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Car insurance doesn’t always cover medical bills after a crash

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Injuries

After a car crash, victims may have to address a variety of expenses. Collisions can leave people with vehicles that require repairs or health challenges that require immediate medical intervention. The expenses generated by a car crash can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Particularly when people get hurt and cannot work, crashes can lead to significant financial setbacks. Most motorists in Massachusetts operate under the assumption that they can file an insurance claim after a wreck. They expect insurance to help them purchase a new vehicle or cover the cost of repairing a damaged vehicle. They also expect insurance to pay for medical treatment and to help cover their lost wages.

Some people learn after a crash that insurance cannot help them. When is insurance unlikely to cover medical costs following a wreck?

When the claimant is at fault

Personal fault factors into eligibility for insurance coverage. Typically, to make a claim against another driver’s policy, an individual must first establish that the policyholder was at fault for the crash. In scenarios where an individual caused a collision by breaking traffic laws or doing something negligent while driving, they may not be eligible for any liability coverage. However, they may have some protection through their own policy if they purchased supplemental coverage, such as the insurance required when someone leases a vehicle.

When a driver is uninsured

A small but concerning percentage of drivers in Massachusetts do not comply with the law requiring insurance. They cancel their policies or fail to make monthly payments, meaning they don’t have liability coverage when they need it the most. Massachusetts has a lower rate of uninsured drivers than most other states based on 2022 data. Massachusetts ranked 40th, meaning most states have more uninsured drivers. Overall, an average of 8.8% of drivers may be uninsured at any given moment.

When the crash is particularly severe

Just because a driver has liability insurance does not necessarily mean that their policy is enough to cover the full cost of the wreck. If a driver only carries with the state requires, there could be a major gap between the total medical expenses and lost wages of the other parties involved and the available insurance coverage. Companies do not pay more than the policy limit regardless of how costly a collision proves to be. Therefore, those with catastrophic injuries and those who lose a loved one often find that insurance does not fully cover their losses after a collision.

Those involved in crashes sometimes have no other option than filing a personal injury lawsuit because insurance is insufficient or unavailable. Reviewing available coverage with a skilled legal team can help people take the right steps after a major motor vehicle collision.

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