CRASH! ... What do You Mean You Don't Have Insurance?!?
Sep 24, 2014
You are stopped at a traffic light and suddenly BAM! You are rear-ended by another driver. You are injured, have to go the hospital and will be out of work until you are healed. Come to find out the other driver does not have insurance. Your mind is racing; not only have you just been in an accident but now you have to deal with the loss of income from being out of work and cost of medical expenses. Even worse, you have to deal with the pain and suffering from your injuries that are no fault of your own. Doesn’t Wisconsin have a requirementfor all drivers to have insurance? Yes, but this new law has been widely ignored. Luckily there is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for just these circumstances.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, also known as UM/UIM coverage, is an addition to your normal auto insurance policy. The easier of the two to understand is uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is just that. If the accident is the fault of the other driver and the driver does not have insurance, your insurance company will cover you for whatever damages were incurred due to the uninsured driver’s negligence. Underinsured motorist coverage is used when the other driver is at fault and his insurance is does not cover all the damage incurred. If that happens, your insurance will cover the amount of damages you incur that are above the coverage limit of the other driver.
Do I have Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
In Wisconsin, the law requires UM/UIM coverage with all auto insurance policies. If the policy was taken out prior to November 2011, the policy has a minimum limit of $100,000 per person. If the policy was taken out after November 2011, the policy has a minimum limit of $25,000 per person. Keep in mind that these are the minimums and your policy may cover higher amounts if you chose additional coverage.
What to do after being hit by an Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured motorist?
The first step is to talk with an attorney about what happened. A personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if your UM/UIM insurance policy is available to help with your loss. It is important to remember that putting a claim in to your UM/UIM insurance policy costs your insurance company money. The insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster whose job is the same as if you were at fault for the accident; therefore, they are looking to find a way to not pay out what you deserve. The insurance adjuster will record all conversations and will try to use your words against you. This is why having an attorney will help protect you and ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Is it wrong to go after my own insurance?
No. UM/UIM coverage was designed to compensate you for your loss when the accident is not your fault. You have health insurance to pay for your medical expenses but you don’t feel bad filing a claim and you do not feel bad for using your health insurance, do you? No, because that is what insurance is there for. UM/UIM coverage works the same way. Also, your insurance company will take any amount they paid to you under this coverage and try to recoup its loss from the irresponsible driver.
If you have been injured due to any accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist all hope is not lost. You should still be able to receive compensation through your UM/UIM insurance coverage. You have this insurance to protect you from other drivers’ irresponsibility. Call Pedersen Law Office to see if using your UM/UIM insurance coverage is right for your situation. Pedersen Law Office offers free consultations in all of our areas of practice and will meet with you to see how we can help you. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.