Car insurance protects against financial loss in case of an automobile related incident. Depending on the coverage, this includes accident, injury, vehicle damage and more. The motorist enters an agreement with an auto insurance company and pays a monthly amount, known as a premium. In exchange, the company provides monetary aid where applicable. Most states require vehicle owners to carry insurance.
To receive an insurance payout after a car accident, the insurance holder must file a claim. The company determines who is responsible for the event, whether the holder is eligible for compensation and for how much. What the holder’s policy covers is a major factor in establishing payout.
Other variables include the type of incident, road conditions and the number of drivers and other people involved. Even in a straightforward case, the insurance company may only pay the minimum amount the holder is eligible for. Experienced car accident attorneys can help their clients get the money they are entitled to.
Most states name a minimum amount of car insurance a motorist must carry. The basic amount mandated by Delaware is 25/50/10 for liability to a third party. In other words, a payout of $25,000 per third party person injured. For a single accident the total amount of money a third party can claim is $50,000. Ten thousand dollars compensates for third party property damage.
Delaware also requires at least 15/30 for personal injury protection (PIP.) If the policy holder is injured in an accident, they may receive $15,000 per person and up to $30,000 per accident. This money is to compensate for medical bills, lost wages and related expenses.
The policy holder chooses what types of additional coverage they want, if any. Options include Comprehensive, Collision, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist and more. Added coverage leads to a broader range of protection, but higher rates. The holder may not wish to pay more than what the state demands.
Delaware’s required insurance does not provide payouts for damage to the policy holder’s vehicle. If the holder is injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, their basic PIP may not be enough for their situation. Spending money on a higher premium can financially protect the holder. Hiring legal representation can help with receiving more compensation.
When a motorist is at fault for injuring another driver and others in an accident, bodily injury liability (BIL) provides coverage. While one party pays for the policy, payout goes to a third party, the other driver and any of their passengers. BIL compensates for their medical bills, legal fees, lost wages and funeral costs. The insurance company will defend the first party in case of a lawsuit.
BIL does not compensate for claims exceeding payout limits, nor does it pay for defense costs above said limit. If the first party owns assets above what their policy provides, the third party may seek these through an attorney. Paying for enough BIL to protect your assets can help sidestep this issue, though legal representation is still advisable.
Property damage liability insurance (PD) reimburses the third party for objects harmed in an accident. This can include vehicle repair or replacement as well as other items like mail boxes, signs and buildings. While the first two numbers in Delaware’s 25/50/10 mandated minimum liability insurance refers to BIL, the “ten” is a reference to PD. As with BIL, paying for additional PD may protect from future complications.
If the policy holder is harmed in an accident, PIP helps to pay for their medical and related expenses. Along with medical bills and lost wages, PIP also compensates for household expenses and child care when injuries make domestic tasks difficult. In cases of fatal accidents, PIP helps to pay for funeral expenses and loss of a breadwinner’s income. In addition to Delaware’s basic 15/30 PIP requirements, the state also mandates a minimum of $5,000 for funeral costs.
This type of optional insurance helps to pay for repairs or replacement related to non-collision damage. If a vehicle experiences incidents such as theft, vandalism, falling objects or natural disasters, comprehensive coverage assists. Unlike other kinds of car insurance, the policy holder chooses their deductible, or the amount paid out of pocket for each claim.
Collision insurance provides payout when a car is damaged in an accident. Whether one vehicle strikes another, was involved in a single car accident or hits a tree or other stationary object, it falls under the “collision coverage” umbrella. It may be bundled with comprehensive insurance or sold separately, depending on the company.
According to the Insurance Research Council, one out of eight drivers do not have insurance. Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects drivers involved in hit and run accidents or those with uninsured drivers. UM provides compensation to those who would otherwise have to pay medical bills of pocket or lose wages due to injury. It does not cover property damage.
Even if a driver has insurance, they may only have enough to partially compensate for accidents. Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) helps to pay for medical fees, lost wages and pain and suffering caused by these drivers. Depending on the state, UIM is bundled with UM.
UIM provides compensation if the underinsured driver is found at fault. Hiring an attorney experienced with car insurance laws and regulations will help determine who is liable. Legal representation also helps claimants receive the compensation they are entitled to.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, consult an attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced Millsboro car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. will help you recover the settlement you deserve. Fill out our online form or call us at 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation. Our offices are located in Millsboro and Wilmington. We proudly serve clients in Dover, New Castle County, Sussex County and throughout Delaware.