorney. Attorney fees are deducted from your settlement offer if a satisfactory outcome is achieved.

If you're unsure if you have a case, give us a call at 972-833-8000 for a free case review. There is no obligation to hire an attorney for your free consultation.

Our client was traveling through an intersection when a semi-truck ran a red light colliding with the driver's side of our client's vehicle. Injuries suffered by our client included a fractured rib, rotator cuff strain, multiple bruises and contusions to her body, post-traumatic headache, and sprains to the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. We filed a lawsuit and were able to prove the defendant driver had meth in his system. Settled for $500,000.

Our client was slowing down due to another crash ahead. The semi-truck traveling behind our client's vehicle failed to control their speed and struck the rear-end of our clients vehicle causing neck and back injuries. Defendant tried to deny liability based on our client's prior history of neck and back injuries. A lawsuit was filed and we eventually received 10 times the initial offer as we approached trial. Awarded $350,000.

Our client was visiting his daughter and grandson when he stepped on a toy left carelessly on the floor. This caused our client to fall and he sustained severe injuries to his knee and a pinched nerve in his lower back. Our client suffered a serious loss of the normal enjoyment of life because of this injury that greatly restricted his movement and ability to conduct normal activities. Our client was awarded over $100,000 for his injuries.

Our client was rear ended by a reckless driver who was driving under the influence causing injuries including multiple cervical herniations, left shoulder impingement, post-traumatic headaches and muscle spasms. They failed to stop and render aid to our client, nearly striking three other pedestrians on a nearby sidewalk. Our client attempted to self-treat, however, her pain continued to intensify and she contacted our office for assistance in seeking medical care. We fought and won policy limits of $250,000.

Our client was rear-ended by a driver who was speeding and changing lanes when unsafe. She suffered a deep laceration to her head, multiple contusions to her body, cervical, thoracic, and lumbar pain. Our client sustained a mild traumatic brain injury including nausea, anxiety, dizziness, and headaches. With our guidance, our client was able to receive essential medical treatment for her injuries and was awarded $150,000.

Memorial Day, the most somber of all holidays and the first holiday of the summer, is actually the most dangerous holiday to drive according to the NHTSA. Drivers may become frustrated with a surge in traffic due to an increase in summer travel, road construction, the heat, and subsequently will drive more aggressively.

Memorial Day has 76 more fatal crashes than the average four-day period and 21% more than the average holiday.

Traffic spikes, partying, and drunk driving all contribute to the rise in fatalities during this holiday. Car crashes are 4x more likely on Memorial Day weekend. 37% of fatal crashes involve a drunk driver and 52% of traffic deaths occur when someone isn't wearing a seat belt. 12 red lights are run through every second during the weekend.

Here are some helpful tips if you have to be on the road this weekend:

If you find yourself in an accident with a drunk driver this weekend, call our office at 972-833-8000. We can get you into treatment by the next day or sooner.

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Note: An attorney-client relationship is not formed when calling the number on this site or filling out a form. By submitting your information, you are not entering into a contract with Stanley & Associates, or its attorneys, nor does the firm promise to accept  your case or guarantee any results as it pertains to the outcome of your case.
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