Uninsured Driver Coverage
It has to be everyone’s worst nightmare, the uninsured motorist. Someone just slammed into the side of your car or truck and when it comes time to get their information you find out that they have no information to give. What is the next step when you are hit by an uninsured motorist and the accident is their fault? You would use your uninsured motorist coverage in this situation. If you use your uninsured driver coverage, you would generally not try to sue the uninsured driver. Remember, drivers who have no car insurance generally don’t have any money either. Instead, you would have to make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limit of your uninsured driver coverage defined in your policy.
Underinsured Driver Coverage
Underinsured driver coverage takes over in the event that you are hit by a driver who carries insufficient car insurance. Insufficient car insurance means that the driver involved does have insurance, but they simply do not have enough coverage to fully cover your claim. If the accident is found to be the other driver’s fault, and he/she is underinsured, then your underinsured motorist coverage would kick in. In these cases, you would make a underinsured motorists claim after you have exhausted the limits of the liability insurance of the at fault driver.
For example: Perhaps your case is worth $100,000, but the negligent party involved only has $50,000 in coverage. In this case you could make an underinsured driver claim against your own insurer as long as you have more than $50,000 in underinsured driver coverage. If you have $100,00 in underinsured driver coverage, you would settle with the negligent driver for $50,000, and would settle with your insurer for an additional $50,000. You may not take the negligent driver’s $50,000 policy and the full $100,000 from your policy. You can only take from your own policy the amount that exceeds the negligent driver’s coverage.
Something to remember about uninsured and underinsured driver coverage is that your coverage may not exceed the amount of your primary coverage. For example: If you have $50,000 in coverage for your own negligence, then you can only carry up to $50,000 in uninsured and underinsured coverage. Uninsured and underinsured coverage is cheap when compared to regular liability coverage, so insurance companies do not want their customers purchasing the minimum liability coverage and then loading up on the cheaper uninsured and underinsured coverage.
How Does a Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Claim Work?
You should contact your insurance provider immediately if you have the feeling that you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver, thereby letting your insurance company know that you intend to file an uninsured or uninsured motorists claim.
Generally speaking an underinsured driver claim will take longer to develop. You usually are not going to know right away the full extent of your underinsured driver claim until your medical treatment progresses and you and your lawyer get a better understanding of the value of your car accident case. Once you or your lawyer believe that your case is worth more than the defendant’s liability coverage, you must inform your insurance company immediately that you intend to make an underinsured driver claim.
Regardless of what type of accident resulted in your injury, no case is too minor or complicated for our office. Here are some of the common types of cases we handle: driver negligence, impairment, or recklessness, dangerous road conditions rear-end collision, construction zone accident, drunk driving, hit and run accident, etc.
We are also experienced with defective automobiles or parts, such as: airbag defect, defective tires, unintended acceleration, child seat defects, crashworthiness, defective seat, window or door, fire or explosion, roof crush, seat belt failures, faulty door latches, etc.
It’s important to know and understand your rights and obligations when you have been injured at the expense of another person. Insurance companies are in the business to make money and are not after looking out for your best interest.
The attorneys and staff at Jones Brown are here to work with you every step of the way and simplify interactions with the insurance company to ensure you reach a settlement that covers the true cost of your accident.
No matter what type of accident you were in, you likely have questions. Take a few minutes to fill out our automobile accident evaluation.