If you have been looking through the terms of your existing car insurance, of you have been researching options for a new policy, you may have noticed the term “no-fault” quite a few times. When most of us think about car insurance, we think about getting a check from another person’s insurance company if they caused an accident — seeing “no-fault” on a policy might make you wonder if it means that nobody is ever responsible for an accident that they cause, and that you are paying to make sure you are covered in 100% of the times. This is not the case.
Your no-fault policy will not stop you from collecting money from another driver’s insurance company after they cause an accident, but it WILL ensure that you have some degree of coverage no matter who is at fault. In fact, the no-fault part of your overall policy is likely the first thing that a Bakersfield personal injury lawyer will use while they are putting together a case for you to collect more damages.
What Is Medical Payments Coverage?
You may be concerned about selecting a no-fault section of your insurance when you are selecting a new policy. There is nothing to worry about – you are simply looking at the options for a Med Pay portion of your policy that is no-fault, and it has no impact on the rest of the coverage that you build for yourself. A Med Pay policy is an optional addition to your policy in California, but before skimming past it, you may want to consider the advantages. In other states where this type of policy is mandatory, it is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
Advantages of a Med Pay Option in California
If you opt to add Med Pay Coverage to your insurance policy, you are covering yourself for quite a few unfortunate situations: If you are hit by someone who is underinsured or uninsured, you are going to be able to get a payment no matter what to help with your medical expenses. The coverage is nowhere near as much as you would get if you were able to seek full damages from the person who caused the accident, but if you are left with an option of “something” or “nothing,” it’s likely that you go with “something.”
In addition, you can collect on your Med Pay policy while you are in the process of building a personal injury lawsuit. If you accept a settlement offer from the other driver’s insurance company, you will NOT be able to continue with a suit. However, collecting money from your own Med Pay will have no bearing on whether or not you can move forward with a suit to collect the full damages you deserve.
Disadvantages of a Med Pay Policy in California
Since your Med Pay policy isn’t mandatory, you may be wondering what, if any, disadvantages there would be to getting it? Well, for starters, you are obviously paying more money on your policy for the additional protection.
In addition, the money you get back from your Med Pay policy is significantly less than what you would get back from a personal injury lawsuit. These policies are designed to reduce the number of lawsuits across the country, and arguably do an effective job at lower amounts, but when you get past the $10,000 mark, the Med Pay fails to cover you adequately.