If you have been involved in an accident involving a person who does not have insurance (uninsured motorist) or someone who does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your injury (underinsured) then you need an Alabama Uninsured Motorist Claims Attorney. In Alabama 26% (1 in 4) of drivers are uninsured drivers and of those that are insured an estimated 55% only carry the minimum amount of insurance required which is $25,000 a person/$50,000 per accident. With the large amount of uninsured and/or underinsured drivers on the roads in Alabama, uninsured motorist coverage is really a necessity to cover you and your loved ones in the event of being injured in a car wreck. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist claims are covered by Alabama Statute .
These claims are brought against your own insurance carrier, who under the eyes of the law stand in the shoes of the at-fault party. This means any damage that would be collectable against the responsible party, is also collectible under your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist claims are not a rateable claim. This means that filing a claim under this portion of your policy will not raise your insurance premiums since you were not at-fault in the accident.
It is very important if you are involved in an accident where there at-fault party does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to contact an experienced law firm. Often times you can access coverage under multiple vehicles called “stacking” even if you were not in the vehicle listed on the policy. Furthermore, if the at-fault party has insurance, but does not have enough, there are vital steps that must be taken in order to preserve a right to your underinsured motorist coverage. If these steps are not followed specifically as set forth in Lambert v. State Farm, then you could waive your right to any underinsured motorist coverage.
If you have any questions involving an Uninsured Motorist Claim or an Underinsured Motorist Claim then you need an Alabama Uninsured Motorist Claims Attorney. We have handled thousands of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
Claims and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
WHAT IS UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE AND WHY DO I NEED IT?
How does it work? By having Uninsured Motorist coverage on your policy, you are covered in the case that the at-fault party did not have insurance as well as in the case where he or she does not have enough insurance to pay for your damages. This means that Uninsured Motorist coverage not only protects you from defendants with no insurance, but also under Alabama law can protect you in situations where the defendant does not have enough insurance. Let’s look at some scenarios.
Scenario 1: You have full coverage insurance but have elected not to have Uninsured Motorist Coverage to save money on your insurance bill. You are severely injured by a drunk driver that has no insurance on the vehicle he is driving. You go to the hospital and get treatment and have $100,000 in medical bills, which in today’s age is not uncommon given the costs of medical care. In this case, your “full coverage” policy will only cover your property damage, it will not cover your personal injuries and pain and suffering. (Medical Payment Policy will cover the costs of the bills, but this is typically around $5,000 in coverage on a typical policy).
Scenario 2: You are involved in the same wreck as above, but you have chosen Uninsured Motorist Coverage in the amount of $100,000 per person/ $300,000 per accident. Let’s also say you have 3 vehicles under this policy. In Alabama, your uninsured motorist coverage would kick in to basically step in the shoes of the DUI driver and you would have up to $300,000 in coverage for you individually and $900,000 in coverage per accident. The reason you have this amount of coverage is that in Alabama you can stack up to three vehicles per policy. A simple way to explain this is that if you have Uninsured Motorist Insurance you can take the policy amount and multiply it by the number of vehicles you have (up to 3 per policy). So if there were 2 cars in the policy, you would have $200,000 per person/ $600,000 per accident in Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
Scenario 3: You are involved in the same wreck as Scenario 1, but the DUI driver has insurance and you also have Uninsured Motorist Insurance. Let’s further assume that the DUI driver only has a minimal limits policy as required in Alabama which is $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident. In this case, the DUI defendant’s insurance policy of $25,000 would not be enough to pay for your $100,000 medical bills, much less compensate you for your pain and suffering and possible permanent injury. The good news, however, is that you have elected Uninsured Motorist Coverage which also in Alabama has been determined to be Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This means that if the person who hit you does not have enough insurance, thus underinsured, then your Uninsured Motorist Coverage (also interpreted as Underinsured Motorist Coverage) kicks in on top of the at-fault party’s insurance. So if you had a 3 vehicle policy with 100,000/300,000 in Uninsured Motorist Coverage, then you could get up to $325,000 in insurance proceeds for your injury ($100,000 per person x 3 cars (Stacking)= $300,000 per person +$25,000 in at-fault party’s insurance).
To conclude, Uninsured Motorist Coverage really is necessary especially in Alabama. There is a high probability that you will be involved in an accident with a person driving without insurance so protect yourself. It is not only great coverage to have, but is some of the cheapest insurance you can buy.
If you have any question concerning Uninsured Motorist Coverage or Underinsured Motorist Coverage then please call us today.