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Difference Between Underinsured and Uninsured Motorists?

If you were the unfortunate victim of a car accident and you were injured and it was not your fault, you may experience financial hardship. You will have medical treatments and need to pay for vehicle repair costs and you will lose your ability to earn as well.

Typically these sorts of situations are covered by the state’s personal injury law. In most cases of accidents where the victim is not to blame the at-fault party’s insurer will bear the responsibility for paying the requested amount.

Problems arise when the at-fault driver has not covered him/herself sufficiently through insurance to be able to pay the requested amount. The term used for this is underinsured motorist (UIM).

One good example is when the driver who caused your accident only has a $25,000 policy but the accident resulted in damages worth $50,000. This makes a difference of $25,000. In order to get any help with the damages you will have to talk to a PI lawyer. Uninsured (UM) is when the at-fault motorist has no insurance coverage at all.

Facts About UM and UIM drivers

Uninsured drivers out on the roads overall make up 13 percent of all drivers. That means that when traffic builds up at a busy intersection there is likely to be at least one uninsured driver in the queue. In Florida around 26.7% of drivers are uninsured.

What Happens if Your Auto Is Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

If you are involved in an accident that was not your fault but the at-fault driver is uninsured and that driver caused the accident you won’t get any money back from that driver. The only option you have is to file an uninsured motorist claim.

In some states auto insurance companies include uninsured motorist coverage in their standard policies. This doesn’t mean the insurer will eagerly make a payment so to protect your interests it is advisable to talk to a PI lawyer first.

How to Make a Claim Against an Underinsured Driver

In the case of dealing with a UIM driver two claims need to be filed, one against the at-fault driver and the other against your own insurer. In contrast, when dealing with an at-fault driver who is uninsured you can only make one claim and that is against your own insurer under the uninsured motorist coverage.

Example of a UM Accident and Claim

On your way to work, a driver without insurance rear-ends you. You end up with an injury that requires medical treatment and your car is damaged.

As the at-fault driver is uninsured you will have to contact your own insurer. If your policy includes uninsured motorist cover for bodily injury, you will be able to submit a claim for the cost of medical treatment, loss of wages and pain and suffering if the injury warrants it.

Without UMBI cover, you may be able to use PIP or MedPay coverage, if you do have it, or you may have to resort to your own health insurance. This will involve paying the deductible. For your car damage you might be able to make a collision claim or an uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) claim.

Why You May Need a PI Lawyer

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault a PI lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Without legal help, you may forget important pieces of evidence or miss filing deadlines. To get the details of you claim looked over by an attorney, complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page!

Additional Resources

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