Visitor Question

Can I File an Injury Claim Against My Own Auto Insurance Coverage?

Submitted By: Lee (Lincoln, RI)

I was involved in a roll over car accident due to weather conditions, no other vehicle was involved in the crash and I have suffered a permanent neck injury due to whiplash. I have uninsured underinsured motorist coverage but there was no other vehicle/person involved in the crash.

Am I able to file a claim against my own insurance company for bodily injury?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Lee,

Lee:

It is a little complicated. Each state has different insurance regulations. Let’s focus on Rhode Island’s. Unlike many other states Rhode Island does not require “No-Fault” insurance. No Fault insurance would normally cover collisions where neither party was at fault.

But curiously enough a driver who crashes as a result of bad weather is deemed to be at fault. That is because the driver should have slowed down, pulled over till the bad weather passed, or have taken any other number of reasonable actions to avoid a collision.

OK, what’s next? Most states have one form or another of what is called “Personal Injury Protection” insurance, commonly referred to as “PIP”. Depending upon the type and amount of PIP insurance purchased, in some states PIP can cover medical bills, lost wages and even some out of pocket expenses.

PIP though will not cover mental anguish or pain and suffering regardless of the state in which the collision occurred.

It gets a little more complicated. The State of Rhode Island DOES NOT have PIP. Instead they have a hybrid of PIP referred to simply as “Medical Payments” insurance, or more commonly “Med-Pay”.

Depending upon the amount of Med-Pay you purchase, it will cover the medical bills resulting from your bodily injury in the crash; and it will do so regardless of fault.

It will though not cover lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and of course, mental anguish or pain and suffering.

In Rhode Island the maximum amount of Personal Injury Protection one can purchase is $10,000 dollars. So Lee if you had PIP insurance at the time of the collision you should submit any of your medical bills to your insurance company and expect them to be paid promptly and with little question.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 21, 2011

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