If you get in a car accident and you have Medical Payments on your insurance coverage, your insurance company will pay for you and anyone in the car that has an injury up to policy limits. This is really good to add to your insurance policy if you don’t already have it and it only costs a small portion more per year (you will be surprised how little). With this included in your policy, care is easy and effortless on your part.
Now, if you do NOT have medical payments on your car insurance policy and are hit by someone else:
During your care with a doctor, the insurance company for the person who is “at fault” sends a final settlement for damages to you in the mail or sometimes wants verification over the phone. After this is verified, the insurance company will send out a check within 30 days after you reach this settlement figure for car damages or in some cases, the car repair shop will send the bill directly to the insurance company for repayment. A “release” is included with the final paperwork to sign for closure of the damage part of your insurance settlement. You must sign the release and return it to the insurance after which you are free to deposit the check.
Be Careful What You Sign Though….
If you also have a personal injury claim arising out of the same accident, which means you are seeing someone for injuries sustained by your car accident. Be sure to read the documents you are to sign in accepting a property damage settlement. When you receive the check and release document, make sure the words “Property Damage Only” or “Property Damage Claim” are presented on each of the documents requiring signature. Do not deposit any check or sign any document that reads “General Release” or does not clearly indicate “Property Damage.” If you are not certain that either the settlement check or release is properly marked, ask the insurance adjuster to add “Property Damage Only” on the documents and to write you a separate letter confirming that this settlement amount is only for the property damage part of your claim.
This release is FOREVER and if you sign a document which covers your personal injury, you will no longer be compensated for your injuries and your case is closed. A lot of insurance companies will pressure you to settle your injury claim, but do not do so until you are advised by your doctor that you are indeed finished with care. Also, there may be future problems with a car accident injury that may not look like it is attributed to the past accident. Try and make sure to negotiate future medical expenses in your settlement. If you are not comfortable with the settlement, you may want to contact a lawyer, continue your treatment and have them negotiate with the insurance company.
Check your insurance policy today and find out if you have medical coverage on your policy, you won’t regret it.