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Auto Insurance Claim Issues
I was involved in an accident the first week of Jan 09. And received injuries.
I was not at fault. At the scene of the accident the other party provided the police with proof of insurance by showing an expired verification card. We have now found out she indeed has no coverage.
I went to the ER and got checked out. They said I had received neck and back strain. (Basically Whiplash) Gave me muscle relaxers and told me to follow up with family doctor. As the wkend progressed I started having problems with my arm.
After a couple of dr visits I am now in Physical Therapy. With talks of obtaining an MRI on me soon. I have never had to deal with something of this nature. So I am looking for any advice you can give me. I am unsure of how all this works?
I understand my insu is going to take over since she has no coverage. I have Medical Payment, Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and Rental Reimbursement. So how does this all work?
Will my insu pay my medical bills? Will they cover any overage charges I might have on my rental or no because my insu only covers what I have? Do I have to pay my deductible now because my insu is the one fixing my car? Really I know nothing about this procedure so any insight you can provide is wonderful.
I am sorry to hear about your arm and and your accident.
You have different issues so I will try to address all of them. First, we need to separate the vehicle damages (rental) and the injuries as polices can act differently depending in what we are talking about.
Regarding the rental car. When you have uninsured/under insured motorist property damage (UMPD), SOME policies allow for rental coverage for you as if you were getting it from the person that hit you. Some insurance policies actually exclude that coverage even under this portion of the policy.
If the rental coverage under the UMPD is not excluded, some polices will pay above and beyond the actual rental coverage you have under other sections of your policy. In many cases, this coverage (UMPD) will provide you with a rental car even if you do no have Rental Coverage under other sections of your policy (rental coverage protection, collision or comprehensive).
Regarding the Injury:
Usually (depending in what state you are), your own personal injury protection will pay for your medical bills. Then, when you are ready to settle your claim, you will settle with your own insurance company for things like pain and suffering (all your general damages). These general damages settlement will be paid under the uninsured bodily injury section of the policy.
If your medical payments coverage is not enough to cover all your medical expenses, then your Uninsured Bodily Injury will provide coverage for that.
Note, Medical Payments coverage are first party coverages. This means that the insurance company will pay the bills as they come in (if they are all reasonable and necessary), however, if payment for medical bills must be made under the Uninsured Bodily Injury (a coverage that act kind of a "third party" coverage), the insurance company can delay payment until you settle, which can put you in a bad position.
we hope this helps,
Follow up question:
Thanks so much! Your information has been a great help!
I live in Oklahoma. I am unsure if the rental is excluded in the UMPD? I will check into that. I do know my own coverage I have provides like 20.00 a day. Which basically means it pays almost 1/2 of what my rental is actually costing me. Now as for the injury.
My insu did tell me they would pay for bills as I incurred them from my med pay. However I did not know that if I exceeded my limit my UM would not cover it till the end at settlement time. What exactly do they take into account for all general damages under UM?
Someone had told me they only take into account any unpaid medical bills and nothing else? Also will my insurance sue the responsible party?
It has been a great annoyance to know she drove away with min damage, no ticket, is still driving around now with no coverage, and has caused me a great deal of problems and is not held responsible at all. And how long does it generally take for my own insurance to settle?
Do they wait for me to ask? Or wait till I am thru with treatment?
I am thinking if I exceed my limit in medical and they won't pay any other bills till settlement then is it best to ask to settle sooner rather than later? Thank you again for your advice and help!
Your UMPD coverage should cover your rental expenses above and beyond the 20.00 limit. Do ask to see if there is coverage there. There might not be.
Regarding the settlement process and what general damages you can ask for, visit: http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/bodily-injury-claim.html for more information. You do not have to settle when your medical coverage is done. Insurance companies do use this as leverage so you settle faster.
Remember, once you settle, no more payments for medical bills or treatment. Make sure you feel ok and 100% better before you decide to go down that road. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney to advice in your specific state (Oklahoma).
As far as your insurance suing the person that hit you, probably not. They will probably pay for your damages and then send her to collections. That is about all they can do.
I know this is very unfair. As you outlined, she is driving around without license and causing problems for everyone. Hopefully our system changes so there is more that you can do.
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