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Understanding Your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In most scenarios, the driver who causes a car accident through his or her negligence is liable for any victims’ damages related to the collision. The driver’s automobile insurance pays for these damages if the victims choose to pursue personal injury claims against the negligent driver. When a driver does not have automobile insurance or carries less than he or she needs to cover a victim’s damages, the victim can face a difficult quandary as his or her medical bills and other expenses continue to grow.

If the victim has uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on his or her automobile insurance policy, recovering compensation damages does not have to be a problem. This coverage compensates injured drivers in exactly this situation, providing a “safety net” for those injured in collisions with drivers without sufficient coverage.

Who is an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist?

An uninsured motorist is a driver who does not have valid automobile insurance. Because a collision with an uninsured motorist can saddle an injured victim with large expenses, 22 states require that drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage can also compensate victims of hit-and-run accidents where the responsible party is uninsured or cannot be identified.

An underinsured motorist is a driver whose liability coverage is not enough to cover the victim’s damages after a collision. 14 states require drivers to purchase underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist covers the difference between what the victim receives from the negligent driver’s insurer and what he or she actually needs for his or her damages.

Filing an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim

Like with a personal injury claim, you will need to provide evidence to support your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. Your insurance provider may reduce the amount of compensation you receive or even reject your claim outright if you do not sufficiently show that the collision was caused by another driver’s negligence.

Evidence you can use to support your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim includes:

  • A copy of the official police report for your accident;
  • Photographs of the collision and your injury;
  • Copies of your medical bills;
  • Proof of your lost wages;
  • A court judgment showing that the other driver drove drunk or otherwise violated the law; and
  • Documentation showing your ongoing medical treatment needs and long-term prognosis.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you gather these pieces of evidence and negotiate with your insurance provider on your behalf.

Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you can still recover compensation for the damages you suffered despite the other driver’s inability to cover your losses. Contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd today to set up your initial consultation with us. During your consultation, we can examine the circumstances of your case and work with you to pursue compensation through your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Published February 7, 2018
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