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What does med pay (medical payments) cover in the event of an auto accident?
What is Med Pay (Medical Payments) Explained by Clarksburg Accident Attorney
If you are ever in a car accident, medical payments coverage will cover medical bills for you and your passengers. It may work in conjunction with or in lieu of your health care coverage, depending on your health care policy.
Med Pay Auto Insurance Basics
Med pay is an optional coverage in West Virginia. It covers the following.
- Medical bills not covered by your health care plan. This can include expenses such as your deductible, ambulance bills, chiropractic care, dental prosthetics, etc.
- It follows you, not the car. That is, it doesn’t only cover you while you’re driving your car, but also when you’re in someone else’s car, walking, biking, etc.
- It covers you regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- The cost of med pay coverage is generally very little.
- There is no deductible for med pay. It kicks in the moment you are injured.
- If you already carry personal injury protection (PIP), med pay can pick up the deductible you’d normally have to pay for your PIP to kick in.
Christy Moulton Perry, director of product management for Great Northwest Insurance Co. gives a helpful example to Bankrate: "[I]f your health insurance has a $1,000 deductible, a 20 percent co-pay, and you have a $5,000 medical claim from an accident, with your health insurance you would typically pay $1,800 out of pocket. But with your MedPay, you would pay zero out of pocket. That's a big difference."
Med pay may or may not be right for you; it depends on several factors. Speak to your insurance agent to learn more.
Consulting an Attorney in Clarksburg at Miley Legal Group
If you were in a serious auto accident, run your case by an attorney to determine your legal options. For help in the Clarksburg area, contact the Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 for a free consultation.
Will comprehensive insurance coverage help me in the event of an auto accident in Clarksburg?
While comprehensive insurance coverage can be a very helpful in certain kinds of situations, it doesn’t really come into play in an actual collision. Rather, liability and collision coverage may be factors when you’re in an accident.
Understanding Basic Auto Insurance Coverages
The auto insurance packet you receive with a new or renewed plan is purposefully dense, so as to address all the legalities of your coverage. Unfortunately, this is beneficial mostly for the insurance company rather than the insured simply because the average person does not understand legalese.
To help decipher the jargon, below we will briefly discuss the major types of auto insurance coverages and the types of situations in which they apply .
- Liability: Liability insurance covers damages to others when you are at fault for the accident. This is broken up into two types: bodily injury liability (their medical bills) and property damage liability (their car). Remember, liability coverage only covers other’s damages, not yours.
- Collision: Collision insurance covers damage to your car when you’re in an accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage pays for damage or loss to your vehicle for causes other than collision. Your comprehensive insurance coverage would cover your losses in situations such as theft, fire, vandalism, hail damage, and damage caused by falling objects, etc. One situation where your comprehensive coverage may cover you in an accident is if you hit an animal such as a deer, it can cover repair or replacement of your vehicle.
There are several types of other coverages, as well. Two of the most helpful are uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (pays for your damages when the other driver has no insurance, insurance isn’t enough, or in hit-and-run accidents), and personal injury protection (pays for your and your passengers’ medical bills regardless of fault).
Note, collision and comprehensive coverages are not mandatory insurance coverage in West Virginia, so there is a chance that you don’t have them on your policy. However, if your vehicle has been financed, most financial institutions require this additional coverage to protect their collateral. If you’ve been in an accident, speak to an injury attorney to determine what your legal options are and what types of compensation you may be eligible to recover.
Our Auto Accident Attorneys in Clarksburg Can Help
Have questions after an auto accident in Clarksburg? Our attorneys at the Miley Legal Group can help. Contact us today at 304-931-4088 today for a free consultation.
What is collision coverage and how does it help in a Clarksburg accident?
While most have some understanding of liability insurance, many wonder, "What is collision coverage?" when purchasing auto insurance or after a wreck as they explore options for recovering damages.
Collision coverage is not among the minimum insurance requirements in West Virginia. It pays for damage to your car (minus your deductible) if you’re in a collision. Read on to learn more about this coverage.
Understanding Collision Coverage
If you carry collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for the repairs to your car if you’re involved in an accident. It can apply if you’re involved in an accident with another party or if you hit a stationary object. It applies regardless of whether you or another party is to blame for the wreck.
Here are the two basic things you need to know about collision.
- Cash value: The insurance company will only pay for damages to your car up to its actual cash value. If repair costs exceed the actual cash value, then it may declare your car totaled, or is considered a “total loss.”
- Deductible: You will also have to pay a deductible, usually around $500. Generally speaking, the more your car is worth and the lower your deductible, the higher your premiums (monthly out-of-pocket payments).
If you are financing a new car, your lender may require that you carry collision coverage. Car lenders will usually require what’s called comprehensive coverage, which differs from collision. This covers damage that occurs to your car in other ways, such as by fire or other perils.
However, if you have an older car, collision coverage may not be a good choice for you. CNN Money explains: “For cars worth less than $5,000, comprehensive and collision probably aren't worthwhile. Over time, the premiums you'll fork over will probably exceed the payout, even if your car is totaled. Plus, in an accident that isn't your fault, you can figure that the other driver's insurance will cover your car.”
To determine whether or not collision coverage is right for you, you can speak to your insurance provider and discuss your needs and review your options.
Injured in an Accident in Clarksburg? Call the Miley Legal Group
Collision coverage covers vehicle damage, but it doesn’t cover your medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. For more information on how to pursue compensation for these types of damages if you're ever in an accident in Clarksburg, call our injury attorneys at the Miley Legal Group today. Contact us today at 304-931-4088 for a free consultation.
How do I file a claim if I was in a car accident with a rental car?
Filing a claim after a car accident with a rental car depends on which driver was at fault for the accident and the state where the accident occurred. It may also be dependent on the type of coverage you have on your policy and if you have any additional coverage.
How Fault Impacts an Accident with a Rental Car
Whoever caused the accident would be an important factor if you're in an accident while driving a rental car and wish to recover damages. However, drivers first must consider the laws in which the accident occurred.
For instance, West Virginia is an at-fault accident state. It requires the insurance company of the driver responsible for the crash to pay for damages. So if the accident occurred in West Virginia and another driver is at fault, you may file a claim with that driver’s insurer to cover your damages.
But if you were the one who caused it happen, the other driver may file a claim with your own insurer. Further, you may be able to recover damages from your insurer if you have the appropriate insurance.
Other Options That May Be Available When Involved in an Accident with a Rental Car
There may be other means of covering damages in an accident with a rental car; for instance, if the person opted to purchase supplemental insurance offered by the rental company. Oftentimes, the credit card used to pay for the rental vehicle may offer insurance for rented cars. Be sure to check the terms of your credit card company, or inquire with the company directly.
With so many variables that can impact this type of case, accident victims should talk with an attorney if an accident with a rental car resulted in serious injuries. If you were in an accident while driving a rental car in or around Clarksburg, West Virginia, call the Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 to set up a consultation.
What is an underinsured motorist?
What is an underinsured motorist? An underinsured motorist is someone who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for damages in an accident. In other words, the accident-related costs exceed policy limits.
Insurance Requirements and How They May Impact an Accident Case
The state of West Virginia requires motorists to carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. The minimum amounts for liability include $20,000 per person (bodily injury), $40,000 per accident (for bodily injuries to two or more people) and $10,000 property damage.
The minimum requirements for UIM are $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. This coverage helps pay for costs when involved in an accident with another driver who isn’t insured.
If someone is involved in a serious collision in which the other driver was at fault, the losses to be covered -- such as medical bills, lost wages and more -- may be higher than the liability coverage available. For instance, the other driver has the minimum $20,000 in bodily injury but the expenses are $30,000. This would be considered an underinsured motorist.
Options When a Driver Is Underinsured and at Fault for an Accident
What an underinsured motorist costs those who do have insurance is the gap between the other driver’s coverage and the total in damages, unless the injured Clarksburg driver has additional protection, such as underinsured motorist coverage.
This optional type of insurance pays for bodily injuries and/or property damage when the other driver’s liability insurance isn’t enough. But again, it’s up to the limits of the policy.
If the injured person doesn’t have this extra protection, then it would be a good idea to consult legal counsel like the accident attorneys at the Miley Legal Group. An attorney can determine if a personal injury lawsuit could be filed against the at-fault driver in order to recover the remaining amount of damages not covered by his or her insurance policy. The Miley Legal Group contact form is a quick and easy way to investigate if you have access to more restitution for your car accident with an underinsured driver.
Are electric vehicles like scooters, mopeds, electric bicycles and Segways covered under car insurance?
Which vehicles does my car insurance cover? Electric vehicles like scooters, mopeds, electric bicycles and Segways usually aren’t covered under car insurance. But because there is always the risk of causing harm or getting hurt in an accident in Clarksburg, car insurance coverage is a recommended service for all drivers, regardless of vehicle.
Types of Insurance Coverage That May Be Obtained for an Electric Vehicle
Some insurance companies offer coverage that is designed for specific types of vehicles. For instance, they may provide power sports or scooter insurance. There could be special provisions based on the engine’s size -- such as those with 50 ccs (cubic centimeters) or more, which require motorcycle insurance.
Engine size also might impact the type of coverage that must be purchased. For instance, the requirement to carry liability may be based on a scooter’s ccs. However, some policies might have full coverage, including collision and comprehensive. It’s best to check with the insurance company regarding the types of coverage necessary for your electric vehicle.
How West Virginia Law Defines Electric Vehicles
Each state defines these types of vehicles differently. In West Virginia, a motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle in which the rider uses a seat or saddle, and it’s designed to travel on no more than three wheels.
A motor-driven cycle is any type of motorcycle with an engine size of 50 ccs but not greater than 150 ccs or with less than five-brake horsepower.
A moped is defined as a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle that’s equipped with two or three wheels, foot pedals and an independent power source (with maximum two-brake horsepower). If a combustion engine is used, the maximum is 50 ccs. And the vehicle cannot exceed more than 30 miles per hour on a road when being propelled unassisted.
Insurance can protect you financially in the event of an accident. Of course, if you have been seriously injured while operating an electric vehicle, and an automobile driver caused the wreck, then car insurance coverage could offer you money to pay for accident injuries. To get the full story on “which vehicle does my car insurance cover?” contact a Clarksburg insurance lawyer at The Miley Legal Group, conveniently located on West Pike Street in Clarksburg: (304) 931-4088. Check out our e-newsletter, The Group with the Scoop, which features a story on fractures in accidents for more background reading that you can do on your own.
Can I claim damages if my pet was injured in a car accident?
Drivers may claim damages for a pet injured in a car accident. Much of this depends on who was at fault for the accident, so establishing liability is important.
How Fault Plays a Role When a Pet is Injured in a Car Accident
If another driver was responsible for the accident, his/her property damage liability would likely cover the pet. Even though the pet may be a beloved part of the family, injuries or death don’t fall under bodily injury liability. The pet is considered property.
Some of the damages that may be recoverable include:
- veterinarian visits;
- hospitalization; and
- cost to replace a pet.
However, if the pet owner was at fault for the accident, the ability to claim injuries or death will depend on pet owner’s insurance. Sometimes collision automatically covers pets. But since West Virginia doesn’t require this coverage, if the driver doesn’t have it he or she cannot make a claim for the pet.
Some auto insurance companies offer separate pet injury coverage. In that case it’s likely that this coverage would cover any damages sustained in a car accident. This is different than pet illness and injury insurance, though, which covers illness or injury. Make sure you fully understand what pet insurance covers and any limitations of this insurance.
Talk to an Attorney about Car Accident Damages
If an accident caused someone to sustain severe, disabling or life-threatening injuries, then the injured party may pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Along with damages related to the driver’s medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, drivers may also seek compensation if a pet is injured in the car accident. Learn more about your options based on your particular circumstances – call The Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 to set up a consultation.
Are there other ways for me to get car accident compensation from a negligent motorist other than his/her insurance?
In addition to a motorist’s insurance company, there are other ways that car accident compensation may be recovered. When there is a dispute and a settlement cannot be reached, it’s important to consider other options.
How Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Provides Car Accident Compensation
Drivers in West Virginia are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, in minimum amounts of:
- $20,000 in injury coverage for one person;
- $40,000 total in injury coverage for an accident; and
- $10,000 property damage.
If it turns out that another driver’s negligence was the cause of a crash but he/she doesn’t carry auto insurance, this helps cover medical costs and repairs to the vehicle.
Although not required, drivers who also choose underinsured motorist coverage might utilize this form of insurance in the event the other driver has insurance but it’s not enough to cover damages. Of course, this would be up to the limits of the policy.
Filing a Lawsuit after a Car Accident
If an injured person doesn’t qualify to use uninsured coverage and doesn’t have underinsured coverage, or the losses are higher than what’s available through coverage, another option is to file a lawsuit. However, this would only be possible if the other driver was at fault for the crash.
Seek legal counsel when pursuing a lawsuit. There can be a lot of complicated issues that come up, both in proving fault and establishing the type of damages that have been sustained. This is especially true if it’s determined the plaintiff was partially responsible for the accident. This could impact one’s ability to pursue the lawsuit or the amount of car accident compensation that is recoverable.
To learn more about one’s rights and options after an accident, contact The Miley Legal Group. We can help clients filing an insurance claim or pursuing a lawsuit against the other driver.
I hit the vehicle, but the accident wasn’t my fault. Do I still have a car accident claim?
You can file a car accident claim if you hit a vehicle but the accident isn’t your fault, or if you hold partial fault for the accident. You must present evidence to establish the cause and contributing factors for the accident, such as a police report, witness statements or other relevant documentation.
Negligence Laws in West Virginia
West Virginia follows the modified comparative negligence rules, meaning you are entitled to damages if you are 49 percent or less at fault for the accident.
More specifically, after you have filed a car accident claim and establish the extent of your fault, you will be entitled to receive compensation that is equal to the total damage amount minus an amount that is equivalent to the percentage of your liability.
So if you are not at fault in any way, then you will receive the total damage award. If you are found to be 25 percent at fault, your damage award will be reduced by 25 percent. If total damages are $50,000, after reducing the damage award by 25 percent, you would be able to recover $37,500.
If you think that you are not at fault, even though you may have hit another vehicle, you should acquire the help of a car accident attorney in Clarksburg to file a claim for damages. Your attorney will gather and analyze the requisite evidence and help you prepare and present a case that establishes fault for the accident and, thus, liability for injuries and other damages resulting from the accident.
Get in Touch with a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident and believe that it was caused by (or mostly caused by) the other party, get in touch with The Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg, W.V., at (304) 931-4088 for a free consultation
Can I be a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim for a family member if I was also injured in the accident and am filing my own personal injury claim?
Yes, an accident victim may file a personal injury claim and could be a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim. However, the victim and beneficiary, often with help from a Clarksburg wrongful death attorney, must prove that someone else’s negligence was the cause of the fatal accident.
Filing a Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claim after an Accident
If an accident caused serious injuries to one person but took the life of a family member, there are options for seeking compensation. The first is a personal injury claim, which would address the specific injuries and losses experienced by the person who files the claim.
The following are examples of damages that may be recoverable in a personal injury claim:
- medical costs;
- lost wages;
- property damage;
- pain and suffering;
- permanent disability;
- reduced quality of life; and
Completely separate from a personal injury claim, an injured victim may pursue and be a beneficiary of the wrongful death lawsuit. Beneficiaries may include a spouse, children, and/or other dependents of the decedent. This claim could address similar damages as already mentioned. For instance, the medical expenses incurred as a result of the family member’s fatal injuries may be recoverable.
A claim for wrongful death could also provide compensation for lost wages. The difference however, is that more could be available in this type of claim because it may include earning potential.
Other costs that may be addressed in a wrongful death claim are reasonable funeral expenses. But there are also noneconomic damages that could be recoverable, such as the mental anguish experienced by the surviving family members. Or loss of consortium, which applies to the various types of losses suffered by a spouse, such as affection and companionship.
Legal Help with a Clarksburg Wrongful Death Attorney
Pursuing more than one claim can be complicated and time-consuming. To learn what legal options might be available, contact a Clarksburg wrongful attorney at The Miley Legal Group. We can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident and help determine what type of claim(s) could be filed and the kind of damages that may be recoverable by personal injury victims and beneficiaries or a wrongful death claim.