Liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist insurance coverage and what it all means when you have an auto accident?
If you (the policy holder) are involved in a car wreck with another vehicle, then your liability coverage will pay the other driver’s damages. Your liability coverage does not pay for your damages. The other driver may have two types of damages: (1) property damages – which is the how much it cost to fix the car, or if it is totaled out, then the insurance company is responsible for replacing that exact car; or (2) bodily injury damages – which is the medical bills and other expenses related to the bodily injury, lost wages, pain and suffering and a whole list of other types of compensation that is considered for bodily injury damages. Most states require drivers to carry some minimum amount of liability coverage. The minimum liability policy limits in Mississippi and Alabama are $25,000 per person for death or bodily injury, $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons and $25,000 for damage or destruction of property.
If you (the policy holder) have collision coverage, then this coverage will pay for the property damages to your own vehicle even though the accident was your fault. If you cause an accident and you do not have collision coverage, your vehicle will not be repaired by the insurance company and leaves you to pay the costs out-of-pocket. If you owe money on your vehicle, the lender will require you to carry collision to cover the value of the vehicle, which is the collateral for the loan.
If you (the policy holder) have comprehensive coverage, then this will pay to fix your vehicle when it is damaged for any other reason, such as hail, flooding, or vandalism. Comprehensive and Collision coverage generally carry a deductible.
Uninsured Motorist “UM" or Under Insured Motorist “UIM" coverage pays to fix your vehicle when you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, a driver that does not have sufficient insurance to fully compensate you, or if you are in a hit-and-run accident. This coverage will pay for your property damage and bodily injuries. The amount it will pay is determined by the amount of the UM coverage limits you carry. In Mississippi, UM coverage is required by statute unless you specifically waive it in writing. This coverage may also pay your bodily injuries in situations when the other driver's insurance pays for some of your damages but your medical treatment costs are higher than the other driver's liability policy limits. In that situation, the amount of UM coverage you have available must be more than the other driver's liability limits before you UM will apply. In Mississippi and some other states, when you have multiple vehicles in your household, the UM limits of each vehicle can be stacked to increase the coverage limits.
The type of insurance coverage that will apply will depend on who was at fault, the type of damages that were sustained, and which party incurred the damages. There are many situations that often arise that present complex situations, such as accidents involving:
•multiple vehicle accidents
•single car accidents
•accidents with pedestrians
•18 wheeler accidents
•accidents on the job
•accidents involving minors
•and many more
When any of these types of accidents occur and you have bodily injuries, you should always seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. Trying to settle your case yourself is very difficult and very often people who are hurt do not get fairly compensated. In Mississippi, even if you are partly at fault, you may still be entitled to compensation. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an automobile accident, feel free to contact the personal injury attorneys at Pepper & Odom, P.C. and put the power of the law on your side. Our attorneys are available to answer your personal injury questions free of charge.
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