Injured by an Underinsured Driver

Early one morning, as you’re driving to work, another driver runs a red light and crashes into you.  You’re taken by ambulance to the emergency room, admitted to the hospital, undergo painful surgery, and face months of rehabilitation.  You have no idea when you’ll be able to return to work. You face ever increasing medical bills. And then, you learn the driver who hit you carries only the lowest policy limits allowed by law.  In many states, those limits can be as low as $25,000. Unfortunately, that will cover only a fraction of your damages.

You can protect yourself by buying uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage from your own automobile insurance company.  Most states require companies that sell automobile liability policies to offer UIM coverage. Typically, you can buy UIM coverage up to an amount that equals the limits of the liability part of your coverage.  In most instances, the premium for the UIM coverage is a fraction of the premium for your liability coverage.  

Buying UIM coverage is especially important if you live in a state that does not have no-fault coverage and need urgent and expensive medical treatment.  In those states, without UIM coverage, you may have to pay for your medical treatment (a difficult proposition) or ask your health insurance carrier to pay for your medical treatment (an even more difficult proposition) up front,  and then hope to recover from the at fault driver. But you can only recover from the at fault driver up to the limits of her policy. If you have UIM coverage, you can ask your insurance company to pay for your medical treatment, even when your medical expenses exceed the limits of the at fault driver’s policy.  

UIM coverage can also compensate you for income you lose because your injuries keep you out of work.  UIM coverage can also compensate you for income you may lose in the future because your injuries may shorten your work life expectancy or force you to take a lower paying job because you cannot continue to work the job you had at the time of the accident.

UIM coverage can also compensate you for non-economic loss caused by your injuries from the crash.  These damages generally compensate you for your past and future pain and suffering and loss of ability to enjoy your life.  These damages can be as significant, and often times more significant, than your economic damages.

UIM coverage can also provide coverage not just to you, but to anyone in your household who qualifies as an “insured” under the policy.  That often will include your spouse, children, and other family members who are part of your household.

Protecting yourself and your family is simple.  Make sure to contact a personal injury law firm in Breckenridge, CO to discuss your case.

Thanks to Zweig Law, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and uninsured drivers.