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This is a video in our LawTok series: Straight Talk with a Personal Injury Lawyer
The way insurance is set up in Kentucky, we’re called a no-fault car accident state, and what that means is that everybody’s required to have at least $10,000 of personal injury protection insurance. Regardless of who’s at fault, if you’re in an accident, go report it to your insurance company. You’ll get a PIP claim number, and you’ll be able to actually bill against that PIP claim, at least $10,000. Now, what can you use it for? You could use it for medical expenses, medical bills. You can use it for lost wages, although our legislators have capped that at $200 a week. God bless them, they really need to update that statute. You can also use it for out-of-pocket expenses. Let’s say you mow your yard every week or every other week, and you have to hire somebody out to do that. You can actually use your personal injury protection policy to cover that.
Now, what happens when that runs out? Well, when your own insurance runs out, the PIP insurance runs out, you’ve exhausted the $10,000 in medical bills, or lost wages, or what have you, then we go and we proceed to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance companies and the liability insurance. They’re required to have at least $25,000 to cover additional medical expenses, additional pain and suffering, lost wages. Every category of damages is applicable for your liability insurance. Now, what happens if that runs out? Let’s say they only have $25,000, and you need a surgery that costs $60,000. Well, hopefully you’ve purchased, with your own insurance company, what’s called under-insured motorist coverage, UIM.
This is provided in case an at-fault driver only has $25,000 in liability insurance, and you actually have surgery or you need additional extensive medical treatment that’s not going to be covered by the 10,000, not going to be covered by the $25,000, and then you can tap into your own insurance policy, the UIM, and you have to provide that notice before you settle with liability. It’s tricky here. It shouldn’t be, but it is. You really need a professional to help guide you from liability to UIM if you have that. Otherwise, it’s very easy to sacrifice any potential UIM claim by not handling your liability claim the correct way.