When negligent drivers take to the road and cause victims harm, it could be confusing for victims to deal with insurance claims and personal injury claims on their own. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you could hold negligent parties accountable while better understanding Charleston personal injury protection coverage. An attorney could process your claim while you focus on what you need to: recovery.
How Charleston Regards Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Personal injury protection coverage is coverage that is available to a person who purchases automobile insurance. People could purchase personal injury protection coverage, a no-fault type of insurance, which pays them in the event they have lost wages or some other loss of personal property. It could also cover medical bills and Med-Pay is sometimes specifically designated for that. However, this is not a required coverage by Charleston or South Carolina, but a coverage that is offered.
How Personal Injury Protection Coverage Impacts Car Accident Cases in Charleston
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance impacts cases in Charleston and South Carolina as a whole by allowing the person that has been injured the opportunity to:
- Claim their lost wages
- Claim the loss of personal property damages
- Claim the items that were in the vehicle that were destroyed in the accident
- Claim medical bills and so forth
If they add those up and submit the actual bills incurred to the insurance carrier (regardless of fault and regardless of any type proving liability or wrongdoing on anybody’s part) as a direct result of the accident, they should be reimbursed for those losses, assuming the losses are legitimate.
The individual should be reimbursed up to the value of the policy limit. Sometimes those policies have $1,000 or $2,000 increments–possibly even $5,000 or more. If the vehicle involved is a newer vehicle, the liability coverage under their policy should be collected as soon as possible so victims could either repair their vehicle or buy/lease a new one. Victims could then file a claim against the wrongdoer for other damages. They would want to quantify those losses in order to make their final demand to try to settle or resolve their permanent injury case or injury case rather against the liability insurance carrier.
How Could Not Having Personal Injury Protection Coverage Affect a Case
If someone does not have PIP coverage, then they subsequently do not have access to Med-Pay (medical payment benefits) or personal injury protection benefits. Those are typically strict liability insurance which in layman’s terms means it does not matter who is at fault for the accident. If there are bills or damages that are incurred from an accidental loss, those bills should (at least theoretically) be reimbursed by the insurance company up to the amount of damages that were incurred and up to the amounts of the policy that are available from an insurance company.
If that policy is unavailable, then they are typically left with the general liability policy. With that type of policy, the injured party has to prove that the other party (the person at fault) caused the accident, caused the injuries, and is responsible for compensating the victim. If claim holders are able to meet that burden of proof, then they submit their damages. These cases are not something that are paid-out early on in the case because insurance companies often want to make sure they have all the damages that the injured party has suffered. Those damages could include a myriad of losses.
In those cases, victims are typically not going to make a demand for payment under the insurance policy until they have gotten to the end of their medical treatment and have a clear understanding of what all of their damages are. After that, it is generally recommended to submit a claim and demand resolution for the case for all those damages at that time.
With a general liability policy, which is in most cases, the individual has to quantify the damages and submit a demand for reimbursement for those damages at the end of their medical treatment which could be way down the road versus a Med-Pay or personal injury protection policy where, at least in theory, they submit some of those damages early on and get early reimbursement, assuming that the coverage remains available and assuming the carrier is cooperative in the disposition of that claim. However, regardless of what type of insurance a victim might possess, a Charleston car accident attorney could help evaluate a claim and determine a good course of action.
Misconceptions of PIP Coverage
Some people mistakenly assume PIP coverage is mandatory/required, but it is not required in South Carolina. South Carolina is an open marketplace and if the insured decides that they want to purchase PIP coverage, they could. Another common misconception is that the injured party may need to wait until the end of their case to submit a claim for medical payments benefits or PIP benefits and that is not true either.
The first step for victims would be to figure out what the policy limits are for their policy and gather the damages. For example, if there was $1,000 available and somebody already has $4,000 in losses or damages, they would gather all their evidence and submit the claim to get that portion of the claim paid early on. A lot of people find it difficult to know what questions to ask as far as availability. They do not know the rules that will entitle them to receive a partial recovery of the damages they sustained as a result of the accident.
Connect with an Attorney to Clear Misconceptions
If you have been in a recent car accident, you may wonder how your coverage could impact your recovery. With the many forms of insurance offered to drivers everywhere, navigating insurances could become a hassle in of itself when focusing on recovery should be your first priority. Understanding Charleston personal injury protection coverage does not have to be challenging. With the help of an attorney, you could better understand how you could recover quicker and still file a claim against a negligent party. Do not wait to start the claims process, call an attorney today.