Even though car insurance is mandatory to have when owning a vehicle, it seems like there is no one asking how much is too much or too little insurance. Or, a more important question, what happens if you are in an accident and the other driver doesn’t even have insurance.
For example, if you are injured in a car accident that isn’t your fault and the other driver has no insurance to compensate your injury. What you can you even do?
Luckily, if you purchased uninsured motorist insurance, or UM, your own insurance provider can compensate you. In this guide, we will take you through the commonly asked questions that are associated with drivers that have little to no insurance coverage.
What is an Uninsured Motorist (UM)?
Uninsured drivers fall into four main categories:
– Those who have less insurance than required by state laws
– Those who have no insurance at all
– Those who suffer injuries from a hit-and-run driver
– Those whose insurance provider cannot pay their claim
Who is Protected by UM Insurance?
You, your vehicle, and all of your passengers are protected by uninsured motorist (UM) insurance if any suffer from damages or injuries by an uninsured motorist. However, most car insurance policies cover you and your relatives, even if the one at-fault is a cyclist or pedestrian.
What is Underinsured Motorist Insurance?
Underinsured motorist insurance, or UMI, is coverage when the person who is at-fault in a car crash either doesn’t have insurance or the money to pay for reparations. Your underinsured motorist coverage takes over when the other driver’s collision coverage is used up completely.
For example, if the part at fault only has insurance coverage to pay $1,000 per accident and the repairs cost you $5,000, your insurance would take the $1,000 and dig into your underinsured motorist coverage to pay for the rest.
This is mainly why it’s so critical to have this insurance. Without it, you could be without help for any of your medical bills or vehicle repairs, which could devastate you financially.
What Does an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Pay?
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for any damages that the at-fault party cannot pay because they either have no insurance or have exhausted their insurance coverage. These damages include:
– Lost wages
– Medical bills
– Funeral costs
How Can I File a UM or UIM Claim?
In order to file a claim, you should first check with your insurance company to determine the requirements. Most policies lay out detailed requirements that you must meet so that you can file your claim. Some insurance companies may request that you get an affidavit from the other driver that states that they did not have insurance when the accident occurred. Others may require you to get proof of exactly how much insurance coverage the other driver had when the accident occurred, such as a copy of their insurance declarations page.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against the Other Driver?
You likely have the option to file a lawsuit against the uninsured or underinsured driver after an accident. However, it depends on the laws in the state where you live. There are no-fault car insurance states and traditional negligence states. In order to get a better idea of the options available to you, contact a local personal injury lawyer.
New York is a no-fault state. If you live here, filing a lawsuit may not be an option for you. In this state and others like it, every driver or their insurance is responsible for paying for their own injuries and damages. It does not matter who was at fault for the accident. This limits your ability to sue the other driver. In fact, you usually cannot sue unless you have suffered from serious injuries or obtained medical bills totaling more than a set amount. Those who live in traditional negligence states can file lawsuits against the other driver if they can prove fault.
If you are ever in an accident with a driver who has little or no car insurance, you will quickly realize how difficult it is to get the compensation you need. These cases are complicated and often, your insurance company will try to lowball your claim. In order to help you get the most for your claim, consider contacting n personal injury law firm for a consultation.
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