After a car accident, the parties are supposed to exchange insurance information. Ideally, the two driver’s insurance providers should be able to pay for all the bills incurred from the accident, and the drivers won’t have to worry about it. Unfortunately, there are often complications involved. One difficulty that often comes up is the problem of the uninsured or underinsured driver.
A person who has been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver is in a tough position. Medical insurance can cover most of the medical costs, but for other damages, it can be hard to collect adequate compensation. The negligent driver can be held liable, but may not have sufficient resources to pay.
An underinsured driver has an insurance policy that is insufficient to cover the damages suffered by the other party. For one example, imagine Alan runs a stop sign and crashes into Zarah’s car. Zarah is injured and suffers $100,000 in damages. Alan has insurance, but his policy only covers up to $50,000. Zarah is out $50,000. Zarah’s medical insurance pays for her medical bills, but after learning that she received $50,000 from Alan, the insurance provider demands a share of that money from Zarah. Thus, Zarah’s out-of-pocket expenses are even more than $50,000.
The financial aftermath of a car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver can be a nightmare. To help drivers cope with it, auto insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. These are required in some states, although they are optional in Ohio and Kentucky.
Injured people who do not have uninsured motorist coverage should talk to a personal injury attorney about their options. Sometimes, even those who do carry this coverage need help from a lawyer to fight for the full amount of coverage and compensation they need and deserve.