Auto Insurance Medical Payments VS. Bodily Injury – What’s The Difference?
Not all automobile insurance is created equal. While Illinois law establishes specific minimum requirements for insurance that every driver must meet, there are amounts and types of coverage beyond that which can prove invaluable if you are involved in an accident that results in injuries to yourself or others.
A serious collision can leave drivers, passengers, and others with injuries that require extensive and expensive medical treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, and other expenses. In the most tragic cases, families face the burden of unexpected funeral and related costs on top of the shock and grief they experience after losing a loved one in a car accident. All of these bills need to be paid, and without the right coverage, the heavy burden of paying them may fall on the shoulders of a driver who is in no position to do so.
That is why it is important to understand the two main types of auto insurance coverage in Illinois – medical payments coverage and bodily injury coverage – that address the substantial medical expenses incurred after an injury-causing accident. You may ask, “What’s the difference between auto insurance medical payments vs bodily injury?” Both of these coverages pay for medical costs, but the former covers the costs of care that you or your family members incur, while the latter pays the bills for anyone else you hurt in a crash.
Sometimes called MedPay, medical payments coverage covers medical expenses you incur after an accident. It also can help pay for any medical treatment needed by passengers in your vehicle. Not only does MedPay cover the cost of injuries you sustain while behind the wheel of your own car, but it also may cover medical expenses from injuries you suffer while driving someone else’s car or if you are hit by a car while walking or riding your bike.
MedPay coverage, which is optional in Illinois, covers such common post-accident expenses as:
- EMT and ambulance fees
- Hospital visits and stays
- Doctor visits
- Surgery and X-rays
- Professional nursing services and care
- Prosthetic limbs
- Dental procedures needed as a result of a crash
- Funeral costs
Unlike some other coverages, such as liability coverage, MedPay will pay for your medical costs regardless of who was at fault for your accident. If you have medical insurance that covers many of your healthcare costs, including those incurred because of a car accident injury, MedPay coverage can fill in a lot of the gaps in that coverage. MedPay can cover things like deductibles and copays that would otherwise come out of your pocket.
Bodily Injury Coverage
While Illinois law does not require drivers to carry collision, comprehensive, MedPay, or uninsured property damage coverage, all policies issued in the state must include a minimum amount of liability coverage for bodily injury.
If you are responsible for a crash that injures someone else, bodily injury liability coverage may help pay for the injured person’s medical expenses, compensate them for lost wages and income, and cover legal fees you incur in the event the injured party files a lawsuit against you.
This type of coverage includes injuries you may cause to the driver or passengers in another car, pedestrians, or any unrelated passengers in your vehicle. This coverage does not pay for you or your family’s medical expenses or lost income if you cause a car accident.
The minimum amounts of bodily injury liability insurance every Illinois driver must have are:
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident
Of course, the costs of medical care after a serious auto accident injury can quickly exceed those minimum limits. If you’re responsible for an accident, you’ll also be liable for any amounts sought by an injured party above the amount of coverage you have. That is why many prudent drivers carry bodily injury coverage in an amount significantly higher than the state minimum.
Contact Our Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer
After you’ve been injured in a car accident, dealing with insurance coverage issues is just one of the burdens you face as you try to get better and obtain compensation for your losses. Kirk Moyer, our Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer, works closely with car accident injury victims to get them every dollar to which they are entitled and has earned a reputation for service and success representing and recovering substantial damages for injury victims in Waukegan and throughout Lake County, IL. Please contact Lake County personal injury law firm today to arrange for your FREE initial consultation.