Having car insurance after an accident is very important. With that being said, what insurance policy covers a car accident, and how will insurance policies affect your auto accident case?
Car accidents, whether minor fender-benders or more serious collisions, can lead to a multitude of legal and financial complexities. These incidents are typically covered by liability insurance, full coverage insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or Personal Injury Protection, which play pivotal roles in determining how damages and injuries are compensated.
At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we understand that the aftermath of a car accident can be a trying time for anyone involved. This is why each car accident lawyer at our law firm wants to encourage you to learn more about these insurance policies below, so you can make informed decisions in the event of an unfortunate collision on the Louisiana roads.
Types of Insurance Coverage for Car Accident Injuries
Wondering how will insurance policies affect your car or truck accident case? Well, insurance after an auto accident can make or break your case. With that in mind, one of the first steps to understanding auto insurance policies is to have knowledge of what they cover.
- Liability Insurance:
- Coverage: Liability insurance primarily covers the other party’s damages and injuries when you are at fault in an accident. It typically includes two main components: Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) and Property Damage Liability (PDL). BIL pays for the medical expenses and related costs of the injured parties, while PDL covers the repair or replacement of their damaged property (such as their car).
- Effect on Your Auto Accident Case: If you’re the at-fault driver, your liability insurance will generally cover the other party’s losses, reducing your personal financial responsibility. However, it may not cover your own medical expenses or vehicle damage.
- Full Coverage Insurance:
- Coverage: Full coverage insurance is a comprehensive policy that typically includes not only liability insurance but also Collision Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage. Collision Coverage pays for your own vehicle’s repair or replacement costs in an accident, regardless of fault. Comprehensive Coverage covers damage from non-collision incidents such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.
- Effect on Your Auto Accident Case: If you have full coverage insurance, it can provide a broader safety net. It covers not only damages to others but also your own vehicle and medical expenses (subject to policy limits and deductibles). This can be especially beneficial in accidents where you are at fault or in cases involving uninsured or underinsured motorists.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage:
- Coverage: This additional coverage is not mandatory in all states but can be invaluable. It kicks in when the at-fault party has little or no insurance to cover your damages and injuries.
- Effect on Your Auto Accident Case: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage ensures that you’re not left with significant financial burdens if the responsible party doesn’t have adequate insurance.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP):
- Coverage: PIP insurance is not mandatory in Louisiana, but optional. It provides compensation for medical expenses and other related costs, regardless of fault. It is often referred to as “no-fault” coverage.
- Effect on Your Auto Accident Case: PIP can be especially helpful in covering immediate medical expenses and lost wages, allowing you to focus on recovery rather than worrying about medical bills.
How to Understand Insurance Policies: Who is Covered?
Understanding who is covered by a car accident insurance policy is crucial when it comes to determining which insurance policies apply to a particular case. However, it’s important to note that the extent of coverage may vary depending on the specific policy and any optional coverages that have been added.
- Primary Policyholder: The primary policyholder is typically the owner of the vehicle, and their insurance policy is primarily responsible for covering damages resulting from an accident involving their car. This person is legally required to have insurance in most jurisdictions.
- Permissive Users: Insurance policies often extend coverage to other individuals who have been given permission by the owner to drive the insured vehicle. This can include family members or friends. However, it’s essential to be aware that this coverage may not be automatic and may depend on the specific policy’s terms and conditions.
- Household Members: Some policies provide broader coverage by including all household members as covered drivers. This means that if you live in the same household as the primary policyholder, you might be covered when driving the insured vehicle even if you don’t have explicit permission for each use. However, this can vary based on the insurance company and policy.
- Non-Owner Car Insurance: In cases where an individual does not own a vehicle but frequently rents or borrows cars, they may consider purchasing non-owner car insurance. This type of policy can provide coverage when driving vehicles that aren’t owned by the policyholder.
- Optional Coverages: Many insurance policies offer optional coverages that can expand the scope of protection. For example, “permissive user” coverage can be added explicitly to allow for coverage of friends or extended family members who borrow the car occasionally.
- Exclusions: Insurance policies also come with exclusions. These are situations or individuals explicitly not covered by the policy. Common exclusions can include unlicensed drivers, individuals using the vehicle without permission, or drivers engaged in illegal activities at the time of the accident.
- Rideshare and Commercial Use: If you use your car for ridesharing or commercial purposes, your personal auto insurance policy may not provide coverage. In such cases, you may need additional or specialized insurance, such as rideshare insurance or commercial auto insurance.
- Umbrella Policies: Some individuals opt for umbrella insurance policies, which provide extra liability coverage above and beyond their primary auto insurance. These policies can offer additional protection and might cover situations where the primary policy limits are exceeded.
To ensure you fully grasp who is covered by your car accident insurance policy, it’s advisable to review your policy documents carefully, ask questions of your insurance provider, and consider seeking legal advice if you’re uncertain about the coverage in a particular situation.
Insurance can be complex, but being well-informed is the key to making the most of your coverage and ensuring you’re adequately protected in case of an accident.
Which Insurance Policies Apply to My Case? Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys Today!
The type of insurance you carry can significantly impact how your auto accident case is handled, affecting your financial responsibility and ability to recover from the incident. It’s essential to review and understand your insurance policy thoroughly and consider consulting with a legal professional if you’re unsure about the best course of action following an accident.
At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we have 679+ years of combined legal experience. In other words, we’re here to provide guidance and support during these challenging times, helping you navigate the complexities of auto insurance and accident cases in Louisiana. Give us a call today for a FREE consultation. If your car accident lawyer doesn’t win your case, you won’t owe us a dime, that’s the G Guarantee.
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