Every state requires that you carry auto insurance. In most cases, the insurance you are required to carry is liability insurance. This way, if you cause harm to another person or property while driving your car, the insurance can cover the cost — ensuring that your liability is discharged without completely devastating you financially.
Part of your liability coverage is bodily injury coverage.
Who’s At Fault?
The first determination made after a car accident is who’s at fault. Most attorneys and insurance companies recommend that you not admit fault after an accident — even if you think you made a mistake.
In some cases, you might not know the whole story, and the other person involved in the accident might actually bear more of the blame than you. Don’t say anything that can be construed as taking blame for the accident. Instead, do what you can to make sure that law enforcement is called, and that medical help comes to the scene.
Let law enforcement officers examine the scene and take statements from witnesses, and from those involved in the accident. After finding out the details, the officer can make a determination of who’s at fault.
Bodily injury coverage comes into effect if you are determined to be the one who is at fault.
What Does Bodily Injury Coverage Take Care Of?
Bodily injury coverage is designed to cover the costs related to someone else’s person being injured. This means that the injured person can receive compensation for:
- Medical bills, including hospital stays and follow up visits, as well as long-term care and rehabilitation
Loss of time at work
“Pain and suffering”
Funeral expenses, if necessary
Realize, though that your bodily injury coverage doesn’t apply to your own injuries. Additionally, anyone else who is named on your insurance policy as a driver won’t be covered by your bodily injury liability coverage. You need personal injury coverage if you expect to get help for your own car accident injuries (if you are found at fault).
For the most part, bodily injury coverage is designed to protect you from financial responsibility if you make a mistake. Many policies won’t pay out your claim if you intentionally caused a car accident. Also, be aware that your policy might have limits. You might only be covered for a certain amount per person, and per incident. Your state determines the minimum coverage you should have, but it’s normally a good idea to carry more coverage than the minimum. If you are found at fault in a costly accident, you can be sued for the remainder.
In many ways, bodily injury coverage provides peace of mind, since we can all make mistakes. Review your auto insurance policy for information about bodily injury liability coverage, and determine whether or not you need more coverage, and read the fine print about what is actually covered.
Get Help from a Lawyer
Even though an insurance policy is supposed to pay out, there are some companies that seem to pay out less than they probably should. Your insurance company is likely to balk at some payments. Even worse, if you are injured through someone else’s fault, the other person’s insurance company may be reluctant to pay for your expenses.
This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can help. A good lawyer can make sure that your interests are protected — no matter whose insurance company you are dealing with. Your attorney can ensure that the right payout is made, and that you get what you are entitled to.