Many catastrophic injuries are a result of automobile accidents but more often than not, auto insurance policies do not fully cover the medical costs. What is the point of requiring auto insurance if it cannot fully cover the costs associated with a catastrophic accident? Who pays if the insurance policy is not enough? These are questions that many people have on this topic. The answers to these questions can be an alarming reality to those who are affected by catastrophic accidents. Oftentimes, people do not know how auto insurance works and what their policy covers. It is usually something a person only thinks about when they first purchase a policy and it never crosses their mind again. Even when purchasing a policy, consumers typically do not fully understand how the different coverage options will come into play when they need it the most.
How Insurance Policies Work
In the state of California, a resident is required to have an auto insurance policy with minimum coverage up to $15,000 per person and up to $30,000 per accident. Higher policies and additional coverage are options, but are not required. When an accident occurs that causes significant damage, these minimal policies create more difficulty for those involved. Regardless of how catastrophic an individual’s injuries are, the insurance policy will only pay up to $15,000 for their medical expenses. If multiple people are injured, the insurance settlement will split the $30,000 between each injured person. This creates even lower coverage for catastrophically injured individuals.
But you still may be thinking to yourself, $15,000 seems like a decent amount. However, when you factor in the cost of an ambulance ride, which is typically $1,000, and an initial emergency room visit, which is usually tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars for catastrophic injuries, that number starts to look a lot smaller. In addition to the first initial medical costs, depending on the type of catastrophic injury a person sustains, they may also need to be transferred to a rehabilitation center to finish healing or require in-home nursing for a period of time. Furthermore, catastrophically injured individuals commonly have to undergo multiple surgeries or need mobility accessibilities such as prosthetics, wheel chairs, wheelchair vans, and more. This can also add additional cost for a family that may need to eventually remodel their house to be ADA compliant or move to a more accommodating home. Lastly, these catastrophic injuries require extensive therapy for a long period of time that also add up to thousands of dollars for years to come. Regardless of an auto insurance policy having higher coverage, these numbers are still staggering. Even with health insurance, the costs associated with catastrophic injuries are overwhelming.
How MPFIC Helps Catastrophically Injured Children
Naturally, the next thought that might come to mind is why not retain an attorney to sue the at-fault individual who did not have enough coverage for the catastrophic accident? Afterall, it is not the catastrophically injured person’s fault they got into this mess. Although it is a possibility, the reality is that almost every time an individual has a lower policy, they do not have the resources to afford a higher policy. Needless to say, they typically do not own any assets to seize as well. Unless an attorney can confirm that the individual has assets to pursue, they will advise against going down this path. It is a very lengthy and expensive process. An attorney would not want a client to go through a trial that will ultimately leave them with less money to cover their expenses. As a result, families in these situations feel lost and hopeless.
Learn about Cinnamon, a young 14-year old girl, who was hit by a car while walking her dogs and how the auto insurance policy was not enough to cover the lasting effects of her traumatic brain injury.
Recovering from a traumatic experience is extremely difficult and adding a financial burden is draining. This is a sad reality that personal injury attorneys see far too often with their clients. It is heartbreaking to see anyone, especially children, go through this experience and not have the resources to properly heal and live a full life. This is the fundamental reason why MPFIC was founded. This is the heart and soul of why we do what we do.