Car crashes are at the very least inconvenient, if not life-changing. Some people only have to wait to file a police report and arrange for repairs to their vehicles. Occasionally, the property damage after a car crash is purely cosmetic, and someone feels comfortable driving around without ever paying for repairs to their vehicle. They may not need to file an insurance claim at all.
However, some collisions claim people’s lives, and others cause permanent medical consequences for the people involved. People who get hurt in crashes or who need to support a loved one with a crash-related injury typically expect that car insurance will protect them.
Unfortunately, there are two reasons why those injured in a collision could end up with costs they need to find an alternate means of covering.
The driver at fault has bad insurance
Although state law mandates insurance on all registered vehicles, some people cancel their policies on purpose because they assume they won’t get caught. There are others who have every intention of paying their insurance bill and then forget to because of a budgetary shortfall one month. You could end up hurt in a collision caused by a driver without an active liability policy.
The chances of that occurring are relatively minor, but you have a more significant risk of getting hurt by a driver who doesn’t have good insurance. A basic policy in New Jersey only offers $5,000 in property damage coverage and $15,000 in personal injury protection. It won’t necessarily include bodily liability coverage at all.
They suffered catastrophic injuries
If car insurance frequently falls short when all someone has is a broken bone, you can likely understand why it won’t be enough if someone hurts their brain or spinal cord. Severe fractures and amputations could also cost far more to treat than what insurance would cover.
When someone will have a lifetime of reduced earning potential or hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment costs, even the most robust insurance policy may fall short. When there are crash-related expenses that insurance will not pay, those affected by a wreck will likely need to start considering alternative means of securing compensation, such as a personal injury lawsuit.
Understanding the limitations of insurance coverage after a car crash will help you take appropriate actions to cover your expenses.