If you were asked to define bodily injury, would you know what to answer? This article will explain this term in detail.
Define Bodily Injury for Insurance Purposes
For auto insurance purposes, bodily injury refers to damages sustained by people who are not in your vehicle when an accident occurs. In many parts of the United States, drivers are required to purchase at least a set amount of bodily injury liability insurance coverage. When an accident occurs and one driver is determined to be at fault for the accident, his or her bodily injury liability insurance coverage pays damages to cover the cost of medical bills and other expenses incurred by the injured parties.
Bodily Injury Liability Claims
A person who has been injured in an accident can make a claim for bodily injury compensation to the at-fault driver's insurance company. The claim may include the following items:
Medical expenses Lost wages Pain and suffering
This type of insurance coverage also pays compensation to the family of a person who is killed in an accident. This part of an auto insurance policy may pay for funeral expenses as well.
Why Buy Bodily Injury Coverage
In many states, drivers are legally required to have bodily injury insurance. Even if it weren't a legal requirement, having bodily injury coverage in place is a good idea. If a driver who was responsible for causing injuries doesn't have insurance in place, he or she must pay these expenses personally.
Rather than face a situation where the at-fault driver must liquidate assets to pay for these expenses, the insurance company will pay benefits up to the policy limits. If the injuries are severe and the at-fault driver doesn't have enough coverage to pay these expenses, he or she is expected to make up the difference.
Minimum Levels of Coverage
In states where drivers must have a minimum level of bodily injury coverage in place by law, buying only required amount may not be enough. A person who has a lot of assets to protect may need to buy more coverage. In states that have set minimums, drivers must buy a set amount to cover the injuries sustained by a single person who has been hurt. They must also buy a certain level of coverage to pay for the injuries suffered by all people who have been injured as the result of a single accident no matter how many people were hurt. In the case of a serious accident with multiple victims, several thousand dollars of insurance coverage can be paid out very quickly.
To find out how much coverage a person should have in place for bodily injury liability insurance, a driver should arrange a time to meet with an independent insurance agent. These people are trained professionals who can evaluate a client's needs and recommend a level of coverage that will protect their assets properly.
Other Insurance Coverage for Injuries
There is insurance coverage available to protect a driver and the people in his or her vehicle as well. A Personal Injury Protection plan pays out benefits to a driver and his or her passengers for their injuries. In some states, this is also a legal requirement. In others, this is optional coverage. Some people who already have a health insurance plan with generous benefits may not need to buy additional coverage to protect them if they get hurt in a motor vehicle accident.
Being able to define bodily injury is an important part of a consumer getting educated about car insurance coverage. He or she must buy at least the minimum level of coverage mandated by law. A person can always choose to get a higher level of protection to protect their assets after an accident where they are the at-fault driver.