Case after case, the one thing that has saved our client’s situations is uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage. In its simplest form, this type of coverage pays if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for your injuries. Probably one out of four cases we handle dips into our clients UM/UIM coverage, or would use it if the client had it. This type of insurance coverage is optional, so you only have it if you pay for it. It is not uncommon that our clients don’t have it, but it would be extremely beneficial if they did, especially by the time legal assistance is needed.
Do I Have Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Most people don’t know if they have UM/UIM coverage. To find out, pull out your declarations sheet or look for it by logging onto your insurance’s website. There is usually a little card or section that lists out what coverages you have. There will also be a separate page in your insurance policy listing your coverage. The declarations sheet will list things like liability coverage and medical payments. If you have uninsured / underinsured coverage, there will be a line that says “UM/UIM ….. $____.” When you bought your insurance, you would have paid extra for this coverage.
What is UM/UIM coverage?
In Indiana UM/UIM coverage is statutory. Uninsured coverage kicks in if you are injured by another driver who was at fault but does not have insurance. This happens more often than you might think. A 2021 study found that 12% of the driver’s on the road did not have insurance. That’s one in 8 people you are passing on the highway.
If the other driver does not have insurance, they also probably do not have any assets to recover when you sue them. This means there are not many good options outside of uninsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage works a little differently. In Indiana, the state minimum for coverage is $25,000.00 per person. Even a minor crash can easily exceed this limit. If the other at-fault driver offers his or her policy limits, you can then recover additional amounts against your own underinsured coverage.
Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you think you might have a UM/UIM claim, you should reach out to a qualified Martz & Lucas attorney that handles personal injury claims.
There are very specific statutory requirements to claim underinsured motorist coverage. They have to deal with proper offer of the underlying tortfeasor’s limits and notice to your own insurer so they can preserve their subrogation rights. Misunderstanding these factors can derail your recovery. Give us a call at Martz and Lucas and we will help you through your UM/UIM claim.