The law requires drivers in the United States to purchase insurance premiums. However, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) says that in 2012, one in eight American drivers — equivalent to 12.6% of motorists — had no insurance. This means that approximately 30 million drivers were uninsured.
The Risks Posed by Uninsured Drivers
If an uninsured motorist causes bodily harm, property damage, or the death of a loved one, the risks that follow are bigger than you might imagine. Uninsured motorists can leave you stuck with permanent physical disabilities, lifelong facial scars, emotional trauma, or sky-high medical bills. There are many scenarios in which uninsured motorists hit other drivers or even pedestrians who cannot work after their accident and therefore lose income.
Luckily, uninsured motorist coverage can provide assistance if an uninsured driver hits you.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is the insurance premium that protects your welfare if you suffer injuries in a car accident involving an uninsured, negligent driver. Uninsured drivers may fit has the following characteristics:
- Motorists with no coverage at all.
- A motorist whose premium falls short of the state-definition of minimum liability standards.
- The driver’s insurer denied the claim or was unable to meet the financial responsibility the claimant requires.
- A hit and run motorist who causes bodily injury (UMBI) but whose identity or whereabouts remain unknown.
In 21 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory. Texas and Nevada go further than the mandatory Uninsured Motorist Insurance to use an online-based insurance verification to establish uninsured motorists.
When Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Help?
The uninsured motorist premiums cater for the injuries below:
- While you drive a vehicle or ride a motorcycle listed in your policy.
- When riding or driving in another vehicle (i.e., not necessarily the car you own).
- If you suffer injuries as a pedestrian, caused by an uninsured motorist.
- A relative/dependent on your insurance policy suffers injuries in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
- Any passengers in the vehicle while you drive, even if you do not own the vehicle.
Uninsured Driver Coverage Claims
If you become a victim of a road crash, and if there is evidence that the uninsured motorist is at fault, here are a couple basic tips to keep in mind:
- Pursuing the uninsured driver serves no purpose. Drivers who carry no premiums may not have money. Instead, notify your insurer about the uninsured driver coverage and also contact our car accident lawyer.
- The car insurance policy may contain clauses about strict timelines. Do not delay. Never surpass the 30-day period before consulting our attorneys and the insurer.
- You can talk with a lawyer before beginning the claims process. It’s not necessary to speak with a car accident lawyer, but this may be beneficial if your accident was particularly severe and/or led to very high medical bills. You may also want to speak to a lawyer if several insurance companies could be involved in the claim. In a truck accident, for example, a truck accident lawyer may advocate for your best interests against several powerful insurers.
An uninsured personal injury claim progresses the same way a regular car accident claim does. An experienced car accident attorney can show you the steps to follow in the claim request to your insurance firm, along with assisting in pretrial investigations, medical records documentation, expert witnesses, and eyewitnesses statements.