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Car Accident Injuries (Step-By-Step Guide)

Car Insurance Injuries
Key InfoDetails
Common types of injury protection MedPay,
Personal injury protection (PIP)
Average statute of limitations to file an injury claim Two to four years
Average number of people Injured in car accidents every year 3 million
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Do you know what to do if you’re injured in a car accident? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3 million people are injured in car crashes every year.

However, most people aren’t prepared to deal with injuries after a wreck, whether it’s knowledge of first aid or how to file an injury claim.

Not being prepared can backfire. If you don’t know how to stop bleeding until an ambulance arrives or have no idea how to get reimbursed for doctor bills after a broken arm, this guide is for you.

While most people don’t think they’ll end up in a serious accident that causes injury, even a rear-end accident can cause whiplash or a concussion. So whether you’re already injured and seeking information on car injury claims, or if you just want to prepare yourself, keep reading.

We’ll cover everything you need to know on what to do immediately after an accident, how to file a claim, settling a claim, and more. If you’d like to start comparison shopping for rates today, you can enter your ZIP code in our free online tool above.


What to Do Immediately After an Injury in a Car Accident

Unless you’re a doctor or trained in first aid, you probably have no idea what to do if someone (or yourself) is injured in a car accident. You may also be wondering what medical treatment you should get and what records to keep for your insurance.

In this section, we’ll answer all these questions and more. Stick with us to find out what to do after a car accident injury.

What should I do if I’m injured in a car accident?

A refresher or a crash course in first aid never did any harm, so let’s go over some tips from the National Health Service (NHS) on how to react if you or another person suffers an injury after a car accident.

Move your vehicle. If you’re in the way of oncoming traffic and your car is drivable, move off to the shoulder of the road if possible. The last thing you want is for someone else to hit your car a second time.

Check your vehicle. This is important. If you aren’t seriously injured to the point of not being able to move or will injure yourself further by moving, you need to get out of the car.

Although rare, car explosions can and do happen due to oil leaks, loose wiring, and battery issues. Unless you’re a car mechanic, you probably won’t be able to tell if your car is on the verge of blowing up. It’s better to be safe and exit the car.

Call 911. The next thing you should do is call 911. If you can’t exit the car on your own, emergency services will help get you out without further injury.

Access injuries. While waiting for emergency services, access your injuries and administer first aid. Three of the more serious injuries after car accidents are:

  • Bleeding – The NHS says, “Check that there’s nothing embedded in the wound. If there is, take care not to press down on the object. Instead, press firmly on either side of the object and build up padding around it before bandaging, to avoid putting pressure on the object itself.” If there is no object, apply steady and firm pressure. The American Red Cross video below explains the importance of stopping heavy bleeding.
  • Fracture – Think someone has a broken bone? Keep the limb as still as possible. It’s best to wait until emergency services arrive. If you or someone else may have a broken or injured back, DO NOT MOVE AT ALL.
  • Shock – This is common after serious accidents, either due to blood loss or an emotional response. In either case, it’s important to keep warm and lie still.

These aren’t the only injuries you can get after a car accident, though. Take a look at the graphic below, which lists the eight most common injuries.

There may also be some extreme cases where someone suffers a heart attack or stroke. For a stroke, there’s nothing you can do. But if a person has a heart attack, CPR will need to be administered.

The American Red Cross offers CPR training, as well as first aid courses, which are useful for everyone to take. You never know when you’ll be in a situation where you need first aid or CPR.

Car accidents can cause severe injuries, as explained in the video below, which is why it’s important to be up to date on first aid training.

As the video shows, the impact of car crashes can cause serious injuries, even if passengers are buckled in and have airbags.

What should I do when getting medical treatment?

If your injuries are minor and you’re alert and aware of what’s going on, make sure to keep track of what treatments you receive and keep a copy of all the bills.

You’ll need these medical records to send to your insurer later if you file a claim. If you’re not able to keep track of your medical treatments due to serious injuries, don’t worry.

You can always contact your medical provider or hospital and have them send the records to your insurer. The provider should only send the records relevant to your injury, not your entire medical history.

As for what medical treatment you should get, if you have a serious or visible injury doctors will perform all the necessary procedures and checkups. However, sometimes people don’t realize they’re injured after minor car accidents.

According to NOLO, a legal advice website, adrenaline can mask some minor injuries after a car accident, so you don’t realize how bruised and banged up you are until the adrenaline fades.

They say: “A lot of personal injury attorneys have stories about clients coming into their offices saying they felt no pain at the scene of their accident…But the following morning they woke up feeling like they had been run over by a truck… It can take several hours, several days or even a week for injuries or serious discomfort to register with a car accident victim.”

In cases like this, NOLO advises getting medical care right away and following a doctor’s course of treatment. These records will show you were injured and received medical care so your insurer can reimburse you for your claim.

However, NOLO says to read over medical records to make sure everything is accurate before handing them over to your insurer.

This is because a doctor may make a mistake and say you have a pre-existing condition, even if your back only started hurting after the accident. So make sure that all your medical records are in order and accurate before filing a claim.

How to File an Injury Car Insurance Claim

Now that we’ve covered what to do right after a car accident, from first aid to medical records, let’s take a look at how to file an injury claim with your car insurance company. Before you start filing, though, make sure you know when you should and shouldn’t file an injury claim.

Filing a claim can be tricky, and if you don’t do it properly you could be denied or not receive as much money as you should have. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for.

This section will guide you through everything you need to know about filing a claim with your insurer, from what information to include to when you shouldn’t file an injury claim.

What steps should I follow when filing an injury car insurance claim?

There are a series of basic steps you should always follow when filing a claim for an injury with an insurer. You’ll need to make sure you have all the proper information and don’t legally convict yourself by talking to the wrong people and admitting blame.

Read through the following steps to familiarize yourself with the process of injury claims (also known legally as pain and suffering).

File as soon as possible. If you can file immediately, this is best. However, you can file at any time as long as it’s within a state’s statute of limitations. It’s just best to file as soon as possible while it’s still easy to find witnesses and accident details are fresh in your mind. It also means your insurer will pay your injury bills sooner.

You can contact your insurer to file in a multitude of ways:

  • App – If your insurer has a mobile app, you can usually file through this.
  • Online – Most insurers will let you file through your online account.
  • Phone – An insurer will usually have a claim hotline to call. If not, you can call the general customer service number.

Sometimes insurers will offer all three of these options, giving you plenty of ways to contact your insurer to file.

Have the proper information ready. The Insurance Information Institute (III) says that whenever you’re in an accident, “keep thorough and organized records of anything related to the claim, including the names and phone numbers of everyone you speak with at your insurer and copies of any bills related to the accident.”

So what exactly should this information include?

  • Date and time of the accident
  • A detailed description of the accident
  • Any police reports of the accident
  • Any medical documents listing treatment for accident injuries
  • Photos of the damage to both you and your car (if possible)
  • Names/contact information of all drivers involved and any witnesses
  • Name of other driver’s insurer

The more information you have about the accident, the better.

Make sure you’re talking to the proper people after an accident. This depends on if you’re at fault or not at fault after an accident.

If you caused the accident, you don’t want to automatically admit blame or talk to the other driver’s insurance company. Let your insurance company handle the negotiations. You don’t want to give a statement until you’ve talked to your insurer and maybe even your lawyer.

If you weren’t at fault, then you need to make sure you got the other driver’s insurance information. File through your insurer, and they’ll contact the other driver’s insurer to pay the claim.

However, there are cases in which the other driver may hit you and drive off. In this case, it’s vital to file a police report and collect witness information for when you file with your insurer.

During all of this, you don’t want to talk to the other driver other than to exchange information. This can be difficult, as some drivers are aggressive or upset after an accident. However, another driver may try to convince you to not file a claim but rather let them pay out of pocket. This is fishy, as it may mean the other driver doesn’t have insurance.

If the other driver is being evasive or aggressive, contact the police to help out with collecting information.

What injuries and medical bills are covered under a car insurance claim?

You may be wondering what injuries your insurer covers under a car insurance claim. The basic answer is that your injury car insurance should cover anything that needs to be medically treated after an accident. This means your insurer will cover all your follow-up visits, such as physical therapy and continued checkups for your injury.

Since injuries are legally called pain and suffering cases, you can also file for resulting mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or increased anxiety. If you suffer severe anxiety after being in a car accident and can’t drive, for example, this could be filed under an injury claim.

However, you do need to make sure that your insurer covers you before you file a claim. This can be tricky, as it varies based on whether the accident happened in a no-fault or at-fault state.

If you live in a no-fault state, you’ll be responsible for your own medical bills. Most no-fault states require drivers to purchase medical liability coverage, so you’ll be protected under your car insurance.

If you live in an at-fault state, though, whoever caused the accident will be responsible for your medical bills. If the other driver ran into you, that driver will have to pay your medical bills along with your property damage bills. However, if you caused the accident, you’ll be responsible for both your own and the other driver’s accident bills.

If you don’t have medical coverages like PIP or MedPay, you’ll end up paying the medical bills yourself or having to file under health insurance. Bottom line? The more coverage you have, the better protected you’ll be after an accident.

Will my pre-existing injury hurt my car accident claim?

This is a question people frequently ask, and it’s a very relevant question. If you had an injury or condition before the car accident and the car accident didn’t make the injury or condition worse, then claiming pain and suffering on a car insurance claim is fraud.

However, if you had a pre-existing injury and the car accident made it worse, this injury will be called “exaggeration or aggravation of pre-existing conditions.”

Let’s say you have a bad back. It causes you mild pain most days, and you see a chiropractor or other doctor every other week. You’re driving back from work one day when another driver rear-ends you at a stop sign.

Your back receives a painful jolt in the accident, and the next day when you roll out of bed you find you can hardly move without crippling pain. As you wait for your back to heal, you have to take a week off work and visit the doctor for painkillers.

This is an example of exaggeration/aggravation of pre-existing conditions that can be filed under a car insurance injury claim. The video below explains a little more about pre-existing injuries and accidents.

We want to point out, though, that you have a much better chance of your insurer approving your claim if you go to doctors regularly. Why? Because there will be medical proof that your pre-existing condition was made much worse by the accident.

If you went to a doctor 10 years ago for a sore knee but never went back, you can’t prove that the car accident damage to your knee is what made the pain significantly worse. An insurer may argue that your knee could have grown worse in the 10-year gap before the accident.

So the more you go to the doctor and have your health issues recorded, the better off you’ll be.

When should I file a car insurance injury claim?

Debating on whether you should file an injury claim with your car insurer? You should file a claim if you can’t pay the accident bills.

Even if you caused the accident you were injured in, the amounts your rates will increase may be less than the total cost of all your medical bills and property damage bills.

So pull out the calculator and see just how much your medical treatment has cost you. If your medical bills are building, file a claim as soon as possible. Just keep in mind that car insurance after an accident will be different than before, such as higher rates.

When should I not file a car insurance injury claim?

You shouldn’t file a car insurance injury claim if the cost of your medical treatment is less than your deductible.

Let’s say you have a $1,000 deductible on your car insurance. The cost to repair the scratch on your car and treat your whiplash only amounted to $400. In this case, insurance won’t pay out anything anyway, so it’s not worth going to the effort of filing a claim.

You may also decide that you would rather file a claim with your health insurance than file a claim with your car insurance. This decision is up to you, but you want to make sure that whatever you pick, you’re getting the best deal.

For example, if your health insurance covers 90 percent of your bills but your car insurance only covers 85 percent, it’s worth it to file with health insurance rather than car insurance. So look at costs and do a little math to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

If you caused the accident, it may also be best not to file if the settlement amount is low. Insurers may label you as a high-risk driver and charge you thousands more for car insurance.

Car Insurance Injury Claim Settlements

You decided to file your injury claim, and now you’re wondering how much money you’ll get to cover your bills. Or perhaps you’re wondering just how long it will take for your insurer to finally get back to you.

If you’re curious about the process of car insurance settlements and what you need to know to make sure you get what’s owed to you, keep reading. We’re going to cover everything from settlement amounts to time limits on filing and claim payments.

How do insurance companies decide on a settlement amount after a personal injury accident?

Insurance companies use a variety of factors to decide upon a settlement amount. They’ll look at police reports and drivers’ reports to decide who is to blame for the accident, proof of damage and injuries, the driver’s coverages, and more. Watch the video below for more information on settlement amounts.

The final amount determined for an injury settlement is usually based on the medical bills, although this can get tricky if the costs are based on pain and suffering claims such as PTSD.

According to NOLO, you’re more likely to get an amount that pays all your medical bills if the medical bills are from a hospital rather than from your regular health care provider. So if you had to have surgery in the hospital to repair a broken leg, all of your bills should be covered (minus the deductible).

However, if you went to your regular doctor for some mild painkillers because your neck was bothering you after an accident, you may not be reimbursed for all of your bills.

If the other driver wants to settle between us without car insurance, should I take it?

It’s never a good idea to settle with another driver outside of insurance unless you’re absolutely sure that you can account for all your damage and injury costs. Why?

You may agree to take $1,000 for car repairs and treatment for your concussion, but your concussion doesn’t improve as expected and leads to you taking a month off work, costing you much more than $1,000 because of lost wages.

When you file through insurance, though, your insurer will investigate damages and injuries thoroughly before assigning a price. The result? All your costs will be accounted for and paid for.

Of course, it’s up to you if you want to settle outside of car insurance, but the safer bet is to always go through an insurer.

How much should I settle for after a car accident injury?

Your claim went through and your insurer wrote you a check. That may seem to be the end of it, but what if the amount you received seems short? Most people aren’t sure of exactly how much they should receive for a claim but hope it’s enough to cover their costs.

The bottom line?

You’ll receive more money from your insurer if your injury was severe or caused permanent damage. A slight concussion probably won’t earn you much money back, but a badly broken arm will.

If you aren’t sure you got enough money back, ask your insurer to walk you through the process of how they determined the amount. If you still feel your insurer shorted you on the claim, it’s time to move onto the next step — negotiating a car accident settlement.

Can I negotiate a car accident insurance settlement?

If you feel the amount isn’t right, it’s time to start negotiating with your insurer. According to FindLaw®, a lawyer resource center, the following steps should be taken when negotiating a car accident settlement.

Familiarize yourself with your policy. If you aren’t sure what your policy covers, now is the time to read your policy cover to cover. Your insurer may not be covering all of your hospital bills because you only have a $25,000 payment limit on your car insurance policy. Or you may not have signed up for certain coverage such as lost wage protection (PIP) after an injury.

So before you start negotiating, make sure you have a solid argument and aren’t just short on coverage.

Prepare an amount for the car insurance settlement. You need to come up with a number that’s based on your medical treatment and losses, such as missed time off of work and the damage to your car. FindLaw® says, “Remember that a claims adjuster will never give you more than you ask for, so aim high.”

Write your demand letter. The next step is to write your demand letter with your amount (remember to ask for a high amount) and wait for a reply. If you’re satisfied with the offer, take it. If not, go down from your original amount and offer a counteroffer.

Bear in mind that this back and forth process can take a while, but it’s usually not worth it to go to court unless your insurer keeps offering a number that’s way too low. If you want more advice on how to negotiate, watch the video below.

NOLO has further advice on when you should accept a settlement offer:

“If you and your lawyer value your car accident case at $40,000 to $60,000, and the insurer’s final pre-suit offer is $52,000, you take the offer and settle the case. That’s an easy decision. If the insurer’s final pre-suit offer is $38,500, it probably makes sense to take it…If the final offer is $20,000, that’s also an easy decision. Put the case in suit.”

It can get a little trickier to determine whether to open a lawsuit or not when amounts aren’t as clear cut. Remember that you’ll also be paying lawyer fees and spending time on the lawsuit.

However, NOLO says, “Note that, for better or worse, it is your lawyer’s opinion that is probably most significant when it comes to deciding whether a lawsuit is the right move.”

Your lawyer will have a good idea of how successful your case will be and if it’s worth it to take your settlement to the court. So while we can’t really advise you one way or another, your lawyer will be able to.

Does an insurance company have a time limit to pay a claim after a car accident?

The law requires your insurance company to reply to your claim application in a reasonable time. This doesn’t mean they’ll approve your claim, but it does mean they can’t wait months before giving you a yes or no.

Auto accident settlements can take months, though, especially if you’re negotiating an amount. Be patient, and eventually, your bills will be paid off by your insurer.

However, you do have a statute of limitations in which to file a claim. Every state is different, but basically, you have a time limit on how long you have to file a claim with your insurer. If you file after the statute of limitations is up, your claim will be invalid.

The table below shows the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, as well as property damage claims.

Statute of Limitations for Car Insurance Claims by State
StatePersonal Injury
Statute of Limitations
Property Damage
Statute of Limitations
Alabama2 years2 years
Alaska2 years6 years
Arizona2 years2 years
Arkansas3 years3 years
California2 years3 years
Colorado3 years3 years
Connecticut2 years3 years
Delaware2 years2 years
Florida4 years4 years
Georgia2 years4 years
Hawaii2 years2 years
Idaho2 years3 years
Illinois2–3 years5 years
Indiana2 years2 years
Iowa2 years5 years
Kansas1 year2 years
Kentucky1 year2 years
Louisiana1 year1 year
Maine6 years6 years
Maryland3 years3 years
Massachusetts3 years3 years
Michigan3 years3 years
Minnesota2 years6 years
Mississippi3 years3 years
Missouri5 years5 years
Montana3 years2 years
Nebraska4 years4 years
Nevada2 years3 years
New Hampshire3 years3 years
New Jersey2 years6 years
New Mexico3 years4 years
New York3 years3 years
North Carolina3 years3 years
North Dakota6 years6 years
Ohio2 years2 years
Oklahoma2 years2 years
Oregon2 years6 years
Pennsylvania2 years2 years
Rhode Island3 years10 years
South Carolina3 years3 years
South Dakota3 years6 years
Tennessee1 year3 years
Texas2 years2 years
Utah4 years3 years
Vermont3 years3 years
Virginia2 years5 years
Washington3 years3 years
Washington D.C.3 years3 years
West Virginia2 years2 years
Wisconsin3 years3 years
Wyoming4 years4 years
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The amount of time to file a personal injury claim is usually always less than the time to file a property damage claim. Because of this, it’s best to file as soon as possible.

Remember, it can take up to a few months (or longer) to finally receive your claim payout. The sooner you file, the sooner you can get the money to pay off your medical bills.

What to Do If Your Injury Car Insurance Claim is Denied or You’re Sued

If your insurer denies your claim or another driver sues you, these situations can be overwhelming. You’re injured and trying to recuperate, and now your insurer won’t pay your bills or another driver you injured is seeking legal action.

The worst thing to do is nothing, but it can be hard to determine what action to take.

If you aren’t sure what step to take next, this section is for you. We’ll cover what you should do if your insurer denies your claim, when you should get a lawyer, and other important information.

Why would my insurer deny my injury car insurance claim?

There are several reasons insurers deny injury claims. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • The accident was avoidable – An example of this is a driver who drove drunk and crashed into a lamppost, giving themselves a bad concussion and whiplash.
  • There was no recorded treatment after the accident – If a driver has an injury but doesn’t get treatment after the accident, insurers are suspicious of fraud, especially if the injury is severe.
  • There are no medical records at all – If you have zero medical records showing pain or injury after the accident, your claim will be denied. An insurer is not going to just take your word for it that you’ve been experiencing neck pain since the accident.
  • You have a pre-existing injury – Unless you can prove the accident made your pre-existing injury worse, your injury claim will be invalid.

Anytime an insurer suspects fraud or has incomplete data to go off of, they’ll deny your claim. Suspect your claim was denied for invalid reasons? It may be time to get a lawyer.

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When should I get a car insurance lawyer?

You don’t always need to get a lawyer involved. If you want a different amount, you can usually try to handle this on your end before seeking legal counsel.

However, there are some instances when you’ll want to have a lawyer, as there are some risks to contesting a claim on your own. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could still end up with nothing after contesting the amount or denial.

Enjuris®, an injury lawyer authority, says you may need to get a lawyer involved in the following situations when you’re denied or shorted on payment:

  • Injuries are serious, such as broken bones, long hospital stays, and permanent damage
  • Medical treatment is expensive, costing well over a few thousand dollars
  • You have to take significant time off of work or school
  • Who was at fault for the accident is still being disputed
  • The accident took place in a dangerous area, like a construction zone
  • The paperwork appears inaccurate (such as an incomplete police report)
  • You suffered pain and suffering, such as PTSD
  • More than one person was injured or a person died in the accident
  • Insurance is being evasive and not holding up to their end of the bargain in the customer-insurer relationship

You do need to have a valid reason for contesting a denied claim or claim amount. A lawyer can help you with this, especially if you meet any of the above situations.

How will my car insurance lawyer be paid, and what is a contingency fee?

If you’re opening a lawsuit against your own insurer, you’ll have to pay for a lawyer yourself. However, most lawyers operate on a contingency fee agreement.

A contingency fee means a lawyer will only receive payment if the customer wins the case and receives a settlement. The lawyer will take part of the profits of the settlement as payment.

This is how most payments work for claim cases, and it works well. You won’t have to pay until you have the money, which means you can focus on your medical bills and other expenses (that will hopefully be reimbursed at the end of the trial).

However, if you’re being sued by another driver, your insurer should provide an accident lawyer. The only times an insurer may not offer a lawyer is when the driver didn’t file a claim or notify their insurer, the driver purposefully caused the accident, or the damages are more than a driver’s policy limits.

To make sure you don’t exceed your policy limits, a great coverage to have is umbrella liability insurance. This is an add-on coverage at most providers, and it provides extra cushioning after an accident. So if you need to hire a lawyer, your umbrella coverage will provide extra coverage for lawyer funds.

What should I do if I’m sued in a car accident?

Your insurer should provide you with a lawyer (see the section above). However, there are some ways to make the case go faster.

The other driver’s insurer may offer a compromise in a car accident lawsuit. Your lawyer will help you determine if the offer is fair, but sometimes taking the compromise is the best way to end the case and move on with your life.

However, sometimes the other driver may sue you for more than your insurance covers. In cases like this, you would be stuck paying out of pocket for the other driver’s costs. This is when it’s vital to have a lawyer to try and bring down the costs of the settlement.

We also want to point out here that the higher your liability amounts are, the better protected you’ll be if you injure another driver or damage their property. Remember, too, that umbrella coverage provides extra coverage incase another driver sues you.

Recommended Car Insurance Coverages for Injuries

We’ve covered what you should do after an injury, how to file a claim, claim settlements, and what to do if you’re denied or sued. However, we haven’t talked about what coverages you should have.

Having the proper coverage before you get into a car accident that injures you is vital. If you don’t have the proper coverages, you could end up with expensive medical bills and no way to pay them.

To help you through the process of picking a medical car insurance coverage, we’re going to go through the common types of injury protection policies. Stick with us to find out how to protect yourself.

What is bodily injury liability car insurance coverage?

Bodily injury liability coverage is required in every state. It protects you if you cause an accident and injure another person. The coverage will pay for the other driver’s medical treatment after an accident. However, if your bodily injury limit runs out, you’ll have to pay the rest of the bills yourself.

Because of this, it’s advisable to get more than the state minimum coverage. Watch the video below for more information on bodily injury liability.

Not sure how much bodily injury liability coverage your state requires?

The table below shows how much liability coverage each U.S. state requires, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Car Insurance Bodily Injury Limits by State
StateRequired Bodily Injury Liability Amount
Alabama$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Alaska$50,000 for one person injured in accident
$100,000 for all people injured in accident
Arizona$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Arkansas$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
California$15,000 for one person injured in accident
$30,000 for all people injured in accident
Colorado$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Connecticut$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Delaware$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Florida$10,000 for one person injured in accident
$20,000 for all people injured in accident
Georgia$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Hawaii$20,000 for one person injured in accident
$40,000 for all people injured in accident
Idaho$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Illinois$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Indiana$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Iowa$20,000 for one person injured in accident
$40,000 for all people injured in accident
Kansas$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Kentucky$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Louisiana$15,000 for one person injured in accident
$30,000 for all people injured in accident
Maine$50,000 for one person injured in accident
$100,000 for all people injured in accident
Maryland$30,000 for one person injured in accident
$60,000 for all people injured in accident
Massachusetts$20,000 for one person injured in accident
$40,000 for all people injured in accident
Michigan$20,000 for one person injured in accident
$40,000 for all people injured in accident
Minnesota$30,000 for one person injured in accident
$60,000 for all people injured in accident
Mississippi$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Missouri$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Montana$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Nebraska$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Nevada$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
New Hampshire$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
New Jersey$15,000 for one person injured in accident
$30,000 for all people injured in accident
New Mexico$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
New York$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
North Carolina$30,000 for one person injured in accident
$60,000 for all people injured in accident
North Dakota$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Ohio$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Oklahoma$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Oregon$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Pennsylvania$15,000 for one person injured in accident
$30,000 for all people injured in accident
Rhode Island$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
South Carolina$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
South Dakota$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Tennessee$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Texas$30,000 for one person injured in accident
$60,000 for all people injured in accident
Utah$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$65,000 for all people injured in accident
Vermont$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Virginia$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Washington$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Washington D.C.$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
West Virginia$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Wisconsin$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
Wyoming$25,000 for one person injured in accident
$50,000 for all people injured in accident
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Remember, the more coverage you have, the better protected you are. In a state that only requires $15,000 for injuries to one person and $30,000 to injuries to all people, you should get a higher limit than the state minimum.

Some states require high limits, however, such as Alaska’s $50,000 and $100,000 limits for bodily injury liability. In these states, it might not be necessary to buy more than the state minimum.

What is PIP car insurance coverage?

PIP stands for personal injury protection. Unlike bodily injury liability, insurers designed PIP to protect you and your passengers after an accident. In addition to paying medical bills, PIP also covers lost wages. So if you have a broken leg and can’t work for a month, PIP will reimburse you for your lost wages.

Usually, the law requires PIP in states with no-fault laws. The Insurance Information Institute says the following states require drivers to have PIP coverage.

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Utah

If you live in a state that doesn’t require PIP, it may still be offered by your insurer. It’s a great coverage to have, as it covers lost wages in addition to medical bills, which not all medical coverages do.

What happens if your PIP coverage is exhausted?

The bad news is that once your PIP coverage goes beyond the limit, you’ll have to pay for the rest of your bills yourself. The good news is that your health coverage will take over and start paying your medical bills.

However, you’ll still have to pay the deductible on your health insurance and pay copays for appointments. Hopefully, PIP will cover most of your medical bills before it runs out.

If you were disabled after a car crash, you may qualify for Medicare.

Bottom line? If your PIP runs out there’s not much you can do about it. If you have good health care coverage, however, you’ll be just fine.

How do I prove my lost wages or diminished earning capacity?

In order for PIP to reimburse you for lost wages or diminished earning capacity after a car accident injury, you need to prove that the injury has cost you financially.

You need to have proof that you missed work and proof of how much money you lost by not working. According to NOLO, it’s easy to prove your lost wages if you’re employed by someone else.

You simply need a letter from your boss that includes “your name, your position, your rate of pay, the number of hours you normally work, and the number of hours or days you missed following the accident. The letter need not indicate whether you took sick leave, vacation time, or a leave of absence.”

However, it can be trickier to prove lost wages if you’re self-employed. In these cases, you should collect as much documentation as possible, such as billing/invoices, proof of missed appointments/meetings, and past pay documentation.

For example, if you normally earn $5,000 a month but only earned $2,500 the month after your accident because you had to stop working, you need proof of this.

So the more information you can collect, the better.

Which car insurance companies offer PIP?

Wondering where you can get PIP from? We checked the top 10 companies in the country to find out which ones offered PIP.

  • Allstate
  • American Family
  • Farmers
  • Geico
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive (only offered in select states)
  • Travelers
  • USAA

State Farm is missing from the list, as it only offers MedPay coverage.

What is MedPay car insurance coverage?

MedPay is similar to PIP, but it doesn’t cover lost wages, only medical bills. If you’re in an accident, MedPay will cover the cost of you and your passengers’ medical costs.

Watch the video below for more information on the differences between the two.

Like PIP, though, MedPay has a limit. If you exceed the limit on your MedPay coverage, you’ll have to switch over to your health insurance.

MedPay is also required in a few states:

  • Maine
  • Wisconsin

As you can see, MedPay is a lot less common than PIP. This could be because MedPay isn’t as complete a coverage as PIP.

If you have health insurance or PIP, do you need MedPay?

If you have PIP, you don’t need MedPay. However, you may still want MedPay even if you have health insurance. With health insurance, you have to pay copays, while MedPay will cover all of your bills.

There is also the risk your health insurance could run out. This will leave you high and dry. But if you have MedPay and it runs out, you’ll have health insurance as a backup.

So MedPay is great to have even if you have health insurance, as it gives you some extra wiggle room to pay for injuries after an accident.

Which car insurance companies offer MedPay?

Take a look at the bulleted list below to see which of the top 10 companies offers MedPay to drivers.

  • Allstate
  • American Family
  • Farmers
  • Geico
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • State Farm
  • Travelers

USAA is missing from the list, as it only provides PIP coverage.

What is uninsured/underinsured motorist car insurance coverage?

Uninsured or underinsured motorist car insurance coverage isn’t exactly a medical coverage, but it will protect you if another driver hits you in an at-fault state.

It will cover your medical bills and property damage bills if the other driver can’t. Why wouldn’t a driver be able to pay your bills?

They may be uninsured, or they may have poor insurance that can’t completely cover your costs. You may have even been the victim of a hit and run.

So this coverage is a great way to ensure that you won’t lose your savings over an accident that wasn’t your fault. In fact, some states automatically require drivers to have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.

UM and UIM Car Insurance Coverage by State
UM and UIM by State Required Coverage
ConnecticutUM and UIM
KentuckyUM and UIM
MaineUM and UIM
MarylandUM and UIM
MinnesotaUM and UIM
NebraskaUM and UIM
New JerseyUM and UIM
New YorkUM and UIM
North CarolinaUM and UIM
North DakotaUM and UIM
OregonUM and UIM
South CarolinaUM
South DakotaUM and UIM
VermontUM and UIM
VirginiaUM and UIM
Washington D.C.UM
West VirginiaUM and UIM
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Usually, UM and UIM are a package deal, but some states only require UM. Both these coverages should be bought together, though, as it will give you the best coverage possible.

Which car insurance companies offer uninsured/underinsured coverage?

The following top companies offer uninsured or underinsured coverage:

  • Allstate
  • American Family
  • Farmers
  • Geico
  • Liberty Mutual (only offers uninsured motorist coverage)
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA

All 10 of the insurers are on the list, although Liberty Mutual has only UM coverage. Because of this, if you have a Liberty Mutual policy, you may want to increase your limits in case the other driver can’t pay off your bills.

What to Do After a Car Accident FAQs

We’re now near the end of our guide to car insurance and injuries, but we want to clear up a few more things before we leave. To do this, we’re going to share the answers to the most frequently asked questions on the web.

To see if one of your remaining questions is on the list below, keep scrolling.

What if your vehicle accident injuries don’t show up right away?

If a car accident gave you an injury but you didn’t notice until later, you can still file for an injury claim. The shock of being in an accident can sometimes prevent people from feeling how banged up they are until later.

In cases like this, make sure you seek out medical treatment and keep records to prove it was the car accident that hurt your neck.

Who pays if I sustained injuries in an Uber or Lyft vehicle?

If you were the driver, either your regular insurance or your rideshare coverage will protect you. If you were the passenger, the rideshare’s insurance will cover you as a third party on the rideshare policy.

You do need to make sure that the driver reports the accident to the rideshare company, and that you also follow through with a report. If the rideshare company blows you off or doesn’t pay you what you’re owed, you need to get a lawyer involved.

Can you get compensation if the accident was your fault?

Yes. If you have coverages beyond basic liability, your insurer will cover you even if the accident was your fault. The exception would be if you purposefully caused the accident.

Bear in mind, however, that your rates will go up after an at-fault accident. It’s important to weigh the costs of medical bills and property damage against the rate increases. If the increase will be more than the cost of your bills, it may be worth it to pay it out of pocket.

Who should pay first in an auto accident, health insurance or car insurance?

Generally, auto insurance will pay first if you have medical coverage. Once your medical coverage limit runs out, the remaining bills will go to your health insurer.

However, you want to make sure your health insurer covers car accidents. You’ll also have to pay deductibles and copays on health insurance, but only deductibles (if applicable) on car insurance medical coverage.

How do I find the financial value of my pain and suffering damages?

While physical injuries are usually easy to determine the value of, it can be harder to determine the value of suffering, such as PTSD or grief if a loved one died in a wreck.

In these cases, testimonials from friends and family as to your deteriorated mental health will help. However, the best way to prove suffering is treatment from a mental health professional. If you have proof of therapy or medication after an accident, this will help your case.

For example, if you suffer nightmares after an accident and now have to take sleeping pills, proof of this will be invaluable.

Whew. We’ve reached the end of our guide in car insurance and injuries. Hopefully, we answered all your burning questions, and you’re prepared in the unfortunate event you get into a car accident and are injured.

If you would like to start comparing rates for insurance at companies today, you can enter your ZIP code in our free tool below.