Frequently Asked Questions: Insurance Coverage

Dealing with an insurance company, or multiple insurance companies, can be intimidating and confusing. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about insurance coverage and how it relates to a personal injury claim:

How will policy limits impact your injury claim?

When you sign up for insurance coverage, there are different limits to choose from. The minimum limit in Washington State for bodily injury liability coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This means that if you are injured in an accident, your policy limit should allow for at least $25,000 to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Many people have insurance policies with limits above the state minimum.

Because limits vary between policies, your attorney will advise you on the specific coverages available and alert you of any concerns regarding the adequacy of the available policy limits.

How do insurance companies address the pain and suffering associated with your accident?

Pain and suffering will be documented throughout your case, and again when we get ready to close your case. Our team will work with you to tell your story to the insurance company. This will give them a full understanding of how your accident has affected your day-to-day life and allow them to provide the appropriate total compensation for your injuries.

Items that might be included in pain and suffering include overall inconvenience, inability to perform specific activities, and ongoing impact to your daily life.

Is your insurance involved even when you’re not at fault?

Even if you’re not at fault for the accident, you will always want to open a claim with your insurance company. There may be benefits on your policy that you can use for your claim. If you do not have benefits on your policy, it’s still good to open a claim so your insurance company is aware of the accident. They will eventually be made aware one way or another, so it’s best to be proactive by opening the claim yourself.

What happens if you’re partially at fault for the accident?

If you are found partially at fault, you probably still have a claim. Consult with an attorney and they will advise you on how to best proceed depending on the circumstances. Your insurance premium may go up due to your partial responsibility for the accident.

What happens if you’re hit by an uninsured driver?

You may have what is called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage on your auto insurance policy. This coverage protects you if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. You can submit a claim with your own insurance for your injuries. Washington State does not require you to have this coverage and it does cost extra, so check with an attorney to discuss your options.

Will your rates go up following an accident?

Unfortunately, your insurance rates can go up following an accident. In most instances, your provider will not raise your rates. If you feel like your rates have been raised unfairly, we encourage you to get quotes from several other insurance companies to see if you can get a better rate.

What happens if your necessary treatment exceeds the policy limits?

While in the pre settlement stage, we often do not know the policy limits of the other insurance company. The insurance company is not obligated to disclose the policy limits unless there are specific concerns that the coverage might not be adequate. For this reason, we monitor bills and treatment closely to be sure that you are not in the red. If you do end up in this situation there are many ways your attorney can help.

Treatment and medical billing look different for every case, so your attorney will communicate any concerns with you to develop the best plan for your circumstances.

Questions about an injury? Call for a free consultation!