The Role Of Bodily Injury Coverage In Motor Vehicle Accidents
The role of bodily injury coverage serves to provide insurance coverage in the unfortunate event that you are found at fault for a car accident. If the other driver or passengers become injured, any one of them can file a bodily injury liability claim under your auto insurance policy. Once this occurs, you will likely have to disclose an at-fault accident for future car insurance quotes and most likely, you may see an increase in premium for your next policy renewal.
Bodily injury coverage under your auto policy contains a specified limit of liability coverage that was purchased during the process of securing car insurance quotes. Depending on the states, coverage may start as low as $10,000 and can go as high as $300,000 for personal lines automobile coverage.
When a victim is injured in a car accident, she will visit the doctor’s office for treatment. Treatment can consist of check-ups, physical therapy and orthopedic consultations. If the recovery becomes protracted, the victim may continue with pain management and medication, and sometimes surgery consultations are warranted.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company assigns a claims representative or adjuster to create an evaluation for the victim’s bodily injury claim. The adjuster evaluates the medical treatment, and depending on each state’s laws, the cost of the treatment is also considered. If there are any medical bills that were not paid by any source of insurance, the amount of the bills are included. In addition, the victim is entitled to wage loss for time out of work while recovering from the injuries.
When the evaluation is complete, the claims representative will extend a monetary settlement offer not to exceed the at-fault driver’s limit of bodily injury coverage. The victim may accept the offer, attempt to negotiate the offer further or proceed with court intervention.
If the settlement offer is unacceptable, the victim may choose to file a lawsuit and permit a judge or jury to decide the value of the injuries. The at-fault driver’s insurance company, as part of the bodily injury coverage, retains a defense attorney to represent the defendant through litigation. All attorney’s fees and expenses are paid by the insurance company. Most importantly, the insurance company takes responsibility for paying any award or judgment up to their insured’s policy limit of coverage.
If you are found at fault for a car accident and the insurance company pays out claims under the bodily injury coverage, the accident will likely have to be disclosed during the process of securing car insurance quotes. However, at least you will have car insurance coverage for the accident.