April 9, 2020

Liability for Injury: Insurance Options

If there’s one thing we’ve all learned, it’s that being careful doesn’t always guarantee freedom from accidents. Even if we are careful as can be, things happen. Life can turn upside-down fairly quickly. It’s a part of life. 

A single accident can turn a person’s life into a living nightmare and lead them to financial devastation. That’s why people have insurance policies, and why people are mandated to have certain policies in place. Most policies will offer money to cover any costs caused by accidental injuries. 

But, does that always mean that insurance companies should be held liable for the costs of an injury? Not always. Here’s what people need to know about injury liabilities and insurers. 

The Common Types of Insurance

To begin, it’s a good idea to understand the different types of insurance and what they typically cover. Here’s a quick run-through of different insurance categories and what they’re meant for, as well as other important things to know regarding insurance liability. 

  • Homeowner’s Insurance/Renter’s Insurance: This insurance type is designed to cover accidents and losses that deal with your home. Most policies include some level of property damage as well as injury coverage. However, you may need to get additional coverage to protect you from liability.
  • Vehicle Insurance. Every state in the nation requires some kind of auto insurance before you can drive on the road. The state minimums usually include injury, liability, and uninsured coverage. It’s often better to pay extra for additional coverage to help reduce liability for property damage or extensive injuries. 
  • Life Insurance. This form of insurance protects a family’s income if the primary breadwinner dies. It’s a good peace of mind policy to have. Due to the nature of this kind of insurance, liability is not an issue here.
  • Property Insurance. Whether it’s a business building, inventory, or office equipment, a property insurance policy will help protect losses should they occur. These policies can protect from fire, theft, as well as other types of loss. 
  • Business Owner Policies. BOPs, as they’re known, are designed to protect business owners from losses. This can include accidents, loss of business due to natural causes, as well as injured workers. These policies are usually bundled up insurance policies sold as a discount. 

Most insurance policies will cover liability for injuries for an additional fee. You may need to talk to your insurance agent. 

Understanding Liability With Insurers

Understanding how liability coverage works is crucial to understanding injury claims. When you have liability insurance, your insurer “takes the blame” for accidents that you, yourself, would be held liable for. In many cases, this means that lawyers will sue the insurers if the claims fall within the insurance policy. 

However, there are limits to how much liability a policy can involve. If the court claim is higher than what your policy protects you from, then you may still have to face court and pay for the portion you owe. So, if you owe $100,000 but your policy only works up to $50,000, that means that an additional $50,000 will have to come out of your own pocket. 

Who Do You Sue?

Each injury case is different, especially when insurance is involved. Your lawyer will need to go through the case in detail in order to ensure you have the correct parties held liable. From there, you will be able to approach the correct parties when you deal with your suit. 

Navigating this aspect of personal injury law isn’t easy, nor is compiling the evidence necessary to win a suit. That’s why it’s wise to have an experienced attorney at your side while you put together your case.

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