If you’re a motorist in Kansas, you will have a mandatory insurance cover to protect you and other persons in case of an accident. But does your insurance policy cover all that you may endure as a result of being in an auto accident? Read on to find out.
Types of Coverages Provided by Your Car Insurance Policy in Kansas
Your automobile insurance provides a set of different covers under one umbrella. These include the following four mandatory coverages along with some optional covers.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Also popularly known as no-fault coverage, PIP pays for the medical treatment, rehabilitation costs, funeral costs, lost income and home-assistance costs for the driver or passengers injured in a car accident. Kansas is a no-fault state, which means that your own insurer is responsible to compensate you regardless of who was at fault.
- Injury liability: This covers the cost of medical treatment, rehab, funeral costs and legal expenses for a person injured in an accident where you or a family member was at fault.
- Property damage liability: This element in your policy covers the cost of repairs or replacement of other person’s property damaged by you or a family member when in an auto accident. It also covers legal expenses.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection: This cover is applicable in hit-and-run cases of if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. It pays for medical treatment of injuries to pedestrians or bike-riders. It also covers funeral costs in case of death.
In addition to the above, you may purchase an optional Collision cover, which covers automobile repair in case of a collision or rollover, or Comprehensive insurance to cover for damages from events like storms, hail or fire.
Additional Medical Coverage with Med-Pay
Many insurance providers offer Med-Pay, a type of medical insurance which covers the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitation after a car accident. While Med-Pay does not cover lost income and other associated expenses, some people opt for it to enhance their PIP cover, particularly when their PIP plan offers minimum coverage.
Compensation for Psychological Suffering Caused by an Accident
None of the insurance covers discussed above provide cover for the extensive psychological trauma an individual may suffer after being in an accident that altered their quality of life, rendered them unfit to earn an income or affected their personal relationships. Non-economic damages often include the injury itself, emotional distress, disability, loss of companionship, loss of reputation, and loss of ability to enjoy life.
Because they are not easily quantifiable, non-economic damages are generally subjected to complex scrutiny by the insurance adjuster or by the defendant’s lawyer during trial. The good news is that the Kansas Supreme Court recently disposed of the damages cap of $325,000 on non-economic damages suffered due to a personal injury. The change will apply to medical malpractice cases, auto accidents and other accidents that result in personal injury. The ruling does not apply to wrongful death or punitive damages.
If you or a family member was involved in a personal injury case that resulted in non-economic damages—or if you’re not sure whether to include such losses in your claim—consult a personal injury attorney to know your legal rights.
Compensation in Case of Serious Injury
If an auto accident left you with a serious injury, you can bypass the no-fault rule and file a lawsuit against the erring driver. Serious injuries include dismemberment, permanent loss of a body function or organ, compound fractures, other grievous injuries requiring extensive treatment (such as spinal injury or brain injury,) and death.
How Hiring a Lawyer Can Help You Gain Your Rightful Compensation
In case of serious physical injuries, property damage or psychological pain and suffering, having a seasoned accident lawyer by your side gives you access to timely legal advice. In most cases, retaining a lawyer can get you a higher compensation than you would be able to negotiate on your own. This is because car accident lawyers with extensive experience in the field know how to navigate the complex automobile accident laws and deal with insurance companies that are always looking for loopholes in your claim to minimize your payout.
Sometimes an insurance company may refuse to compensate under PIP citing an issue with medical records or other facts of the accident. In such a scenario, a legal professional can take charge and resolve the complex issues holding back your compensation. Moreover, if the driver at fault has appointed a lawyer to represent them, it is only wise that you retain a lawyer to safeguard your rights.