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How Do Your Automobile and Health Insurance Policies Divide Coverage for Your Crash Injuries?

If you live in Tennessee and you’ve been injured in an auto accident, do you know which insurance policy — automobile or medical — you should look to for compensation? The first thing you need to realize is that you might not have a choice. In Tennessee, drivers are only required to carry liability insurance, which pays for injuries they negligently cause to others. You may purchase additional coverage for your own personal injuries and those of your family members, but you’re not required to do so. If you do not have that coverage, you will need to ask your health insurer to cover your medical bills for a car accident.

If you do have personal injury coverage on your car insurance policy, you should use it first for two reasons. First, unlike regular health insurance, auto insurance normally doesn’t have deductibles, so it covers 100 percent of your medical bills. Second, your automobile policy might cover more than medical bills. Some policies reimburse you for therapeutic services, lost wages, funeral expenses and even cleaning, childcare and other home services, if your injuries make you unable to perform those tasks.

Unfortunately, it’s not a given that you will be compensated by either your automobile or health insurance carrier. Your health insurance policy might exclude coverage for injuries caused by an auto accident. And even if you have medical coverage under your car insurer, they may require you to be examined by a physician they hire — and that doctor might conclude that your injuries pre-date the accident, denying you coverage. If that happens, you will need an attorney who can help you prove that your injuries are accident-related and negotiate a satisfactory settlement or prepare a lawsuit against your carrier.

If you do not have personal injury coverage, or your coverage is declined or inadequate for your needs, you might still be able to seek compensation from the driver at fault for the accident or that driver’s auto insurer. If that is the case, you are better off retaining an experienced, skilled auto accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf and, if necessary, sue the driver. Your attorney might even be able to get you compensation for things insurance won’t pay for, such as your pain and suffering and loss of the enjoyment of life.

The auto accident attorneys at Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. in Bristol, Tennessee have more than 75 years of combined legal experience helping auto accident victims obtain full, fair compensation. If you have been injured in an auto accident, call our law firm at 423-797-6022 or contact us online to schedule a free introductory consultation.

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  • Bristol Office
    777 Anderson Street
    Bristol, Tennessee 37620
    Phone: 423-797-6022
    Fax: 423-764-1179
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