UNDERINSURED DRIVERS PRESENT PROBLEMS FOR AN ACCIDENT VICTIM
Every day you leave your home to go to work. Say that you live in Paterson. You hop in your car, and drive down Broadway. Then you make a right by Eastside Park onto Route 20 South. All of a sudden, your car is struck by a careless driver. You suffer severe injuries. An ambulance takes you to St. Joseph’s hospital for treatment.
In the hospital the doctors and nurses treat you. After three weeks, the hospital discharges you. Then comes the physical therapy. Every other day, for two months, you travel to a therapist near your Paterson home.
About four months from the date of the accident, you are able to return to work. But you still have significant pain at times. Your doctor says the pain will be long term.
You did the smart thing and hired an accident lawyer soon after the accident. Your auto insurance policy’s no-fault coverage took care of your medical bills. The accident lawyer informs you that you are also entitled to substantial compensation. Compensation for pain and suffering. Perhaps a six-figure settlement.
But there is a problem. The other driver only carries $50,000 of car liability insurance. That amount may not be enough to fully compensate you for your pain and suffering. Not to mention your lost wages.
Further, your accident lawyer does some research. He discovers that the other driver, who also lives in Paterson, has no assets to pay compensation to you. Thus, you cannot recover from the other driver more than a fraction of what your case may be worth.
Fortunately, you did a smart thing when you purchased your own car insurance. You bought as much uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance as you could afford. Let’s say you purchased $500,000 of such insurance (also known as UM/UIM insurance).
UM/UIM Insurance to the Rescue
UM/UIM insurance pays you compensation when the other driver can’t. Therefore, your story will have a happy ending. You will receive the compensation that you deserve.
As in any case, in order for you to obtain compensation, your accident lawyer must follow proper procedure. For example, your attorney generally must properly notify your insurer by a certain time of any monetary settlement the attorney reaches with the underinsured driver’s insurer. After that claim is resolved, your lawyer will aim to recover the balance the compensation due to you from your insurer. Under your UM/UIM coverage.
Another Key Thing
Accordingly, it is crucial to select an experienced accident attorney. Some cases require different tactics. If proper legal procedures aren’t followed, you could lose your right to underinsured motorist compensation.