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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – What Are They And Why Are They Important?

As personal injury lawyers we regularly handle claims of those injured in car accidents. In 99% of those cases the money that pays for theirUnderinsured Motorist Coverage injuries comes from either the tort-feasor’s (wrong-doer) insurance or in some cases their own. For these reasons the type of coverage a person has is incredibly important when any type of car, truck, or motorcycle accident results in injury or death.  Today, the coverages that will be discussed are underinsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist coverage, both of which are statutorily regulated in Indiana.

 

What Are Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is exactly what it sounds like, coverage provided by your insurance policy that will pay for your injuries in the case that you are hit by another driver who does not have auto insurance as is explained in Ind. Code § 27-7-5-4(a).  Indiana law under Ind. Code § 27-7-5-2(a)(2) provides that Insurance providers must offer this type of coverage in limits at least equal to your own liability limits, which in Indiana may be as low as $25,000. So, to sum up Uninsured Motorist Coverage it is coverage that must, under Indiana Law, be provided by your insurance provider with limits equal to or higher than your own liability limits, which protects you in case you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage is slightly more complicated, but also regulated by the Indiana Code. Ind. Code § 27-7-5-2(a) provides that Underinsured Motorist Coverage must be provided with limits of at least $50,000 regardless of what your own liability coverage is. This coverage is meant to protect you, according to Ind. Code § 27-7-5-4(b), from “an insured motor vehicle (other person) where the limits of coverage available for the payment to the insured (you) under all bodily injury liability policies covering person liable to the insured are less that the limits for the insured’s underinsured motorist coverage at the time of the accident.” What this means is that if you are hit by another driver, who has liability coverage limits that are less than your “underinsured motorist coverage” you will be able to recover from the tort-feasor up to his/her liability limits and then recover from your own “underinsured motorist coverage” for any additional injuries. For instance, if you were hit by a driver who has liability insurance for $25,000 and you have “underinsured motorist coverage” for $50,000 you would be able to recover a maximum of $25,000 from the tort-feasor and then recover from your own policy if you have injuries that require more than $25,000.

 

Why Do You Need Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

As explained above, these types of coverage come in handy when you are injured by someone who is either uninsured or has less insurance coverage than you do. But we hear the “that won’t happened to me” and “but I saved a bunch by waiving it” arguments all the time. Well, this is our best shot at explaining why waiving either is not a good idea in any circumstance.

Cost:

  • Both Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverages are relatively cheap. Paul Sullivan, in an article for the New York Times wrote thatUnderinsured Motorist Coverage Uninsured Motorist coverage costs “a couple of hundred dollars a year for each $1,000,000 in coverage. So if you were to get $100,000 in Uninsured motorist coverage, it would cost you roughly $20 per year, or $1.66 each month. Multiply that by 2 so that you have both uninsured and underinsured coverage, and you spend a whopping $3.33 per month to protect yourself from uninsured and underinsured drivers.

Need:

  • 14% of the driving population is Uninsured, meaning there is a 1/8 chance that if you are in an accident the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance. And if you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you’ll be paying for your medical bills out of pocket. Even more drivers have minimum policies that only provide $25,000 in coverage, which anyone who has paid serious medical bills knows doesn’t go very far. If your exceed that and you don’t have underinsured motorist coverage, you will be paying your bills out of pocket.

Conclusion

Please do not waive your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages. Not only will they help protect you in case you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, they are also incredibly cheap. It is also important to note that “full-coverage” is only for property damages, not bodily injury, so don’t think that since you have “full-coverage” that uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is unnecessary.

 

 

 

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It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Our Fees

It cost $0 up front to hire our office. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we settle your case or obtain a verdict on your behalf.

If we’re unable to obtain a settlement of verdict for you we eat the costs we’ve advanced to litigate your case, which includes costs for ordering medical records, filing your case, hiring experts, deposing witnesses, and many other things.

If we do settle your case or obtain a verdict for you our standard rate is 33% of the settlement or verdict, plus reimbursement for the expense we’ve previously advanced. Our fee never increases like some personal injury attorneys, even if we have to take your case to trial.

Case Worth

As a victim, establishing damages, negotiating with the insurance company, or filing a lawsuit can be daunting and next to impossible without the assistance of an experienced lawyer. As a result, if you have been hurt in an accident, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to help you recover the compensation to which you are entitled under Indiana law.

Why Hire?

Choosing an attorney that has experience dealing with personal injury law is important to protect your legal rights. If you are trying to recover damages from a business or other type of organization, you can bet that they are going to have a legal team on their side.

Medical Bills

If you were injured by an accident you may be struggling to determine who is responsible for paying your medical bills and holding them accountable. Speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Office of William W. Hurst and learn if we may be able to help.

Recovery

After you have been injured, you are entitled to compensation. The type and amount of compensation depends on the injury, bills, the cause of the injury, negligence/bad faith of the defendant, etc. The attorney you retain can also heavy influence your recovery through knowledge, experience, and dedication. Legal terms and phrases can be confusing even after you retain an attorney. If you have been injured, you may wonder how much your case is worth or what your “damages” are. The worse the injuries, the higher the value of the case and the greater need for an experienced attorney