Automobile accidents can be terrifying. They can be even scarier when a driver doesn’t have vehicle insurance coverage (or insufficient) to pay for third party damages (when at fault) and own losses. All the states in America have at least minimum Liability requirements before anyone can start driving. This policy protects unsuspecting citizens and road users for the damages caused in vehicular accidents.
Those citizens may be sitting in one of the cars involved in a crash. A third party car insurance policy would pay for injuries and losses suffered by the passengers in other vehicles automatically. They are covered in three ways. Any medical bills due to injuries suffered in the incident will need to be paid by responsible drivers’ insurers. At times, several of them may shoulder the costs due to shared blame.
Secondly, they can claim for loss of wages if they are not able to carry out their jobs. If they are not earning money because of someone else’s recklessness they should be compensated for the financial hardship. People may often forget about this provision but it is there and reasonable to ask.
Thirdly, they can make claims for loss or damage of personal effects they had with them during the crash. This may seem to be a negligible amount but people do have expensive phones, laptops and jewellery with them these days.
Besides, you never know who these people can be. A CEO of a large corporation can easily rack thousands of dollars bills for special medical treatments, loss of belongings, wages or business deals. You really should think about increasing the minimum Liability auto insurance limits by several folds if you can afford it. Usually you really don’t need to pay much additional premium.
On the other hand, relationship between at fault driver and the passengers in his or her car may need to be established first to determine if they are entitled to any compensation under Liability coverage. Family members are not included under the third party policies for the simple reason that they are not third parties. At fault drivers and family members need Personal Injury Protection if they want to be protected in case they get hurt in a traffic incidents.
Motorists should check if they have coverage in place to pay for hospital bills in case of an accident suffered (should there not be others to blame). Most health plans pay for such medical bills. If so, you may not need to spend any more money on premium for PIP. Nonetheless, a health cover does not pay for loss of wages.
It may be wise to take the names and conditions of everyone involved in a collision where possible. Companies deal with thousands of injured people every day and some of them fake it or they were not really caused by this particular episode.
A prolonged and sizeable Liability claim will affect automobile insurance rates you will be charged when the renewal comes. Although any information and pictures you may take will help them to find an unjustified claim you should not aggravate already shaken people just so that you can note their conditions. Possibly, there will be a police report in such circumstances anyway.
It is worth pointing out again that the family members aren’t included in your Liability policy since you are responsible for them regardless. Passengers in your car can only make the above-mentioned claims against you if they aren’t related to you or part of the household.
Generally, they cannot be fare-paying passengers as well because they are excluded too. If they are, you may have to compensate them out of pocket. Only a commercial policy or business use extension would note such activities and include them.