Car insurance is complicated. The laws in Maryland and DC require different types of insurance, and it can be difficult to understand what various types of insurance are for.
Let’s take a look at bodily injury coverage.
Coverage for Medical Costs
Bodily injury coverage pays for medical costs when someone is injured in an auto accident. This is different from insurance coverage that might pay for other things such as damage to the car, damage to surrounding property, or the use of the rental car while a damaged car is being repaired.
Limitations on How Much a Policy Will Cover
Bodily injury policies usually have a limit on how much they will pay. One factor that makes these limits confusing is that they often have one limit on the amount they will pay for injuries to a single individual and a different limit on the total amount they will pay if more than one person is injured.
For instance, a policy might set a limit of $25,000 in medical bills for one person with a maximum of $50,000 for the entire accident. So if three people were injured and they each had $20,000 in medical bills, the policy will not pay for all the bills, because the total would be $60,000, but the coverage limit is $50,000. The person who caused the accident would be expected to pay the additional amount.
Bodily Injury Coverage Can Pay for You or Others
In an insurance policy, bodily injury coverage can cover the cost of injuries you cause to others. This is referred to as bodily injury liability coverage. It covers your costs when you are liable for someone else’s injuries.
You might also purchase uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This will pay for your own medical bills if an uninsured driver causes injuries to you (since they don’t have liability coverage to pay for your injuries.)
DC requires car owners to buy bodily injury insurance for harm they cause to others (liability) and harm other uninsured drivers cause to them. Maryland requires liability insurance for bodily injuries caused to others, but it does not require drivers to buy uninsured motorist coverage. However, many people choose to buy it to protect themselves.
Virginia does not require vehicle owners to purchase insurance at all, so long as they pay an administrative fee. That makes it very wise for people who through Virginia to purchase insured motorist coverage, since there may be more uninsured drivers in that part of the DMV.
Not the Same As Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Bodily injury coverage is different from personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which some people choose to buy as an additional type of insurance. PIP coverage pays for medical bills of the person who owns the vehicle and anyone in that vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for causing the accident. PIP insurance may pay for wages lost due to injuries, but this coverage is subject to strict limits. Because filing a PIP claim usually prevents an accident victim from suing the driver at fault, it is a good idea to talk to an attorney about an accident before filing a claim under personal injury protection insurance.
An Auto Accident Attorney Can Help Get Insurance to Cover Injuries
Insurance companies are not always cooperative when it comes to helping people understand policy coverage, and they can be very reluctant to pay claims. Many times it is helpful to consult an experienced accident attorney who can explain your rights and fight to get you fair treatment from insurance companies.
The team at Johnnie Bond Law protects accident victims and works to ensure that they have every opportunity to make a full recovery. For a free consultation to talk to us about an accident, contact us now.