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What happens when an uninsured driver injures you in a car accident?

uninsured motorist coverage - type of insurance - sand law llc

Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured (UM and UIM) Insurance

When you’re seriously injured in a car accident in St. Paul, things can get complicated very quickly. Your Personal Injury Protection coverage will pay your medical bills, lost wages, and related expenses. Once your medical bills exceed $4,000 or you meet certain injury thresholds, you will have the legal right to make a claim against the person who caused the accident. If the other driver doesn’t have liability insurance, you may still recover damages for your injuries. Your own insurance company may pay your claim under your Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist claims are often difficult to resolve without assistance. In filing a UM/UIM claim, you are making a liability claim against your own insurance carrier and it can feel as though you and your insurance company are adversaries. You must follow the same steps you would follow if you were filing a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company.

  • Respond to all questions and requests
  • Document medical bills and lost wages
  • Establish any disabilities
  • Submit to independent medical examinations
  • Address PIP threshold considerations
  • Prove the other driver was legally liable
  • Prove the value of your injury claim

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Minnesota law requires all drivers to have Uninsured Motorist Coverage. It’s a critical resource when you sustain injuries in a car accident, yet it’s often misunderstood. If an uninsured motorist causes you injury or a motorist strikes your car and leaves the scene unidentified, your UM coverage pays your injury claim. Certain circumstances apply.

  • Your injuries must exceed Minnesota tort thresholds.
  • The other driver must be uninsured or unidentifiable.
  • The other driver must be legally liable for your damages.

Why Might Drivers Fail to Have Insurance?

Despite Minnesota requiring all drivers to carry a minimum of personal injury protection insurance, there are many drivers on the road that you might encounter who do not have any insurance coverage that can pay for damages that they may cause. The following are some reasons why a driver may not have insurance while behind the wheel necessitating the usage of uninsured motorist coverage.

  • Vacationing drivers might rent a car without insurance
  • Drivers allow their policies to lapse
  • Drivers may gamble and simply not pay insurance
  • Drivers who drive without a license cannot get insurance

If the insurance company’s investigation confirms the above elements of your case, they must take responsibility for settling settle your injury claim.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist coverage operates in a similar way. If the other driver has coverage, but not enough to pay for your serious injuries, your company may owe you the amounts that exceed the other driver’s policy limits. Your insurance company will base any UIM benefits on your injury value and the difference between the other driver’s policy limits and your UIM limits. Your interactions with the liability insurance company can affect your UIM claim. You must keep your UIM company updated on any potential settlements or lawsuits.

Liability is a Key Issue

When there are questions concerning who caused an accident, they can further complicate your Um or UIM claim. Even if you are severely injured, your insurance company won’t owe you more than PIP benefits if the other driver isn’t at fault. Unfortunately, liability isn’t always clear. Minnesota comparative negligence recognizes that a driver isn’t always 100 percent responsible for an accident. If your actions contributed to your accident, your insurance company will reduce your UM or UIM settlement based on your negligence percentage.

Settling Your UIM/UM Claim

Every injury claim is different. Just because your cousin Joe received a $100,000 settlement for his back injury, it doesn’t mean that you will too. Your injury evaluation is unique to you. It takes into account your pain, suffering, medical bills, disabilities and other personal factors. It considers your percentage of negligence in causing the accident. And although it may seem unfair, if you settle your own UM or UIM claim, the amount you receive will depend on your knowledge and negotiation skills. In addition to this, there are a number of very easy mistakes that one can make when they lack experience in dealing with car accident claims. For example, insurance companies look to social media accounts of a claimant for information they can use in disputing a claim and claimants may make the mistake of posting information that may lead to reduced claim value or the denial of their claim altogether. Ultimately, it is within a claimant’s best interest to seek the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney that can provide them with the knowledge, experience, and resources that can ensure that they get the money they need to pay for car accident damages.

Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help

Car accident issues may seem minor but they can become more complex as time passes. For example, you might not realize that you’re entitled to a UM or UIM settlement until you’ve missed a critical policy deadline. Your claim could be worth more than you anticipate. Your unintentional liability admission could reduce your UM/UIM injury settlement or avoid it altogether. It’s important to consult with Sand Law personal injury attorneys before you make a mistake.

As your legal representative, we work hard to protect your rights. Contact us if you’ve been injured in an accident and believe that you might have a valid Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist claim. Our legal team will investigate and evaluate your case and help you determine your next move. If you or a family member suffers an injury in a traffic accident, it is possible to review the details with a personal injury lawyer focused on relevant areas of the law. We provide this consultation at no cost to you. Our firm serves all of Minnesota. You can contact us online or at 651-291-7263.