Automobile Accidents: Uninsured Or Underinsured Drivers
19 December 2007
When a driver is in an automobile accident with another driver who has insurance with proper coverage, recovery for damages is generally straightforward. However, not every driver carries automobile insurance, which is in violation of state compulsory automobile insurance laws, or has the proper coverage. People do drive vehicles without insurance and are cause an increasing number of accidents each year. When an automobile accident involves an uninsured/underinsured motorist, recovery for damages becomes more difficult. An uninsured motorist refers to a person who is the driver responsible for causing the automobile accident (the at fault driver) and has not insured their vehicle. An underinsured motorist refers to a person who is the driver responsible for causing the automobile accident (the at fault driver) and has insured their vehicle but at limits that are insufficient to cover all of the damages sustained in the automobile accident.
If a driver is involved in an automobile accident with another driver who is uninsured or underinsured, the driver would be compensated by their insurance company if they had purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in their insurance policy. This covers property damage--such as car repairs, bodily injury--such as medical expenses, and other compensatory damages--such as pain and suffering. Uninsured motorist coverage also comes into play when injuries are sustained due to a hit-and-run automobile accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can also be used if a person is hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian.
It is extremely risky to drive without insurance or without proper insurance, so always be sure that your insurance is up to date and covers all of your motor vehicles' needs. If you are properly covered, then your insurance should cover the costs of an accident, should you be at fault. If the other driver is at fault, then their insurance should pay. However, in the case that the other driver does not have insurance or their insurance isn't sufficient, it is wise to have an insurance plan that covers you even if you are hit by someone without insurance.
Although a driver can possibly sue a uninsured/underinsured motorist if their insurance does not include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, there is no guarantee that the uninsured/underinsured motorist will have the money or assets to pay the judgment. Therefore, including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in an insurance policy simply makes sense.
If you have been in an automobile accident and have suffered injuries, you may have a legal case. If you would like to contact a lawyer, please use the Find Attorney button at the top of the page.
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