Driving a vehicle comes with some risks. A vehicle crash happens about once a minute in the United States, making it a common occurrence. You are likely to be involved in an accident at some time in your life. Fortunately, most traffic accidents are minor fender-benders, and do not result in serious injuries or damages. Some accidents, however, are major and the drivers and passengers could sustain severe or life-threatening injuries. Wisconsin law requires all drivers to carry insurance to protect others in case of an accident.
Wisconsin Legal Vehicle Insurance Requirements
The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, provides the minimum insurance requirements for drivers. The minimum legal liability insurance coverage is:
$10,000 for property damage$25,000 for injury or death of one person$50,000 for injury or death of more than one person Liability insurance covers the policyholder against claims of loss or damage when the policyholder is negligent in an accident. Drivers must provide insurance that pays another person’s medical expenses and damages in the event of an accident that is your fault.
The law also requires that you provide proof of insurance at the time of a traffic stop or accident. If you fail to present proof of insurance to a member of law enforcement, you could face penalties. If you drive without insurance you could be cited and fined up to $500. If you provide false proof of insurance, you will face charges that could result in penalties of up to $5,000.
Protect Yourself with Adequate Vehicle Insurance
Many people think they have full insurance coverage only to find out later that they did not have adequate protection. The law requires only minimal protection, so you should always supplement the insurance policy with additional coverage. The most important parts of the policy are the uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, so pay particular attention to these amounts. You may want to carry as much as $250,000 per occurrence. This coverage is essential because it protects you in case of an accident with a motorist who is not insured. It is also best to increase liability coverage from the minimum amounts required by law. The limits of 25,000/50,000 are too low and you could leave yourself open to problems. Increase this limit when possible to at least 50,000/100,000 or higher.
What Happens if I am Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, or underinsured driver, your own insurance policy will provide you with coverage for your injuries. UM and UIM policies cover only physical injuries and does not provide protection for damage to your vehicle. If coverage is not enough to protect you, there are some legal steps you can take. However, keep in mind that if a driver does not have insurance, it may be likely that he or she does not have any financial resources to provide you with reimbursement for your medical expenses. It is best to discuss your options with an experienced Wisconsin accident attorney. Contact our legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. for assistance with your accident and injury claim needs.