What Is The Difference Between Bodily Injury And Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
After you are involved in an auto accident, you may have questions about how you get compensated. Who pays what and where does this money come from? There are typically three ways bills get paid following an auto accident with injuries. Knowing what those are and how you receive them is imperative when fighting for your compensation following an auto accident. This blog will explain each in greater detail and tell you how to get the compensation you deserve.
What is PIP, or personal injury protection?
Personal injury protection benefits are the first benefits to be paid out following an auto accident claim. In Florida, if you are injured, no matter who was at fault, your insurance company will pay out up to $10,000.00 for your injuries or lost wages. These benefits are meant to step in and cover your initial medical bills and/or lost wages. You should not have to do anything to get these benefits, and the medical providers you see following the accidents should bill your insurance company directly to help get those bills paid.
What is bodily injury coverage?
Bodily injury coverage is provided to the non-at fault party by the at fault drivers insurance company. If you were involved in an accident but it was not your fault, and you were injured by the other driver, you would be submitting a claim for bodily injury to their insurance company. Bodily injury limits vary widely. It is possible that the person who hit you has an insurance policy that has no bodily injury coverage. It is also possible that someone hits you who has $500,000.00 in bodily injury coverage. After your PIP benefits have run out, the bodily injury policy, if there is one, will be the first place you go to receive compensation for your injuries.
What happens if the driver had no bodily injury coverage?
This is where underinsured, or UM coverage, comes into play. When you purchase an insurance policy you have the option of selecting whether or not you want to include underinsured motorist coverage. This is coverage that you choose to add on to your policy which will step in if the person who hit you either has no bodily injury on their policy or doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your injuries. If you have elected to include this as a part of your policy, you can rely on this coverage to help pay for your expenses. You might think that because this is now part of your insurance policy that your insurance company will give this to you without a fight. This is not the case. Your insurance company will negotiate with you about how much they will be willing to pay out. If you have $50,000.00 in underinsured motorist benefits, do not expect them to just give you a check for the full amount. You will have to submit all of your medical records and bills and they will present you with an offer to settle your claim.
What happens if no coverage exists whatsoever?
In the event that you are involved in an auto accident and there is no bodily injury coverage or underinsured motorist coverage, your options are limited. You could always sue the person individually, but unless they have significant assets, the chances of obtaining a judgment against someone which will be sufficient to satisfy your medical bills will be unlikely. The harsh reality is that if no coverage exists, you probably will be left to pay for your medical bills on your own either out of pocket of through your health insurance company.
What should you do if you were involved in an auto accident?
If you were involved in an auto accident with injuries, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. Insurance companies are a business, and they are looking to keep as much money for themselves as they can. Just because you pay your premium every month does not mean they are obligated to compensate you fairly for your injuries. The attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are ready to assist. We have experience handling auto accident claims and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 727-933-0015 today for a free case evaluation. The sooner you hire an attorney the better.