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I’ve Been In A Car Crash. Who Pays For What?

Someone just rear ended you on your drive to work.  You’ve now missed a day of work, your car is totaled, and all you have is a skimpy police report that says the other guy was at fault.  This is a frustrating moment.  At this point we get calls asking, “Who’s going to pay for this?”

3 Types of Insurance in Personal Injury Cases

Our personal injury clients deal with three main types of insurance:

1. Property Damage

This is the type of coverage that pays for your vehicle. It either pays to repair your car after an accident, or if your car is totaled, it pays out cash. Either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance can pay out on the property damage portion of the claim. If the at fault driver’s insurance pays, the insurance companies will settle who owes what between themselves.

Generally, our clients handle the property damage portion of the claim themselves. It is usually not worth our office taking a fee out of the property damage settlement. The insurance company has a formula for what they will pay for your vehicle, and that is it. We find if we take a fee to handle this part of the case, our clients end up even further behind on their recovery.

A word of caution, you should check how much property damage coverage you have. With the price of vehicles skyrocketing, we are seeing more people receiving property damage offers that are not enough to get them a replacement vehicle.

2. Medical Payment Coverage

This coverage is exactly what it sounds like. If you are injured in a crash, either your insurance or the other driver’s insurance can pay medical bills. Insurance companies generally pay this out without much of a fight if they think the injury is related to the crash. Once our clients have ongoing treatment, we see the insurance companies stop payment. The insurance company is likely to say that your injuries are no longer related to the car crash and stop paying. 

Keep in mind, any medical bills paid by another party generally must be repaid out of any settlement you receive.

3.  Bodily Injury Coverage

Personal injury coverage pays for the physical injuries you sustained. If you break an arm, chip a tooth, or sprain your neck, payment for this injury comes from the bodily injury portion of the other driver’s insurance. This is the portion of the case that Martz & Lucas helps with. To start, you need proper medical treatment and documentation. Insurance companies don’t just give money out. They want to see medical records from a doctor stating your injury. Even with records, they still challenge whether an injury is related to the car accident.

Finally, keep in mind the other driver’s insurance is not going to just pay you for your injuries. They will gather medical records and review medical bills. They will only pay you for your injuries in one lump sum at the end. To do this, they will require you to waive all claims against their driver.  

Get In Touch With A Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Understanding the type of car insurance coverage you have is a good place to start. If you are at the point you need help, reach out to us here or give us a call.