Nebraska law requires its drivers to carry car insurance up to certain limits. Failure to comply with this law is a Class II Misdemeanor and can be very costly. While most people understand that they must carry car insurance, few understand the ins and outs of their insurance policies.
If you take a look at your Declarations Page, you will see various policy coverages, including bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motor vehicle, underinsured motor vehicle, and medical payments. In Nebraska, drivers are required to carry policies for the following minimums:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident;
- $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident;
- $25,000 property damage liability;
- $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury liability; and
- $50,000 underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
Bodily Injury Liability
Bodily Injury Liability refers to what your insurance will pay the other vehicle's driver and passengers if they are physically injured. Bodily Injury Liability will pay for medical bills and pain and suffering for any occupants in the other vehicle. There are two separate coverage limits. The smaller number refers to the liability limits for physical injuries when the other vehicle only has one passenger. The larger number refers to the liability limits for physical injury when the other vehicle has more than just the driver. For example, if you carry the minimum of $25,000 per person per accident, your insurance will pay the other driver up to $25,000 towards his or her injuries.
Property Damage Liability
Property Damage Liability refers to the damage to vehicles. This can include something as simple as a small scratch or dent or can include the cost of replacing the vehicle. There are two types of Property Damage Liability: Collision and Comprehensive. Collision refers to damage caused by a car crash. Comprehensive refers to damage caused by something other than a car crash, like theft, vandalism, and hail.
Uninsured and Underinsured Bodily Liability
These types of coverage protect you as the policy holder. If you are injured in a car crash and the other driver is at fault, you will be protected up to the other driver's policy limits. Uninsured (UM) refers to other drivers who have no car insurance at all. Underinsured (UIM) refers to situations where the other driver's policy limits do not fully reimburse you for your medical bills and damages. If you sue the other driver and win a verdict larger than the other driver's policy limits, the insurance company will still only pay up that limit. If the at-fault driver has assets, like a house with equity or vehicles without liens, you can collect from the at-fault driver. Unfortunately, most people have more debt than assets. Your UIM policy can cover what's left after the at-fault driver's insurance is exhausted.
You may also have a policy that includes coverage for medical payments. This is separate from Bodily Injury Liability and is frequently referred to as “med pay.” Med pay coverage policy limits are usually $5,000.00, but can be more. Med pay will cover your medical bills and any of your passengers' medical bills (up to the policy limits) regardless of who is at fault.
If you have been injured in a car crash, our attorneys are experienced in helping injured people get the compensation they deserve. Call us for a free consultation at our office.