Car insurance is designed to protect everyone involved in an accident, whether that accident is caused by the insured driver or someone else. But your medical bills after an accident may not be covered if you don’t have the right type of insurance.
Protection for You and Your Passengers
There are two main options when it comes to receiving compensation for injuries you or your passengers may suffer: personal injury protection and medical payments coverage.
Medical payments coverage provides compensation only for medical bills you and your passengers may face after an accident.
Personal injury protection provides the same compensation, but it can also extend to wage replacement and other benefits related to the accident.
Which coverage you can receive depends on where you live, as car insurance coverage is primarily dictated by state. Requirements differ, as well. While some states (generally no-fault states) require personal injury protection, others do not. South Carolina drivers, for example, may purchase personal injury protection but are not required to carry it by law.
Compensating Other Drivers and Passengers
So what happens if you cause an accident and the other party is injured?
Medical payments coverage and personal injury protection will not cover someone else’s medical bills if they are not your passenger. If you cause an accident that leads to injuries of another party, their medical bills may be covered under your bodily injury liability insurance.
This is in part why liability insurance is required in all U.S. states in order for drivers to operate a vehicle legally on the road. If a driver causes an accident, they may be responsible for covering the damages, including injuries. Not everyone can afford to pay expensive and unpredictable medical bills out of pocket, so liability insurance acts as a safety net by guaranteeing those hurt in a car accident will receive compensation.
This doesn’t mean a victim of a car accident can’t sue, however. Depending on where you live, a driver or passenger may reject compensation and sue for larger amounts of money based on their injuries.
Be sure to check with your state and its requirements. It is important to have the right type and amount of car insurance as available to you through your insurer. Most liability policies cap at $1 million, but higher coverage limits may be available depending on your level of risk and other factors.
Also Read: Does Your Job Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?
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