After an auto accident, there are many types of insurance coverage that may be available. These may include:
(1) Your personal auto policies: Your insurance company might extend benefits to you after an incident, even if the accident was not your fault. Before calling your insurance company to file for a claim, make sure you carefully review your policy. The following coverages may be available:
– Medical Payments: Your insurance company will pay your accident-related medical expenses up to the policy limits if you have chosen to get Med Pay coverage. This coverage can be extended to include passengers in other vehicles. To find out what the limits are, check your policy. If you receive a settlement, judgment or other benefits from the carrier, your policy could require you to pay back that carrier.
– Collision: Your insurance policy may cover repairs or replacement of your vehicle even if another driver hits you. This is usually when the liability for an accident is unclear. It is the responsibility of the insurance company to bring the at-fault driver’s insurance company to an arbitration hearing in order to determine who will pay for the vehicle damages.
Rental Reimbursement: While your car is being repaired, you may also be eligible for reimbursement.
– UM/UIM: Hopefully, you purchased Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage at the time you bought your policy. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM), will cover your damages if the other driver involved in an accident didn’t have the minimum liability coverage. If the other driver was not covered by your insurance, the UIM will pay your damages. This assumes that your damages exceed the liability coverage provided by the at-fault driver. This coverage could also apply if you’re a passenger in another vehicle.
(2) The Auto Policy covering your vehicle: If you are a passenger in an automobile covered by auto insurance, you also have the right to receive benefits from the policy of auto coverage.
– Liability coverage: If the driver or passenger in the vehicle that you were riding in is responsible for an accident, your damages would be covered by the liability coverage.
– Med’Pay & UM/UIM: As a passenger you are also entitled to the same Med-Pay and UM/UIM benefits as the policyholder.
(3) The At Fault Driver’s Auto Liability Policy: Your insurance policy covering the at-fault driver and the at-fault car will cover your injuries. They generally fall into one of two categories.
– Property damage: Liability insurance covers the costs of replacing or repairing your vehicle. You will also have damages for the inconvenience caused by the vehicle being repaired, or until you reach a settlement on the property damage. These damages are usually settled within days or even weeks of the accident.
Bodily Injury: This type of damages covers medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of wages. These types of damages are not eligible for settlement negotiations until you have been treated by your doctor. Many times, the insurance adjusters on the other side of a case will delay settlements or make low-ball offers that require the start of litigation.
(4) Your Health Insurance Policy. In the event you had a medical insurance policy in place at the time of an accident, this coverage will cover you for any medical costs while you continue your treatment. This coverage will not be activated until your auto Med-Pay coverage is exhausted.
Caution: Many health policies include a “subrogation clause”, which means that you must reimburse your insurance company for all amounts they have paid towards medical expenses. Your health carrier may cancel your insurance policy or file a lawsuit against your for failing to follow these requirements. To resolve this issue, you should consult an attorney. An experienced attorney might be able convince the insurance company to reduce or waive the amount.
(5) Your Disability Policy. You may be able make a claim under any disability policy that was in force at the time you were injured.
(6) Worker’s Comp Plans: Your employer’s worker’s compensation plan will provide benefits for your medical bills as well as loss of earnings if you are involved in an accident on the job. As coordination between your worker’s comp case and your personal injury case is crucial, it is important that you speak with an attorney immediately.