Filing an Accident Personal Injury Claim

Make sure all your rights are covered and protected when filing a personal injury claim.
- Zinda & Davis, PLLC, January 22nd, 2013

Published January 22nd, 2013

Filing an Accident Personal Injury Claim

When filing a personal injury claim as a result of an auto accident, it is important to know your policy limits and to understand what your insurance policy actually covers.   Typically, a car insurance policy will cover your medical and hospital expenses, lost wages, expenses for a medical care giver during your recovery, repair or replacement of your vehicle, and often compensation for pain and suffering.  It may also cover punitive damages for your injuries when they are awarded by a court.

When filing a claim for medical expenses, keep in mind that most, if not all, expenses you incur in the treatment of your injuries should be covered.  These include doctor bills; hospital expenses; the cost of the ambulance ride to the hospital, where applicable; chiropractic care; physical therapy; and medical devices that are prescribed by your treating physicians.  These expenses also include continued medical treatment necessary for your care and/or recovery.

Policies will include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage although the amount of coverage can vary according to the policy.  Most states have a minimum PIP benefit and allow the purchase of additional optional coverage.  PIP coverage allows for payment of medical expenses, lost wages and the cost of a medical care giver during the period of recovery. 

Another coverage that is often optional, yet an important part of coverage, is the Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage.  With this coverage, your expenses from an accident that was caused by an uninsured motorist can be covered.  An UM/UIM motorist is someone who did not have any or enough insurance to cover the damages caused.  UM/UIM can also cover a hit-and-run driver and excess personal property damage.

There are typically two types of UM/UIM coverage: one for bodily injury and one for property damage.  Bodily injury covers medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and permanent or partial disability.  The property damage UM/UIM often covers the excess cost of auto repairs, rental car reimbursement, and damage to items that were in your car at the time of the accident.

You may also recover lost wages based upon your earnings at the time of your accident.  Even if you were unemployed at the time, you may still recover your lost wages.  If you can show the wages you could have earned had you not been injured, and show that your ability to earn a living in the future has been compromised by these injuries, you may be entitled to compensation.  The burden of proof will be on you to demonstrate what you could have earned during that period of injury.  This is particularly true when an accident results in a lifelong injury or disability that will limit your future ability to work.

Of course, the above listed insurance benefits will be subject to your policy coverage and limits.  It is always advisable to seek the advice of a qualified attorney who can explain your benefits to you, help you to maneuver the legal hurdles and avoid the pitfalls in the claims process. 


This article originally appeared on this site:  BicycleAccidentLawyerHelp.com

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