A couple meets with an insurance agent


Ron Shepherd July 29, 2021

Insurance is one of life’s necessities. That’s why many laws and lenders require it. We pay the premiums faithfully and hope that if we ever need our insurance, it will cover some of the most extreme expenses that we may not otherwise be able to afford.

Unfortunately, insurance can also be complicated. When does it pay? If I’m in an auto accident, whose insurance pays for my property damage? Whose insurance pays for my medical bills or lost income?

If you have been in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you probably have a number of questions about insurance coverage just like these. Here at our firm, Shep Law Group, we have answered insurance questions for hundreds of clients from Boise, Meridian, Ada County, Canyon County, and across the entire state of Idaho. If you have questions, we have answers. Call or reach out to our firm today to learn more about how we can help you with your situation!

How Can I Be Compensated for a Personal Injury Claim?

Idaho is considered a fault state for auto insurance. That means that the person who is found to be at fault for the accident is responsible for paying for the resulting damages.

If you have been in an accident, you can file a claim with your own auto insurance for medical payment benefits under your plan. Those benefits can help you pay for any medical expenses while you are pursuing a claim against a negligent driver. You may also file a claim under your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage if the negligent driver has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover your damages.

If you can prove liability on the part of the other driver, you can also file a third-party claim against that driver’s auto insurance plan. You can recover compensation for economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages, and for non-economic damages such as any additional pain and suffering you’ve been forced to endure.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If the other driver’s insurer denies your third-party claim or refuses to settle your claim for a fair amount of compensation, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. Their insurance company will then hire attorneys to defend their insured in the lawsuit. In Idaho, you have two years from the date of the crash to either settle your claim or file a lawsuit in the appropriate civil court.

What Insurance Coverage Is Required in Idaho?

Every vehicle owner in Idaho is required by Idaho’s motor vehicle financial responsibility laws to carry a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage and property damage coverage. Although many drivers pay for policies with higher limits, the legally required minimums are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury of another person

  • $50,000 for bodily injury per person per accident

  • $15,000 for damage done to someone else’s vehicle or other property

What Optional Insurance Coverage Might Be Available to Me?

Insurers are required by Idaho law to include Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage in the same amount as the bodily injury liability coverage. However, you can refuse this coverage in writing.

For example, if you have $25,000 in liability coverage and do not refuse UM/UIM coverage, you also have $25,000 in those coverages as part of your policy. If you are injured by a motorist who does not have liability insurance, you would be able to assert a claim against your own uninsured motorist coverage.

Should someone injure you who has only the $25,000 minimum coverage and your damages exceed that sum, you can also file a claim against your own UIM coverage to make up the difference.

Medical Payment Coverage

Paying for medical payment coverage is also optional, but wise. You can access these benefits to pay medical expenses if you are in an auto accident while in your own vehicle or if you are injured as a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. You can also access medical payment benefits if, for example, you are injured by a vehicle while walking down the street.

One thing to remember when buying insurance is that you are insuring yourself, not your vehicle. You can incur $25,000 in medical expenses quite quickly even with minor injuries. Paying for optional coverage usually does not cost much more, but the investment is definitely worth it if you are ever injured in an accident.

Get Help from Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys

Part of what an experienced Idaho personal injury attorney brings to your case is knowledge about insurance coverage and how it works. Although it may seem confusing to you, it is not to our attorneys at Shep Law Group. We investigate insurance coverage and the assets of the person who caused your injuries in an effort to successfully secure fair compensation for your injuries.

Our attorneys at Shep Law Group are passionate about helping accident victims pursue justice. Money often does not fully restore health and certainly never fully compensates families for the loss of a loved one, but we are dedicated to pursuing compensation that can make a difference to injured victims and their loved ones.

If you have been injured in an accident and live in Boise or Meridian, Idaho, or in the surrounding areas of Ada County, Canyon County, or anywhere else in the State of Idaho — call our office today to schedule a free case consultation. The two-year statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims runs quickly, so do not wait. Contact our office today and put our experience to work for you.