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Am I Entitled to Compensation From an Insurance Company if I’m in a Car Wreck?

No matter which way you slice it, car accidents can be expensive. Whether it’s your brand new BMW with a dented quarterpanel, or broken bones and hospital visits, you are left wondering how to cover the inevitable bills. Luckily, that’s why you have car insurance. Depending on whether you live in Kansas or Missouri, that automatic first-dollar, no fault medical coverage is called either Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) or Medical Payments Coverage (“Medpay”) respectfully. Those plans will cover smaller, routing medical costs. But what about other expenses, like missing work or the follow-up doctor’s appointments? How can you be sure your insurance policy will pay for those?

Medical Bills

Included within your car insurance premium is a coverage called either Personal Injury Protection (in Kansas) or Medical Payments Coverage (Missouri). These coverages pay for initial bills resulting from a car accident. The maximum coverages are typically quite low (usually $5,000). However, you can increase this amount when purchasing your policy. Unlike health insurance plans, these do not have a deductible to meet before benefits are paid. Further, you are entitled to these benefits regardless of who is at fault for the collision.

Policies can pay for costs for any covered person, regardless of whether the collision occurred in your car, a friend’s car or on public transportation, according to insurance company State Farm. Check this provision as soon as you are involved in a crash.

Also note that Personal Injury Protection may cover more than just medical bills. For instance, most plans will help cover expenses like lost wages and childcare. Their documentation requirements are different, too, and vary by state. After a car accident, make sure you gather as much documentation as you can and keep it all together to so that you and your lawyer can file the proper paperwork to make a thorough claim.

Property Damage

There are a variety of different property damage coverages offered by insurance companies. Be sure you discuss with your agent what the policy will take care of in the event of a crash.

Collision insurance is required by some states in order to drive legally (whereas all states require some level of liability insurance in order to drive). Further, if you are financing your vehicle, your lender will require you to insure for the cost of repairing or replacing your car in the event of a collision, minus the deductible, according to insurance company Liberty Mutual. Different companies and different policies within those companies include various deductible levels – meaning the amount you will pay out of pocket when making a property damage claim. The higher the deductible, the more coverage you will likely have or the cheaper your policy will be. Make sure you know what part of the payment you are responsible for and what the parameters of your coverage are before filing a claim.

Comprehensive insurance is usually purchased in addition to liability and collision insurance. This policy covers damage to your vehicle from an event other than a collision with another car, according to insurance company Nationwide. Coverages include items like a cracked windshield, damage from fires, or hitting a deer, and damage resulting from theft or vandalism.

Other Expenses

When you cannot work because of an injury obtained in a car accident, you may have a claim for lost wages and benefits. You must to prove that the accident caused the injury, and show what you would have earned had you been able to work. You may need a lawyer to make certain that you have properly set forth all of the damages you are entitled to from lost time at work.

Legal services are available on a contingent-fee basis. If there is no recovery, there is no fee or costs charged. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. The information and links on this website are for general information purposes only. No information on this website should be taken as professional legal advice or used to establish the existence of an attorney/client relationship. Every individual's case is different and will be fact-dependent. Please consult with the attorneys at Gorny Dandurand, LC to see how the information on this website may be applicable to your particular situation.

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