Dealing With Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
A collision with an uninsured driver isn’t a situation that you want to find yourself in. However, if you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage on your auto policy, it can make the process of recovery much easier. This part of your policy comes into play when the at-fault driver either has no insurance, or inadequate insurance coverage, to pay for any injuries, pain and suffering, or lost wages due to any issues that occurred after the crash. Read below for more information on how to deal with these types of claims.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is to help pay for medical bills or other damages that may occur in the case that the at-fault party in the incident does not have any auto liability insurance. Uninsured Motorist Coverage is something that you want to have and never want to reject. It is estimated that a quarter to one-third of Alabama drivers do not carry auto insurance and that these drivers cause forty percent of the wrecks in the State. In other words, if you decline Uninsured Motorist coverage, chances are almost 1 in 2 that you will not be able to make a recovery if you are in a wreck – even if it was the other guys fault. This coverage includes more than just accidents involving vehicles. You may be surprised to find out that it will generally also cover incidents that include phantom (unidentifiable) vehicles and injuries sustained as a bicyclist or pedestrian.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may choose to sue the driver who was at fault. They may be independently wealthy and can write a check to cover the bills or expenses. This is unlikely since most people who choose not to carry liability insurance are rarely sitting on a wealth of money. This is an example of why it is important to have Uninsured Motorist Coverage on your policy.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage is similar to Uninsured Motorist Coverage, however, in the event that the at-fault driver does not carry a sufficient amount of auto insurance, it will cover the losses from the accident. Basically, underinsured coverage was designed to help fill the gap between the bills and expenses following a wreck and the insurance coverage limits that the at-fault driver’s policy provides. In Alabama, Underinsured Motorist Coverage falls under Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
Say you are in a wreck where you sustain a serious injury and the person at fault has coverage with minimum limits of $25,000. You incur astronomical medical bills that are much more than the minimum limit. This is where your Underinsured Motorist Coverage would kick in. In such an event, you may be looking at a total of a $50,000 recovery if you also have minimum limits on your policy and only one car. It is for this reason we recommend a minimum of $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to make an uninsured or underinsured claim, you should give notice to your insurance company immediately. If you don’t notify your insurance company timely, they may deny your claim.
If you ever have to make an uninsured or Underinsured Motorist claim, your insurance company will investigate your injuries, medical treatment, and more. In these situations, your own insurance company can take a very defensive position. In fact, in certain cases, they can actually force you to try your case against the at-fault driver.
The law firm of Lewis & Feldman, LLC, represents those who have been injured or negatively affected by the negligence of others. With more than 50 years combined experience as consumer justice attorneys at law in Birmingham, we’re committed to representing every client with compassion, integrity, and a fierce determination to deliver results. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or wrongful death, give us a call at 205-896-6410 or toll-free 888-705-3997 for a free consultation.
No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.