Motor vehicle insurance is intended to protect you from financial losses if you are involved in an accident. These losses can result from property damage to your vehicle, other vehicles, other property, and from personal injuries suffered by anyone involved in the accident. In addition to being important, auto insurance is required by law. But what if you are injured in a car accident and the at-fault person doesn’t have insurance? Will your policy cover your medical bills and damage to your car? What if the at-fault person just doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all of your damages? Read on for more information about uninsured and underinsured coverage, and why it’s so important.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM and UIM, respectively) is optional or “add-on” coverage that supplements a basic insurance policy. Don’t let the fact that UM and UIM are optional convince you that they’re unnecessary. If you are injured by a driver who doesn’t carry auto insurance, or whose coverage is inadequate, you may find yourself in serious financial trouble, unless you have UM and UIM coverage. A Boston auto accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Can’t I Just Sue the At-Fault Driver?
Yes, in theory you can sue anyone you want to, but statistics show that the majority of uninsured and underinsured motorists are driving without coverage because they can’t afford it. If they can’t afford $30-a-month for basic auto insurance, how much do you think you’ll get from them in a personal injury lawsuit? That’s not to say that a lawsuit is pointless, but having UM and UIM coverage can protect you against a financial crisis if the at-fault driver is destitute.
Uninsured Driver Statistics
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, or you are injured in a hit-and-run, UM and UIM can save the day. According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately one out of every seven U.S. drivers is uninsured. Further, 12.5 percent of accidents are caused by uninsured drivers, and $28,000,000,000 worth of auto damage is unpaid annually due to uninsured drivers. And there are even more drivers with inadequate insurance policies (UIM). Take the following scenario for example:
Mr. A is involved in an accident with Mr. B; it is Mr. B’s fault. Mr. A is rushed to the hospital, and weeks later the total damages (medical expenses and property damage) have amounted to just over $22,000. Unfortunately, while Mr. B’s insurance policy has bodily injury coverage, it caps at $10,000. If Mr. A has UIM in the amount of $100,000, his policy will kick in to pay the remaining $12,000 that Mr. B’s policy didn’t cover. If, however, Mr. A doesn’t carry UIM, he’ll be on the hook for that $12,000 himself. A MA car accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by an underinsured driver. Continue reading