Uninsured Motorist Claims
Were you hit by a driver who has no auto insurance?
Paying auto insurance is part of being a responsible driver. It ensures that if we ever get into an accident and cause another person some type of injury, the eligible costs incurred by that accident will be financially covered. In fact, having certain amounts of liability coverage is required under South Carolina law. Unfortunately, there are many drivers in this state who shirk this responsibility and fail to obtain auto insurance. Fortunately, you can protect yourself from these drivers when you have uninsured motorist (UM) insurance.
When you have this type of coverage, you can later make an UM claim so that you can have expenses such as medical bills and lost income financially compensated. There might also be certain litigation options that you can explore. You should not try to handle your case alone. Columbia Personal Injury Attorney James R. Snell, Jr. has experience handling various types of auto accidents, including those that involve drivers with no insurance. Learn more about uninsured motorist coverage and you options after an accident by reading the information below.
Protecting Yourself with Uninsured Motorist Coverage
According to USA Today, 2009 data from the Insurance Research Council shows that 11% of South Carolina drivers are uninsured. Nationwide, 13.8% (or one in seven drivers) are uninsured, a percentage that has gone up due to the country's rough economic times. Uninsured motorists ended up costing insured drivers throughout the U.S. $10.8 billion in 2007.
UM coverage is one way for insured drivers to try to avoid such costs, as it is designed to pay for the injuries of a policyholder and his or her passengers in the event of an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Along with drivers with no insurance, others who can be considered "uninsured motorists," which includes those who have auto insurance but who do not meet the state's minimum coverage requirements, those whose insurance companies have denied paying their claims and unidentified drivers in hit-and-run accidents.
UM coverage is not required in South Carolina, but it can be purchased as an additional form of coverage. There are many reasons individuals might avoid obtaining auto insurance. It could be because they cannot afford it, because they are do not qualify for auto insurance (such as if they do not have valid driver's licenses) or they are simply disregarding the state's laws. Whatever the reason, insured drivers should not be forced to pay for the mistakes of others.
How Our Columbia Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help
When you file your uninsured motorist claim to receive payment for your injuries, you might come across some roadblocks. These might include being offered a claim settlement that is too low or being denied a settlement altogether. These outcomes could occur if it is determined that the other driver was not at fault, that you shared the fault in the accident or that the damages are not as severe as you are claiming. In this case, you can work with a Columbia injury lawyer to help you prove otherwise. Our skilled attorney at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC knows the best approaches for handling cases such as these, whether the case involves tough negotiation or a legal challenge in court.
Furthermore, if there is a case that cannot be handled through a UM claim, Attorney Snell could potentially help you file a lawsuit directly against the responsible driver. He also assists individuals who were injured by underinsured motorists. Don't let the other driver's lack of insurance in your accident stand in between you and the financial recovery you deserve.
Contact us immediately so we can provide you with the appropriate level of guidance that could play a major benefit in your case. In addition to Columbia, we also serve various other communities within South Carolina.