Most Important Auto Insurance Coverage After a Crash
Traffic accidents are a major cause of injuries in Alabama and across the United States. The purpose of auto insurance coverage is to pay for medical expenses, physical injuries, loss of income, and property damage after an accident. But what type of coverage do you need?
As experienced Birmingham car accident lawyers, part of our job is negotiating with insurance companies to help our clients get the money they deserve. So, we are familiar with how the insurance system works.
In this article, we explain the most important auto insurance coverage to have after a crash.
Most Important Types of Auto Insurance Coverage
Most drivers in Alabama should consider four types of optional auto insurance coverage in addition to investing in greater liability coverage.
If you’re found legally responsible for an accident, liability coverage pays for the injuries and property damage of the other party. It’s very important to have because you could be sued for a large amount of money if you cause a serious accident.
The minimum amount of insurance required in Alabama is:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability limit per person
- $50,000 maximum for all bodily injuries to be paid for any one accident
- $25,000 maximum for property damage per accident.
The Insurance Information Institute recommends buying more than the state-required minimum liability insurance, enough to protect assets such as your home and savings.
This coverage is used to repair your vehicle after a collision with another vehicle or an object, such as a telephone pole. It doesn’t apply if you damage your car by hitting an animal. The coverage is usually sold with a deductible.
If your car is totaled, insurance will pay for its actual cash value – what it is currently worth considering depreciation. Whether this coverage is worth paying for depends on the value of your car.
You may not need collision coverage if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000. Many insurance companies won’t write collision insurance coverage for an older vehicle. You are required to have collision coverage if you’re financing or leasing a vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage reimburses you if your car is stolen or damaged by something other than a collision with another car or object. This includes theft, fire, hail, vandalism, and collisions with animals such as deer.
Like with collision coverage, comprehensive coverage is required if you are leasing or financing a vehicle. Otherwise, you need to consider the value of your car when deciding if the coverage is worth paying for.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Bodily Injury
While auto insurance is required in Alabama, some drivers get behind the wheel without it. If you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for your bodily injury expenses that are not covered by the other driver’s insurance or lack thereof.
In most cases, suing an uninsured driver directly isn’t a practical way to recover the money you need, and filing an uninsured motorist claim is the best option. Underinsured coverage provides benefits if the damages to you exceed the other driver’s coverage limits.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is optional in Alabama, and we strongly recommend having it. It is also one of the least expensive coverages you can buy.
Medical payments coverage (med pay) helps with funeral and medical expenses if you or someone covered by your policy is in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
It covers costs such as:
- Medical treatment
- EMT/ambulance fees
- Hospital expenditures, like X-rays
- Aftercare bills
- Funeral expenses
There are two unique aspects of Med Pay. First, Med Pay applies if you’re injured by a vehicle while you’re not in your car, for example riding your bike or crossing the street.
Second, the coverage follows the policyholder rather than the vehicle. For example, it applies if you’re in a crash while riding in a friend’s car.
Contact Our Birmingham Car Accident Lawyers
If you’re injured in a car accident in Alabama, you need to call the accident lawyers at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton right away. You only have a certain amount of time to file your claim. If you miss this deadline, your case will be barred forever. Your attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf. They’ll try to get your claim settled for you. If they can’t, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
The consultation is free and you pay nothing until your claim is settled. The other driver and the insurance company are going to have attorneys working for them; you need to have one too. Contact us today at 800-568-5330 and get the best representation to obtain compensation for your car accident claim.