Is insurance actually enough to cover injury costs?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Personal Injury

Personal injury claims can arise under a variety of circumstances. Maybe someone slips on poorly maintained stairs at an apartment complex and breaks their leg when they fall. Perhaps they suffer a brain injury in a car crash caused by a distracted driver.

Many different scenarios can lead to one person suffering physical consequences for another party’s negligence or intentional misconduct. Often, people who get hurt in such situations expect the party at fault to compensate them for their losses, possibly by providing insurance coverage. Unfortunately, especially when injuries are more serious, people often find that insurance isn’t enough to cover their expenses. They may then need to look into alternative options, including lawsuits.

Policies are subject to strict limits

Businesses, property owners and drivers purchasing insurance coverage sign a contract for a specific amount of coverage. Their policy limits represent an absolute maximum amount of compensation available if the situation leads to harm to others. In Virginia, the required insurance for motor vehicles may fall far below the total costs of a crash. The basic business insurance carried by a local company or the premises liability coverage of a landlord might be far lower than someone’s total expenses.

Those who understand their likely long-term losses may quickly realize that the available insurance isn’t enough. The lifelong medical impact of catastrophic injuries can easily add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. People need to consider not just their current and potential future medical expenses, but also lost wages, the need for accommodations and the loss of function. These concerns can all have major financial implications for an individual injured due to negligence or bad behavior.

Although people may hope to use insurance to cover some of their losses, they may also need to consider a personal injury lawsuit. Litigation can lead to more comprehensive coverage, hopefully limiting the long-term consequences someone has to accept due to the bad behavior of another party.

Evaluating which individuals and businesses could be liable for a recent injury may benefit those who have been harmed due to another’s negligence and are now worried about covering their hospital bills and lost income. Understanding the limits of insurance coverage may help people feel more comfortable about pursuing personal injury lawsuits. Those who know that insurance could fall short may feel empowered to take the right steps to obtain appropriate compensation.