What happens when you are involved in a car accident with a driver that doesn’t have adequate auto insurance coverage? If you have uninsured motorist insurance included in your policy, your insurance provider will help you pay for damages that resulted from the accident. Without it or another similar form of coverage, you’re left personally liable for the costs yourself.
In America, there are thousands of uninsured or underinsured drivers on the roads, so you should review the benefits of uninsured motorist insurance and consider including it in your auto insurance policy. Also keep in mind that, even with insurance, you may not be completely off the hook. The insurance companies’ ultimate goal is to minimize their losses, and will therefore aim to pay out as small a settlement as possible. A lawyer for uninsured motorist cases can help you navigate the claims process, and guide you toward a fair and appropriate settlement that can be used to help you pay for repairs to your vehicle and any associated medical bills.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured motorist insurance protects you from car accidents that were caused by uninsured drivers. In some states, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory, while in others it is optional. Banks, dealerships, and other financing agencies may also require you to hold uninsured motorist coverage for vehicles leased or financed through their firm. If you don’t have insurance in a state that requires it, even a lawyer for uninsured motorist cases would struggle to get you complete compensation.
There are two primary categories of uninsured motorist insurance: uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) and uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD). Here is what each category covers:
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)
If you or one of your passengers suffers an injury during an accident caused by an uninsured driver, UMBI will provide you with compensation that can be used to pay for any related health care expenses. These policies can also be structured to protect policyholders if they are the victim of hit-and-run accidents, or are hit by an uninsured driver while riding a bike or walking. In most cases, an UMBI policy will also cover lost wages for the person involved in the accident and some policies will even pay for rehabilitation or funeral costs where necessary.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)
The at-fault driver’s liability insurance would normally pay for damage done to your vehicle in an accident, but when your car is hit by the car of an uninsured driver you will likely be on the hook for any associated repair costs. UMPD protects you from this financial risk by paying for the costs of repairing your vehicle if an uninsured driver crashes into you.
Does Louisiana Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Louisiana does not explicitly require uninsured motorist coverage, but insurance companies in the state are required to issue UMBI to all drivers that they sell policies to. It is possible to opt out of uninsured motorist coverage, but this must be done in writing using a form that is submitted to the insurance company.
Opting out of the uninsured motorist coverage is not advised, as Louisiana has a large population of uninsured drivers. However, if you do choose to opt out, a lawyer like a Lafayette car accident lawyer may still be able to help you claim compensation from any at-fault drivers involved in an uninsured motorist accident.
Benefits of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
A car accident can cause massive expenses to pile up quickly. Medical bills and repair costs can easily grow into the thousands, even for a minor accident. To make matters worse, although it is illegal to drive without insurance in the whole of the U.S., there are still many drivers who disregard the law and drive without adequate coverage.
An auto insurance policy that includes uninsured motorist coverage will help you pay for any personal damages that result from an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver. Without it, you will likely struggle to recover compensation from the responsible driver. You can potentially file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver with the help of an auto accident lawyer, but even an experienced lawyer for uninsured motorist accidents may find it difficult to get you adequate compensation when the at-fault driver is underinsured. Don’t wait until an accident happens, protect yourself now with uninsured motorist insurance.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Uninsured Motorist Accidents?
Uninsured motorist car accidents can be very stressful, even if you have the right coverage. The insurance company that manages your policy is likely to push for as small a settlement as possible in order to minimize their losses. If you feel like your insurance company is not offering you the settlement you deserve, get in touch with a lawyer for uninsured motorist accidents.
Contact our personal injury law firm today to have your case evaluated by a Lafayette car accident lawyer: the Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux are ready to take your call.