personal injury claims new rules
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If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your losses. Insurance often plays a major role in these types of cases. Understanding how insurance works and what role it serves can help you navigate the claims process.

One of the first things to know is that the at-fault party’s liability insurance usually covers damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. Most states require drivers to carry a minimum level of auto liability coverage in case they cause an accident. Homeowners and businesses also typically have liability policies to protect them if someone gets hurt on their property or by their actions.

So if you are injured in a car crash that was the other driver’s fault, you would file a claim with their auto insurer seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. The insurance company would investigate the accident, determine fault, and negotiate a settlement with you or your attorney. This saves the at-fault driver from having to pay for your damages out of pocket.

Underinsured or Uninsured Drivers

Things get more complicated if the at-fault party has minimal or no liability coverage. Maybe they failed to obtain insurance as required by law, or their policy limits are too low to fully pay your claim. In these cases, you may need to rely on your own insurance.

Many people carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for this scenario. This protects you if the at-fault driver cannot adequately compensate you for your injuries and damages. You can file a claim with your insurer and they will pay up to your policy limits. This acts as a safety net when the responsible party lacks sufficient coverage.

Your Health Insurer May Also Be Involved

Most health insurance plans nowadays contain subrogation clauses. This gives the insurer the right to recover money they paid for your injury treatment if you later obtain compensation from another source (like an auto insurer).

For example, your health plan pays $50,000 in hospital bills related to a car accident injury. You then settle with the liable driver’s insurer for $100,000. Your health insurer can seek repayment for the $50,000 in treatment costs they covered initially. This prevents double recovery or windfalls.

The idea is to reimburse health insurers so premiums don’t rise for all members. It also ensures the at-fault party pays for the full cost of the harm they caused. But it does mean more parties at the table when settling injury claims.

Navigating Insurance Waters

As you can see, insurance intricately links into personal injury claims and litigation. Multiple policies and companies may be involved, especially with severe injuries resulting in extensive damages. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side helps handle insurance negotiations so you receive full and fair compensation.

What if I was partly at fault for the accident?

Most states follow modified comparative negligence rules. This means you can still recover damages if you were partially at fault, but your compensation gets reduced by your percentage of fault. So if you were 20% responsible for causing the accident, your final award would be reduced by 20%. However, if you were 51% or more at fault, you are barred from recovery in most states.

What if the at-fault party has no insurance?

Hopefully, you carry uninsured motorist coverage to protect you in this situation. If not, you can still sue the responsible individual directly but collecting on any judgment may prove difficult if they lack sufficient assets. In hit-and-run cases with no known liable party, you would need to use your own policy’s uninsured motorist protections.

Can I make a claim if I was injured on someone else’s property?

Yes, property owners carry premises liability insurance to cover slip-and-fall accidents, dog bites, and other incidents on their land or in their business establishment. If their negligence led to your injury, their insurance would pay for your medical treatment and other damages up to the policy limits.

How long do I have to file an insurance claim after an accident?

Each state sets its own statute of limitations dictating how long you have to take legal action or make a claim. For auto accidents and personal injury cases, it typically ranges from 1 to 6 years. The clock starts running from the date of the injury or accident in most states. Act promptly to avoid having your case dismissed for blowing the filing deadline.

Does my own health insurance have to be repaid if I receive a settlement?

Usually yes due to subrogation clauses, but the insurer cannot recover more than they paid out for your accident-related care. The idea is to prevent double recoveries or windfalls, while also reimbursing the health plan so premiums don’t rise. But the specifics depend on your insurance contract and state law.

In conclusion, various forms of insurance play a pivotal role in personal injury claims and litigation. Liability policies cover damages awarded for the at-fault party’s negligence. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you when their limits are inadequate. Health insurance often covers initial medical costs but typically seeks reimbursement from any payout you later receive. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand insurance issues and maximize your recovery.


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