Getting hurt in a car crash can affect your finances in two major ways. Obviously, you will have medical bills to worry about. If your injuries are serious, you also have the financial loss of missed wages during your recovery.
You probably trust that either car insurance or your health policy will take care of your medical expenses. Those lost wages can be harder to mitigate after a crash, though, and you will also have to think about the expense involved in either replacing or repairing your vehicle. If you didn’t cause the crash, what options do you have for covering these expenses?
Lost wages fall under bodily injury coverage
Typically, the money you should have earned but can’t because of an injury is the liability of the person who hurt you. In a crash clearly caused by another driver, you theoretically get to bring a claim against their insurance policy for all of your expenses, including the wages you lost out on because you were hurt. After all, they are at fault for the crash, which means they are liable for the injuries and losses you suffered.
Unfortunately, the liability insurance system means that you are dependent on the coverage of the person who caused the collision. If they only have the bare minimum amount of insurance they need to drive legally in North Carolina, that might mean just $30,000 of insurance to cover both your medical expenses and the wages you lose after the crash.
If more than one person gets hurt, the minimum coverage for medical-related losses increases to $60,000. A bare-minimum policy will also have $25,000 in property damage coverage. You could still wind up with expenses that far exceed what their insurance policy will pay on your claim. In that situation, unless you make a claim against your own insurance policy, you will probably wind up suffering financial losses because of the crash.