If you have been in a car accident and were hurt because of someone’s actions, you may be hit with all sorts of costs. In addition to the pain from your injuries and the damage to your vehicle, you will have the bills for medical treatment and the necessary time off work.
In most cases, the other driver’s insurance company covers these costs on your behalf if you are able to prove that you did not cause the accident. However, it is not always that simple. Sometimes the driver does not carry enough insurance coverage to pay for all the expenses they caused. This is called “underinsurance.”
What Is Underinsurance?
Underinsurance is when someone has insurance but does not have enough insurance to cover the costs of an accident. For instance, if the driver who caused your accident has a $300,000 policy on their car and the accident resulted in a total of $500,000 in damages, there is a $200,000 difference. If you’ve bought and paid for a full $500,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage, you can make a claim for the difference. Hiring a lawyer can help make sure that you don’t have to pick up any of the extra costs.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
There are also uninsured motorists. These are people who carry less insurance than their state of residence mandates or who have insurance with a company that cannot/will not pay the claim. For instance, this could include someone who does not carry any insurance on their or vehicle.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist and they are at fault, you would not be able to receive payments from their insurance policy.. Instead, you would need to file an uninsured motorist claim. Virtually every South Dakota automobile insurance policy includes uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Not only do many states require it, but it is a good safeguard in the event of an accident. (Buy EXTRA). However, you may still need to hire an attorney to protect your interests and make sure your insurance company acts in good faith on your behalf, because unfortunately, people’s own auto insurers do not always treat them fairly.
The Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
The main difference between uninsured and underinsured motorist claims is whether the person who hurt you has auto insurance to cover their actions in a collision. With Underinsured Motorist Coverage, you have to make two claims, one against the other driver, and one against your own insurer. In contrast, when dealing with an UNinsured motorist, you only file a single claim with your insurance company through your UM coverage. Your car accident attorney will work with your insurance company to make sure that all your costs are covered, up to your policy limit.
If you have been in a car accident and have questions about what coverage you have, contact Turbak Law at (866) 231-0914. Our car accident attorneys can help you understand your options and take action.