Since driving a vehicle is so common in the US and every state requires a minimum degree of liability insurance, it is important to know how to work with an insurance company following a vehicle accident.
Personal Injury Insurance Claims After a Car Accident by Nolo takes us inside the world of the claims process. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
At the Scene
First and foremost, check on the safety and well-being of your passengers and the other individuals involved. Call the paramedics if anyone appears to be injured. Many times injuries can occur even from seemingly minor accidents. It is obviously important for health reasons, but also for the ultimate success of any claim for damages, that accident victim seek prompt medical attention.
Seeking Medical Care
Obtaining timely medical treatment for any injuries is important. Inform the treating physician that you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. Follow through on all prescribed treatment.
Dealing with Insurers
As soon as possible, contact your automobile insurance company to report that an accident has occurred. Your insurance company will assign a claim number and a claims adjuster to handle all aspects of your claim.
Auto Insurance Policy Coverage
Having car insurance can aid you to cover damages after a car accident. Frequently, these damages are significant. In 2012, around 2.3 million individuals were harmed in car crashes. Another 33,561 individuals were killed in these accidents.
It is estimated that car crashes cost the United States $871 billion annually in societal harm and economic loss. Car insurance can aid drivers to pay for damages to others including their property and also damage to the insured.
Minimum Requirements for the Insurance
So what type of coverage is ideal for you? Before anything else, you should know that nearly every state enforces its residents to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. And these requirements are the minimum liability coverage amount you require to drive legally.
The amount of coverage you should buy above the minimum is your choice. The majority of authorities suggest that a driver should have a car insurance policy covering over the legal minimum. Buying a more wide-ranging policy will certainly cost more, and for numerous individuals, that can be a considerable cost.
On the other hand, if the time arrives when you require your car insurance, you could be happy to have bought a much better plan.
In Accident Law’s How Insurance Companies Calculate Car Accident Settlements, the article features various factors in determining the number of compensation insurance companies willing to pay on your auto accident claim.
Settlement Factors for Damaged Vehicles
If your claim only involves damage to your car, your settlement compensation will generally be the cost of repairs or replacement of the damaged item.
Settlement Factors for Injuries
If you have been injured in an auto accident, the personal injury portion of your case is negotiated separately from your property damage.
Settlement for Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is an amount in addition to your medical bills to compensate you for your past and future discomfort associated with your injury. You need to complete your medical treatment and be released by the doctor or be declared “permanent and stationary” by the doctor prior to submitting your personal injury claim to the insurance company. Permanent and stationary means you have reached a point in treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.
Insurance policies will insure various categories, or types, of damage. Here are a few common categories of car insurance policy coverage to aid you to make smart choices next time you are shopping for car insurance.
Bodily Injury Liability
This category describes what the insurer (insurance company) will pay or award when other individuals are killed or harmed in an accident for which the insured are responsible. This money is meant to cover medical costs as well as any damages the family of a deceased person could claim.
PIP (Personal Injury Protection)
With this insurance, the insurer will award the injuries of the insured as well as other related damages to the insured and the passengers in the vehicle of the insured.
Property Damage Liability
The insurer will need to pay damages when the other persons’ property has been destroyed by the vehicle of the liable insured. This provision isn’t limited to cars at all times. For instance, if you ran your vehicle into a mailbox, then this provision could cover the expenses of fixing or replacing the mailbox.
The insurer will need to pay for damages to the vehicle of the insured when the insured is liable. If the vehicle of the insured is financed, then the loaner could compel the insured to have collision coverage on their vehicle.
The insurer will award damages to the automobile of the insured caused by vandalism, riots, theft, fire, and other destructive acts. If a branch drops on your parked vehicle, then this provision will award repairs to the vehicle. Some financiers need comprehensive coverage on a vehicle that is not yet paid off.
UM/UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist) Coverage
The insurer will award death or injury damages to the insured and the passengers of the insured if the accident is caused by an uninsured driver, who has an underinsured insurance company, or whose identity isn’t known (hit-and-run driver). In a few states, the insurer will award damage to the vehicle of the insured as well.
Automobile Insurance Policy Coverage by FindLaw talks about the different common categories on policy coverage. Here are a few:
Bodily Injury Liability
This describes what the insurance company (insurer) will pay when other persons are injured or killed in an accident for which you (the insured) are at fault. This money is intended to cover medical expenses and any damages a deceased person’s family may claim.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
With this coverage, the insurer will pay for the insured’s injuries and other related damages to the insured and to passengers in the insured’s vehicle.
Property Damage Liability
The insurer will pay damages when the property of other persons has been harmed or destroyed by the insured’s vehicle and the insured is at fault. This provision is not always limited to cars. For example, if you ran your car into a mailbox, this provision might cover the cost of replacing the mailbox.
If you have been injured in a car accident, then you may check out the full articles above by clicking on the link.