After an accident, it can be confusing to figure out how injuries will be covered. If accident insurance is available, whose will be used? And if this isn’t an option for whatever reason, what are some alternatives? There can be numerous factors that will impact this, which should all be carefully considered.
Typically an auto insurance policy pays for injury-related medical expenses. But it may not be immediately evident who was responsible for the accident. If there is a dispute concerning fault and liability, it could take a long time to settle a West Virginia accident claim. Meanwhile, any care or treatment is likely to result in accumulating medical bills.
While one’s own auto insurance should provide coverage first – if the driver carries medical payments coverage which pays injury-related damages regardless of fault – one’s own health insurance could also help. However, health insurance may first require co-payments and a deductible.
If the health insurance company pays these things, then health insurance company will be reimbursed after a settlement is reached with the auto insurance claim against the other driver.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
West Virginia requires motorists carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. The minimum is the same as liability insurance requirements: $10,000 for property damage and $20,000/$40,000 for bodily injury. UM coverage is accident insurance if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or leaves the scene of the accident.
While not required in West Virginia, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage must be offered. The minimum offering is the same as that of UM coverage minimums. This pays for costs not met by the at-fault driver’s insurance. If the driver carried $20,000 bodily injury coverage, but damages far exceeded this amount, UIM coverage would kick in to make up the difference up to the policy limits.
More Accident Insurance Alternatives
An insurance claim loan may also be a viable option for some claimants. Although not technically classified as a loan, it provides the claimant funds based on estimates of the claim value. The claimant will repay the advance when a settlement is reached, but not more than the claimant’s portion of the recovery. If the claim is unsuccessful, the claimant is not responsible for paying back the advance.
Another option would be to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver. If health insurance won’t cover the costs and no other insurance is available, litigation might be an alternative. In this case it would most definitely require hiring legal counsel. When you have unexpected bills that you didn’t plan for, and may not have the funds to pay, filing an accident claim is often the only recourse.
Legal Counsel for an Accident Insurance Claim
However, legal counsel could be necessary even if not filing a lawsuit. There can be a lot of confusion about establishing fault and whose insurance is available to pay for what. If there is a dispute about fault, liability, damages, etc. and the medical bills are continuing to grow, the best protection may be through an attorney. Contact a lawyer at The Miley Legal Group for help pursuing a claim or lawsuit.
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