Why It’s Important To Have Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Importance of Underinsured Motorist Coverage
When you’ve been involved in a major car accident, you’re most likely facing expensive car repairs and possibly expensive medical bills, which can be extremely difficult to pay when your accident was caused by an underinsured driver.
If the person at fault in your accident was underinsured, it can mean you won’t be able to get the compensation that you need to pay your bills and support your family. This can be an extremely difficult circumstance, as you may be facing hefty financial losses as a result of the crash.
It is for this reason that many people choose to carry underinsured motorist coverage. If you’ve never considered purchasing underinsured motorist coverage, it’s a good idea to learn how this type of insurance can protect you financially after your next wreck.
Discover why you need underinsured motorist coverage and find out the reasons you should hire a Nashville car accident lawyer for help.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage vs Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Before getting into the details of these two kinds of insurance policies, it is important to lay the groundwork and discuss the differences between these coverage types.
Uninsured motorist coverage helps in scenarios when you get into an accident with an individual who has no coverage whatsoever. No matter how minor the damages incurred in the collision, there is no policy in place to compensate you.
Underinsured motorist coverage is helpful when you are in an accident caused by someone who does not have enough insurance or has severe liability limits. Their plan is not sufficient to cover the losses, but they do still have one. This happens most often when individuals choose to pay for cheap insurance to save money. When the other driver does not have enough insurance, underinsured coverage will come into play.
Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
If you’re a responsible car owner, then it’s a pretty good bet that you possess uninsured motorist coverage. The reasons for this are varied, but the primary reason to carry uninsured motorist coverage is that accidents involving uninsured drivers are extremely expensive.
When an uninsured driver causes an accident, there is almost no way for you to receive any sort of compensation, as they don’t have insurance and also because they don’t have any resources that you could win in a civil suit. Their lack of resources means that no settlement can be reached that will be fair to you and cover the damages you have suffered.
When you have uninsured motorist coverage, however, you can file a claim against your car insurance after being involved in a major accident. Uninsured motorist coverage is a way to protect yourself in the event of a collision with the wrong person, which would otherwise leave you in financial ruin.
There are two main types of uninsured motorist coverage:
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UMBI Coverage)
UMBI coverage is exclusively for injuries. When you have medical bills as a result of the accident, this bodily injury coverage can help cover those and other related medical expenses during your recovery.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD Coverage)
UMPD coverage only applies to property damage that has occurred because of a collision with an uninsured motorist. This could be car damage or damage to other owned property. Property damage coverage can help cover the replacement or repair costs associated with the accident.
The Importance of Underinsurance Coverage
What many car owners don’t realize is that being in an accident caused by an underinsured driver can be almost as financially devastating as those involving an uninsured driver. This person may have chosen a cheaper insurance policy, counting on their ability to avoid accidents and never needing the coverage.
Being Prepared for Future Payments
Unfortunately, you often won’t know that the other driver in your accident is underinsured until months later, which can complicate paying your bills and repairing your car. You may have assumed that their insurance company would cover costs for you, but their policy limit prohibits it.
Making Up the Difference
To make sure that you are fully compensated after your car accident, you should make sure to carry underinsured motorist coverage. When the insurance coverage of the underinsured driver runs out, you can be sure you have the support you need by filing a claim against your car insurance.
There are lots of expenses to consider. There is the initial collision deductible. Your car insurance coverage premiums could be affected. Medical bills may be costly.
Why Does it Matter when an Accident Involves an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?
It all comes down to fairness. After an accident, you may be facing medical bills, lost wages, property damage, funeral expenses in the event of a death, pain, and suffering, and other negative effects.
Damages Incurred Should Not Lead to Financial Ruin
You have a right to pursue damages to help cover those financial and emotional losses. But when you are in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver, the amount you can earn is limited by their resources and their policy.
Underinsured motorist coverage will protect you and cover additional costs when their policy is insufficient. If they do not have any insurance company at all, then uninsured motorist coverage helps offset your losses. You will still be able to pursue medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering compensation.
In Case of a Hit-and-Run
This comes into play, especially after a hit-and-run accident. When a hit-and-run driver flees the scene of the crash, you obviously cannot be compensated by their insurance if they are not caught. In this case, you can file a claim for uninsured motorist coverage if you have it within your insurance policy already.
These car insurance products help ensure that you have enough coverage after experiencing car damage or bodily injury.
Filing Your Claim, Step by Step
As in life, timing is everything when it comes to filing an insurance claim after your accident with underinsured drivers.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The moment you’re aware that the at-fault driver does not possess adequate insurance, you will need to inform your insurance company about your intention to file a claim on your car insurance policy. Acting quickly is important because many insurance companies have deadlines for filing a claim, usually about thirty days.
Consult with a Lawyer
Once your claim is filed, the process is fairly straightforward. However, you should make sure that you consult with a Nashville car accident lawyer to make sure that your interests are represented throughout the process, especially when it comes time to negotiate with the insurance company.
What About a Personal Injury Claim?
Let’s say you don’t have underinsured motorist coverage OR uninsured motorist coverage and you get into an accident with uninsured or underinsured drivers.
When is this an Option?
In some cases, you could file a personal injury claim to recover your financial losses. However, this will only be possible if the driver has the resources to pay a settlement out-of-pocket. This is unlikely for uninsured or underinsured drivers because if they aren’t paying for adequate insurance, it is probably due to a lack of resources.
If it is a possibility, our team can walk you through the claims process to help you recover damages after the crash.
Hire a Nashville Car Accident Lawyer
What exactly can a legal expert do after this type of accident?
File an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Claim
If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, then you can file a claim against your own insurance company to cover losses. Whether you are struggling with medical expenses from your injuries, lost wages due to an inability to work, emotional distress, or other lost resources, your liability coverage can help alleviate the financial burden.
File a Personal Injury Claim
If the at-fault driver has sufficient insurance or plenty of resources, you can file an injury claim against them. This would also help cover any medical expenses and other financial losses that resulted from the accident caused by their negligence.
A personal injury claim can be complicated, just as an insurance claim, due to fault. You must be able to prove that the accident occurred due to the fault of the other driver and that the damages you suffered were a direct result of the collision.
Protect Your Rights
If you have uninsured and underinsured coverage, you have the right to file a claim against your insurance company after an accident to gain access to compensation for your losses. Taking advantage of this auto insurance policy may require a complex process that you don’t fully understand.
It is best to consult with a lawyer from our team to discuss your options for paying for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Collision insurance is meant to protect you when car insurance companies aren’t fully covering a driver after an accident, so let us defend your rights no matter the circumstances after a car crash.
Contact Us Today
If you’re having trouble getting the compensation that you need after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you need to get help from a Nashville car accident lawyer, like the ones you’ll find at Mitch Grissim & Associates.