When you are involved in a car crash, insurance coverages can be confusing. Car insurance can include a number of different types of coverage. Often there are decisions to be made about whose insurance company should pay – the other person’s or your own.
LIABILITY INSURANCE When the other person is at fault, their liability coverage pays for both the damage to your car and payment for your bodily injuries. If fault is being disputed or there is a delay, your own insurance company can cover the damage to your vehicle under your own collision coverage.
Coverage limits vary considerably. Most insurance companies will not pay your medical bills until you have completed all of the treatment and are ready to settle. This poses problems when the hospital and doctors will not wait for payment and send your account into collection. An attorney can advise about getting those bills paid before the claim is settled, either through your own health insurance or through a coverage in your own auto insurance known as medical payments coverage. The wrongdoer will eventually be forced to repay either your health insurer or your own auto carrier – so they will eventually be held accountable for your bills.
UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE Sometimes the other driver does not have any insurance. When this happens, you can make a claim under your own policy under what is known as uninsured motorist coverage. Many people are afraid to do this because they fear that their insurance premiums will be raised. Ohio law forbids insurance companies from raising premiums if you make this kind of claim.
UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE Sometimes the other driver has only minimal coverage and your damages exceed this coverage. In this case, you can make a claim under your underinsured motorist coverage. An attorney can review your policy to see if you have this coverage and whether it applies.
MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE Your own insurance coverage may include medical payments coverage that will pay your medical bills caused by a car crash regardless of fault. If you were a passenger in another person’s car, the medical payments coverage for that car may also apply to your bills. When an insurance company makes payment under the medical payments coverage, the insurance company usually has a right to be reimbursed from the wrongdoer’s insurance company for these payments.
At Miraldi and Barrett, we understand the fine points of insurance policies and insurance laws. We make sure that you get the full benefit of all the coverages that may be available to you.