Every state has insurance requirements for the drivers who are registered in that state and live there. All states have certain liability insurance requirements while a few make it also mandatory for personal liability cover and underinsured / uninsured motorist cover. An underinsured driver is one who has insufficient insurance cover to pay the claim against him or her in full. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the driver is doing anything illegal as most states only require minimum liability insurance. For example, let’s say you were injured in X state, an at-fault state for auto accident insurance, where the minimum liability cover is $15,000 per person. If your total injury needs are $14,000, you should get all you need in compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer. If your needs are $16,000, the motorist would be underinsured.
How Distracted Driving Accidents Occur
Texting while driving has become a much more common cause of auto accidents. In fact, distracted driving, which includes texting while driving, has become more common than speeding or intoxication as a cause of auto accidents. Texting while driving is now illegal in nearly all U.S. states, but that doesn’t mean that drivers don’t text or use their cell phones or other mobile devices while driving. It is hard to prove that someone was actually texting while driving and many drivers are prepared to take the risk of being seen by a law enforcement officer or a roadside surveillance camera.
If you are hit by an underinsured driver while texting you may have the option of filing a claim against the driver, although you will still need to prove that the driver was texting at the time or at least that the driver’s inappropriate driving caused an accident and your injuries.
Filing a PI Claim After an Accident Caused by an Underinsured Motorist Who Was Texting
Filing a claim against an underinsured driver can be frustrating. Underinsured drivers are not necessarily doing anything illegal, although of course if they were texting at the time, their behavior could lead to them being charged by police. That doesn’t really help you as you still have to file a civil claim against them independently of any charge laid by the police. You may have underinsured motorist insurance and this can help bridge the gap between what you can obtain from the driver’s own insurance policy and your total needs. Some motorists do not realize that they have underinsured or uninsured motorist cover as it can be part of a package.
If your needs are greater than the amount you can claim through the at-fault driver’s insurer, you may have to resort to filing a lawsuit. If the lawsuit is won, the court may order the driver to make available the shortfall from personal assets, such as from a bank account or by selling property.
How a PI Attorney Can Help
You may need the services of a PI attorney if you intend pursuing legal action against an underinsured motorist. First you will need to prove negligence. Then you will need to find out what the difference is between the amount the driver’s insurer will pay and what you are claiming. If you file a lawsuit, it may lead to a trial if the driver is not prepared to pay the difference from his / her own assets. It would be difficult to pursue such an action without effective legal representation.