What Is Bodily Injury Liability Insurance
Bodily injury liability car insurance helps to cover the costs when you are held legally responsible for an automobile accident that caused injury or death to people other than you or your passengers. Body injury liability insurance coverage is required by law in most states and may apply if you cause a car accident that injures another driver and/or their passengers, or a pedestrian. Bodily injury coverage limits vary by state.
What Does Bodily Injury Liability Cover?
If you are at fault for a car accident that injures people other than you or your passengers (Medical Payments coverage covers people in your car), bodily injury liability coverage may help cover:
Medical Expenses – In addition to helping pay for their emergency services and hospital care, bodily injury liability insurance can help pay for additional doctor visits and associated costs including medication, crutches or a recovery wheelchair for the injured party.
Lost Income – If for example, you hit another car and the driver is injured, they may have to go through months of physical therapy. Depending on their line of work, they may be unable to perform the functions of their job and may be unable to work for a period of time. Bodily injury liability coverage could help pay for their lost compensation.
What Is a Bodily Injury Claim?
A bodily injury claim is made by a person who was injured in an automobile accident. The claim is made against the person who caused the accident. The claim usually contains information on soft tissue injuries (e.g. damaged tendons, ligaments, skin and other tissues.), hard injuries (e.g. broken bones, joint/head injuries), whiplash trauma, and permanent or residual injuries caused by the accident. The date of injury, how it occurred, the prognosis and length of treatment and recovery are also included in the claim.
Often, bodily injury claims demand compensation be made to the injured person for past and future medical expenses and diminished quality of life due to the accident. This compensation may be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, if you are the one that is hit by an at-fault-driver who carries insufficient car insurance, you would need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and could make a claim up to the limit of that coverage.
How Much Will Bodily Injury Insurance Pay?
Bodily injury liability coverage helps pay the costs of injury claims if you are at fault for an accident where people other than you or your passengers are harmed. If your auto insurance policy doesn’t have enough liability coverage, you could be sued personally. When you’re determining how much bodily injury insurance coverage is appropriate for you, it’s important to consider the value of all the assets you want to protect.
Bodily injury liability coverage generally has two coverage limits: a per-person limit and a per-accident limit. The bodily injury liability insurance coverage amount is a "Split Limit," such as $100,000/$300,000. The first figure is the maximum limit of coverage for one injured person. The second figure is the coverage limit for two or more persons in any one accident or occurrence. The per-person limit applies to each person injured in an accident and the per-accident limit applies to each accident in which multiple people are injured.
It is important to remember that if you are at-fault for injuring someone in a car accident and their medical expenses exceed your bodily injury liability coverage limits, you may have to pay out of pocket to cover the costs. This is why it is important to consider bodily injury liability coverage limits that are higher than what is required by your state.
When Do You Need Bodily Liability Coverage
Let’s say for example, you're driving home on a rainy afternoon when suddenly, the car in front of you brakes. You're unable to stop in time and end up slamming right into the back of the other car.
The other driver is injured and is taken to the hospital. You are held responsible for the other driver's medical bills, lost income and "pain and suffering."
Luckily, you have enough bodily injury liability coverage to cover the costs. If you didn’t have enough insurance coverage, you could be sued for damages.
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