Vehicle accidents in California may cause injured passengers to miss work and lose income. Some of them don’t know what to do after an accident or don’t know that they can seek compensation for damages. Injured passengers can take some steps to ensure that they get fairly compensated for their losses.
Filing a third-party claim
Many states require drivers to carry at least liability insurance to cover injured parties in other vehicles. Car insurance policies typically include bodily injury coverage to cover medical bills and property damage. Bodily injury protection coverage commonly only covers up to a threshold, which is $15,000 for each person and $30,000 per accident in California.
The passenger needs to determine which driver’s insurance to make a third-party claim against, meaning a claim against a provider that doesn’t cover them. This may include the insurance of the driver of the vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle or the owner of the vehicle.
If the injured party and driver are related and live together, the passenger may not be able to file a claim. The driver’s policy should cover them in this case.
Insurance claims usually take time to process, and there could be other injured parties filing claims. When accidents involve multiple parties in the same vehicle, the limits still apply to the claims, so it means the injured party gets less coverage. In this case, an injured party may be able to use first-party Med-pay from their own insurance.
However, filing a first-party claim through Med-pay may raise a person’s insurance rates. Claims made by the driver through their Med-pay insurance commonly make the better option to keep the injured passenger’s rates low and pay for every injured party. Drivers without car insurance may be able to file under the driver’s Med-pay.
Med-pay claims get processed faster, but they only cover medical bills. Passengers may not double-dip by making claims with two insurance providers.
Motor vehicle accidents can cause permanent injuries, but insurance companies often try to deny legitimate claims and make low-ball offers. An injured passenger should get legal assistance to help them get a fair settlement.