When does insurance pay for a car accident in SC?
In most cases, the other driver’s insurance company will pay your damages in an auto accident, at least up to the policy limits. But, when insurance pays and how much insurance pays may depend on the types of insurance that you and the other driver purchased.
Below, we will discuss the basics of when insurance pays for your car accident, including:
- When the other driver’s insurance must pay your damages,
- When your insurance must pay your damages or the other driver’s damages,
- Considerations when purchasing auto insurance in SC, and
- The types of auto insurance policies that are available.
When Does Insurance Pay for a Car Accident?
The simplest answer is:
- The other driver’s insurance policies pay if the other driver caused the crash, and
- Your insurance policies pay if you caused the crash.
Of course, it can be much more complex than that, and your car accident lawyer will identify and tap all available sources of recovery to help you get full and fair compensation for your injuries after a car crash, which could include:
- The other driver’s insurance policies,
- Your own insurance policies,
- Insurance policies for any third parties that contributed to the accident, and
- The defendants’ personal or business assets if any exist.
When the Other Driver was at Fault
When the other driver’s negligence caused your car accident, they are responsible for the damage that they caused and must pay your compensation.
In most cases, this means that the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for the damage they caused and must pay your compensation.
The other driver’s primary insurance may be on the hook for any settlement or verdict in your case, but what happens if their policy limits do not cover your damages? Other possible sources of recovery could include:
- Multiple insurance policies that cover the other driver or their vehicle,
- Other individuals or businesses who may have been responsible for the crash (and their insurance policies),
- The personal or business assets of the defendants,
- Your own uninsured or underinsured policies,
- Your own PIP/Medpay coverage or umbrella policy, and
- Stacking of multiple policies when the policy limits do not cover your damages.
As a general rule, if the other driver was at fault, their insurance policy will pay your damages. When their primary insurance policy is not enough, however, there may be other options.
When You Were at Fault
If you caused the car accident, the other driver will most likely make a claim against your insurance policy (or go after your assets), and they will have the same options that you would have had if the accident had been their fault.
As a general rule, if you were at fault, your insurance policy will pay the damages. When your insurance coverage is not enough, however, the plaintiff might have other options they can pursue.
Considerations when Purchasing Auto Insurance Policies
If you purchase the minimum insurance requirements in SC, you will not have enough insurance coverage to pay for serious or catastrophic injuries to another driver if you cause an accident – which means that the injured person may come after your assets to pay for their damages.
If you purchased the minimum insurance requirements and someone else causes a car accident where you are injured, you may not have any recourse if they also purchased the minimum requirements and their policy limits do not cover your damages.
How can you prepare for this possibility and protect yourself?
- Don’t purchase the minimum requirements – get sufficient insurance coverage to pay for serious or even catastrophic damages if you are in a car accident that was your fault,
- Purchase additional uninsured and underinsured insurance that will pay for your damages if the other driver cannot, and
- Consider purchasing additional PIP/Medpay and umbrella coverage.
Types of Insurance that You Should Consider
When you go to purchase your auto insurance policy, do some research in advance and be prepared to purchase additional insurance coverage that is sufficient to cover you whether a car accident is caused by you or by another driver who does not have sufficient insurance.
You should consider:
- Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: Pays when you are in an accident with another driver who does not have auto insurance, does not have the minimum requirements for insurance under SC law, left the scene and cannot be located, or whose insurance refuses to pay your claim. This is required under SC law, but you should consider purchasing more than the minimum requirements.
- Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage: Covers your damages up to the policy limits when the other driver’s policy limits are not enough. UIM coverage is not mandatory in SC, but it is worth purchasing.
- Comprehensive insurance: Does not cover collisions but pays for repair or replacement of your vehicle when it is stolen or damaged in an event other than a collision. Comprehensive insurance is also not required under SC law, but it is worth purchasing.
- PIP/ Medpay insurance: PIP or Medpay policies will pay your medical expenses – usually quickly and without litigation – whether you or the other driver were at fault in the crash.
- Umbrella policies: If you have assets that need to protect, you should purchase an umbrella policy that will pay any settlement or verdict against you in excess of your automobile or homeowner policy’s limits, preventing the plaintiff’s attorneys from coming after your personal or business assets.
Car Accident Lawyers in Conway, SC
If you are hurt in an auto accident caused by another driver in Conway or Myrtle Beach, SC, consult with an experienced trial lawyer immediately who can help you to gather the evidence you need to prove liability and damages, identify all possible sources of recovery, settle your claim for full and fair compensation, and try your case to a jury if the insurance company doesn’t pay.
Call Johnny Gardner Law now at 843-248-7135 or send us an email through our website to find out how we can help.