What Will My Car Accident Insurance Cover After a Car Accident?
So what expenses will your car accident insurance cover after you’ve been involved in a car accident? It depends. In a previous blog post, we addressed some of the basics of car insurance coverage and what different terms mean. Sometimes, it is easier to understand the scope of these terms when put into practice. So, consider the following hypothetical, involving Kris and Taylor, who are insured motorists.
Kris was driving home from work and pulled up to a red light. It was a busy intersection and they were in the right-turn lane. Although Kris thought traffic was clear, they were distracted by a text message. Kris proceeded to turn right in their vehicle at the intersection and immediately collided with Taylor’s vehicle. Taylor’s vehicle is who had right-of-way at this intersection.
Taylor and Kris were both examined by EMTs. Turns out, both Taylor and Kris needed to be treated for injuries that were a direct result of the car accident. The extent of the damage to both cars was severe. Kris chose to use a rental car service while waiting for repairs to be completed on their vehicle. Whereas, Taylor’s vehicle was totaled, so they chose to purchase a new vehicle altogether. Taylor’s laptop and cell phone were both damaged as a result of the accident.
In this hypothetical, Kris is considered at-fault in the accident. He drove negligently when they proceeded to turn into traffic. Without having adequately checked to ensure that it was safe to do so. This was a direct result from being distracted by a phone.
If it is included in their car accident insurance policy, Kris’ bodily injury liability coverage will pay for expenses related to bodily injury from an accident where Kris is at fault. So, Kris’s auto insurance will pay for the cost of treating Taylor’s injuries that resulted from this accident.
Kris’s medical payment coverage will specifically cover the cost of their medical expenses related to the car accident . Including, the cost of riding in an ambulance to the hospital. It will also include the or immediate treatment that is administered for the injuries. Kris’s personal injury protection coverage will cover the cost of medical treatment (like massage therapy or chiropractic care), lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.
In this case, Taylor’s car accident insurance, would also pay for treating Taylor’s injuries. This is done through the medical payment and personal injury protection coverage.
Assuming Kris and Taylor both have health insurance, both parties can utilize that health insurance to also help pay for medical expenses.
Kris’s property damage liability coverage will pay for the damage to someone else’s property. So, Kris’s insurance will pay for the cost of damage to Taylor’s vehicle. If Kris damaged some other property as a result of the accident (like a mailbox, a parked vehicle, a bench, etc.). Subsequently, Kris’s insurance will also pay for the cost of those damages. From our hypothetical, Kris’s insurance would pay for the cost of replacing Taylor’s laptop and phone, which would not have been damaged if not for the car accident.
Kris’s collision coverage will help cover the cost to repair Kris’s vehicle. Taylor’s collision coverage would help cover the cost to repair Taylor’s vehicle, had they chosen to do so.
Although it is not required, some people choose to purchase rental reimbursement coverage. Here, if Kris has rental reimbursement coverage, then it would cover the cost of renting a car while they are waiting for their own vehicle to be repaired.
Roadside assistance is a type of coverage that is offered by some insurance companies. In a scenario like the hypothetical, roadside assistance may be used to cover the cost of calling a tow, if a tow is needed to move the vehicles to a repair shop.
Many insurance companies also offer new car replacement insurance. This coverage is intended to pay for the value of a new car if the insured’s vehicle is totaled in an accident. So, if Taylor had opted into new car replacement insurance, then the cost of their new vehicle would be covered by their own insurance.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Although both Kris and Taylor are insured motorists in the hypothetical example above, what happens if one of the parties is an uninsured or underinsured motorist? Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is intended to cover medical and repair costs after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
So, if Kris is an uninsured motorist, then Taylor’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage would kick into place to pay for the damage caused by Kris. If Kris is merely an underinsured motorist (meaning that the cost of damages exceeds the amount that Kris has opted into coverage for), then the cost of the damages to Taylor is first paid for by Kris’s insurance, while whatever is remaining is paid for by Taylor’s insurance through the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Delayed and Denied Claims
In an earlier blog post, we mentioned that some insurance companies may delay the claims process. They can also outright deny claims that the insured (you!) are otherwise entitled to have compensated. Some claims are unfairly denied and may require repeated attempts or threatening legal action before an insurance company will authorize a claim.
There are, however, some things that car accident insurance will not cover. For example, car insurance will not cover damage that exceeds the limits of a liability policy. So, if Kris has a bodily injury liability coverage for $15,000 but Taylor’s medical expenses are $18,500, Kris’s insurance will only pay up to $15,000 of the total amount. Insurance will oftentimes also not cover intentional acts. So, if Kris knowingly and intentionally collided with Taylor’s vehicle. Subsequently, Kris’s insurance may not be required to pay any amount of what is owed. Insurance is intended to cover car accidents; intentional acts on the part of the at-fault driver is likely not included since they are not “accidents.”
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
Car accident Insurance companies can be frustrating to deal with, especially after a traumatic event like a car accident. The attorneys at B|B Law Group have expertise in automobile accidents and personal injury and will answer your questions. Contact the B|B Law Group to schedule a consultation today!
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