Do You Know How Auto Insurance Affects Your Personal Injury Claim?
When you suffer injuries in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, in most cases, your case will involve a claim against the driver’s insurance policy. So, understanding how auto insurance works – what types of coverage are available, what is required by law, and what happens if the other driver doesn’t have insurance – is important to understanding your claim for compensation. Here, the attorneys of Fales & Fales, P.A. answer some frequently asked questions about auto insurance and personal injury claims in Maine.
1. What auto insurance coverage does Maine Law require?
Maine law requires all drivers to carry insurance. Drivers must have auto insurance policies that include:
- $50,000 in personal injury liability coverage for a single person
- $100,000 in personal injury liability coverage for multiple victims of a single accident
- $25,000 in liability insurance for property damage
- $2,000 medical payment (med pay) coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to the coverage for personal injury liability
For personal injury and property damage liability, Maine auto insurance laws also permit a single combined limit of $125,000.
2. What is the difference between personal injury liability and medical payment coverage?
Personal injury liability provides coverage for claims asserted against a negligent driver. So, if you are injured by a driver who was drunk, speeding, or texting behind the wheel, you would file a claim against his or her policy for personal injury liability (you would likely also file a claim for property damage liability as well).
On the other hand, medical payment coverage provides compensation to the policyholder and his or her passengers. So, along with seeking personal injury coverage under the negligent driver’s policy, you can also seek med pay coverage under your own insurance. Note, however, that if your personal injury claim is successful, you may be required to repay your med pay benefits.
3. What if I was hit by an uninsured driver?
Unless you have specifically elected for reduced coverage, your auto insurance policy will include coverage for accidents caused by uninsured motorists. This includes car accidents involving:
- Hit-and-run drivers
- Unidentified drivers who cause accidents where there is no contact between the vehicles
- Drivers who do not have auto insurance
- Drivers whose auto insurance policy limits are lower than your uninsured policy limits (referred to as “underinsured” drivers)
Importantly, Maine law allows for “stacking” of uninsured motorist policies. If your losses exceed your own uninsured motorist policy limit, you can “stack” both (i) the policy insuring the vehicle in which you were riding or driving and (ii) the policies of any relatives living in your household in order to maximize your financial compensation. This “stacking” rule applies to the med pay coverage discussed above as well.
Download The Maine Car Accident Book
For more information about how auto insurance impacts your car accident claim, we invite you to download The Maine Car Accident Book. This is a valuable resource that our attorneys have written in order to provide accident victims with the key information they need after suffering injuries in a collision.
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Contact Fales & Fales, P.A.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Maine, the attorneys at Fales & Fales, P.A. can help you fight for maximum compensation. We offer free consultations, and our contingency fee arrangements mean that you pay nothing unless we secure compensation for your losses. To get started with your case, please contact us today.