What You Need to Know About Car Accident Law

car accident

After a car accident, collecting as much evidence as possible is important. This can include medical bills, pay stubs, and expert testimony.

Car accidents are often characterized by “comparative negligence.” This means that both drivers share some responsibility for the accident and their injuries. Car Accident Lawyer Maryland can help you prove your pain and suffering damages.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP (personal injury protection) is insurance that pays for medical expenses and other losses incurred in a car accident. It covers you and your passengers in your vehicle, but may also cover family members who are on your policy even if they are not riding in the car at the time of the accident. PIP is often combined with other coverages, such as work-loss and disability insurance. This type of coverage is typically mandatory in most states, though the limits and requirements vary by state.

Generally, the medical portion of your PIP claim is limited to a maximum of $10,000 or $250,000, depending on your state. Some states offer higher limits at an additional cost. Most PIP policies require that you seek treatment within 14 days of your accident in order to qualify for compensation. Your attorney can advise you on the nuances of this requirement and help you determine whether your injuries meet the necessary criteria for a successful claim.

In addition to medical expenses, PIP can cover some replacement services benefits and funeral costs for victims who are seriously injured. It can also pay a portion of your lost income if you are unable to work as a result of your injuries. Some PIP policies also include coverage for counseling and psychological trauma.

Some PIP insurance policies provide a no-fault approach to claims. This means that it is irrelevant who was at fault for the crash and your PIP insurance will cover your medical bills, lost wages and other related expenses. However, other states follow the principles of comparative negligence. This means that if you are deemed to be a certain percentage at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced.

In addition to PIP, most states have mandated bodily injury liability coverages for those who are involved in a car accident. This coverage pays for injuries and death to others who are not insured under their own PIP policies or who do not have sufficient coverage to cover the full extent of your damages. Using this coverage does not affect your ability to pursue damages under the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance, which is why it is essential that you consult an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Property Damage Liability (PDL)

The property damage liability portion of your car insurance pays for damage you cause to other people’s cars or property in a crash. This coverage is separate from collision insurance, which pays for your own vehicle damage when you are at fault in a crash. Typically, your PDL will cover up to $10,000 of the damage you cause.

However, this may not be enough to pay for all of the repairs to your damaged vehicle. In these cases, you will have to sue the liable party or file a claim with your own insurer for additional compensation under other forms of coverage (such as collision).

While filing property damage claims can be time-consuming and frustrating, it is crucial to preserve all evidence at the scene of the accident. This includes collecting contact information and driving license numbers from all involved, as well as taking photos or video of the scene and examining the damaged vehicles. It is also essential to seek medical treatment immediately after the accident, and document all of your injuries and symptoms.

A victim can sue an at-fault driver or vehicle owner for property damage under tort law, but they will only be able to recover monetary damages under this theory if they can prove that the other party’s negligence led to their losses. In order to prove negligence, the plaintiff will have to show four elements: a duty to act in a certain way, a breach of that duty, causation between the breach and the injuries, and actual harm.

While it is possible to sue for property damage in a car accident, it is more common for an injured person to file a claim with the other driver’s PDL provider, or even their own if they have collision coverage. In these situations, it can be more difficult to determine fault, as many negligent drivers are either uninsured or have minimal insurance coverage (often the minimum required by state law).

In addition to filing a claim against the liable parties, a driver may also file a lawsuit under their own uninsured motorist coverage, which is available on most auto insurance policies. In general, this type of policy will provide compensation when the negligent party has no insurance or only has minimal coverage.

Medical Payments

Medical bills are often the most significant expense associated with car accidents. Serious injuries in particular can lead to ongoing treatment and costly long-term care, adding up quickly. A skilled accident attorney can help you develop a plan for managing these expenses, including exploring government programs that may assist with medical costs or working with your health care provider to establish payment arrangements.

If you have personal health insurance, it should cover most of your medical costs associated with a car accident. However, there are often predetermined deductibles and copays that require you to pay a fixed amount out of pocket before coverage begins. Your auto insurance policy should also typically include medical payments coverage, commonly referred to as Med-Pay. This covers up-front expenses like emergency room visits, ambulance rides to and from the hospital, and the cost of x-rays and other diagnostic tests. It can also assist with other medical bills, such as prescription medications and physical therapy sessions to restore strength and function.

It’s important to note that your health insurance company (or Medicaid or Medicare) can request reimbursement from any settlement or judgment awarded in a car accident case. This is referred to as a subrogation claim and is typically a part of your private health insurance or your group health plan. It’s critical that you inform your health insurer of the accident, and send them any medical bills that you receive so they can submit them to your accident claim under their own insurance coverage.

If you do not submit your medical bills to your car insurance or your health insurer, they will likely send them to collections, which can negatively impact your credit and your ability to obtain future healthcare. Alternatively, you can work with your health care providers to agree to a lien on any future compensation that you may receive from an accident claim or lawsuit. A medical lien allows the health care provider to recover outstanding balances directly from any settlement or judgment you receive. This can help alleviate the burden of your medical bills, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Car accidents are an unfortunate part of life. Thankfully, most involve only minor fender benders or are not serious enough to cause long-lasting injuries or death. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks and how they can impact your finances. In the case of severe or permanent injury or death, it is even more important to have insurance that can provide compensation. This includes both medical payments and property damage coverage. In addition, it may be necessary to include uninsured motorist coverage in your policy.

In most states, it is illegal to drive without car insurance. However, there are still many drivers on the road who do not have insurance or only carry minimal coverage. Unfortunately, these drivers can end up costing you a lot of money. This is why it’s important to have a comprehensive car insurance policy with both PIP and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UM/UIM or uninsured/underinsured driver bodily injury and property damage, is a form of protection offered by most car insurance companies. It covers the costs associated with an accident caused by an at-fault uninsured driver or a driver who only has liability insurance with low limits. This type of coverage is available in most states, and it usually pays out up to your policy’s limit. Some policies may require a deductible, while others do not. It is often bundled with collision coverage, which pays for repairs to your vehicle after an accident.

It’s a good idea to have uninsured motorist coverage in your car insurance policy, especially if you live in a state where many drivers are uninsured or only have minimal liability insurance. You never know when you will be involved in an accident with one of these drivers, so it’s best to be prepared. Adding this coverage to your policy is typically not very expensive, and it can save you a lot of money in the long run. In addition, some insurers offer discounts for having uninsured motorist coverage. It’s a good idea to get a quote and compare prices to find the best deal.