Even minor accidents can cause major injuries, costing you a small fortune in medical treatment. But if the at-fault driver had car insurance or you carried no-fault insurance, this policy should offset the cost of healthcare. It may also provide compensation for pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering is a legal term used to describe any type of pain — mental, emotional, or physical — sustained or stemming from a crash. At its most basic level, this definition can include the cost of treating injuries, such as broken bones or wounds. But this term can also extend to mental conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder or general pain and discomfort inhibiting your ability to do your job or affecting your quality of life.
Does No-Fault Car Insurance Cover Pain and Suffering?
Yes. In so-called “fault” states, pain and suffering is usually covered as part of bodily injury liability insurance. The catch: Unless you’ve purchased additional coverage, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP), this feature will only reimburse other parties for damages stemming from an accident you caused. In order to seek compensation for your own pain and suffering, you would need to carry no-fault insurance or file a claim against the at-fault driver.
In “no-fault” states, the mandatory PIP or Medpay component of your insurance policy should chip in to help you pay your medical bills regardless of fault.
More FAQs About Car Insurance and Pain and Suffering
What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
In states where PIP is offered, it is usually an optional addition to liability coverage. Also called “no-fault coverage,” PIP will always kick in to help cover your medical bills regardless of whether you caused the accident or not.
PIP coverage with a low deductible can sometimes double your premiums. But these added costs net you comprehensive injury coverage, ensuring you have the funds to pay for the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, and even transportation expenses.
PIP is available as an optional extra in Wyoming, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Maine, Louisiana, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Georgia, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, and Alaska.
PIP coverage is a compulsory inclusion in the following states: Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
What Is Medpay?
Medpay is another type of no-fault insurance. It covers medical expenses incurred by the driver and his or her passengers; however, it won’t reimburse you for lost wages, transports costs, or trauma counselling.
Will My Health Insurance Cover Injuries Sustained in a Car Accident?
Yes, most health insurance plans will cover the medical costs associated with treating injuries sustained in a crash. However, there are two important factors to consider: First, the features of your auto insurance policy or the at-fault driver’s policy will pay first, and second, you will still have to pay your health plan’s deductible before your coverage kicks in to reimburse you for the remaining costs. Simply put, health insurance is your last line of defense when other insurance coverage has been exhausted.
What Is a Deductible?
A deductible is the amount you will have to pay to cover the cost of damages before the relevant policy features reimburse you for the remainder of the expenses. A low deductible will arm you with better protection against financial loss but will increase your monthly or yearly premiums. A high deductible will put you at risk of losing more money in the event of the worst, but you will pay significantly less to maintain your policy.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Protection?
Most states require drivers to carry insurance that meets certain minimum liability limits. This ensures that at-fault motorists have the means to compensate the other parties involved in a crash. However, many drivers choose to risk the fines and jail time by driving without insurance. If you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault, uninsured driver, he or she may be unable to cover the costs of treating injuries you sustained in the collision.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) protection is a relatively inexpensive addon to your basic policy that will reimburse you for pain and suffering resulting from an accident involving an underinsured/uninsured driver. It will also cover the costs of treating injuries sustained by anyone else listed on your policy, such as relatives, friends, and employees.
States with a high rate of uninsured drivers include Florida, New Mexico, Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Washington, Alabama, Tennessee, and Washington DC.
Is It Worth Investing in Emergency Road Service Coverage for an Accident?
In the event of a severe collision, your vehicle may be beyond repair. Instead of relying on an unknown towing company that will charge you hundreds of dollars just to move your vehicle from the street, you can prepare for any eventuality (and save money) by including Emergency Road Service insurance as part of your policy. This affordable feature won’t just cover the costs of towing your wrecked vehicle to the shop; it also provides compensation for:
- Tire changes;
- Battery services;
- Locksmith services for when you lock your keys in the car;
- Tire changes; and
- On-site mechanical labor.
Many providers will sweeten the deal by including Emergency Road Service insurance as part of their offerings. However, if you do not have this type of coverage, our Geeks recommend purchasing Emergency Road Service insurance. For a few more dollars every month, you’re buying peace of mind that your next breakdown (or accident) won’t break the bank.
Now that you understand the ins and outs of which insurance policies and features do and do not cover pain and suffering, it’s time to compare your options and find the right policy for your budget and needs. Click here to use our auto insurance quote comparison tool.