Preparing for the unexpected can be the difference between keeping your head above water and drowning. As trial attorneys who deal with serious personal injury cases, we’ve seen it many times – clients who do not have personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) are at a major disadvantage. If you haven’t read up on personal injury protection, you can find the blog here. This blog will cover uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which will protect you when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your losses.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of having UM/UIM coverage. With more than 2.5 million uninsured drivers in Texas, there is a real risk that you will be left holding the bag when it comes to medical bills and time missed from work. Even if the at-fault driver does have a state-compliant minimum limits policy of $30,000, that money could be gone after just one day in the hospital. Luckily, the solution is easy. Your insurance company MUST offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that will kick in should either of these situations occur. All you have to do is accept and choose how much coverage you want. Getting this coverage is not only easy, but it’s also very affordable. Uninsured/underinsured coverage is not a luxury. It is a must.
Uninsured motorist coverage obviously applies when the other driver has no insurance, but it also comes into play on hit-and-runs and situations where the at-fault insurance carrier denies a claim for reasons such as insolvency, excluded drivers, or lack of owner’s permission. Underinsured motorist coverage will make up the difference when your losses are greater than the available coverage of the at-fault driver. Again, the state-mandated minimum policy limit of $30,000 per person may be woefully inadequate for serious injuries that require surgery or a hospital stay, but there are situations in which you may not even be able to collect that much. Regardless of how many people are injured in a collision, the minimum limits policy will only pay $30,000 per person and $60,000 per incident, period. If an at-fault driver causes a multi-car pileup, the first people to sign settlement documents will recover while everyone else is left out in the cold. All the money may be gone by the time you’re out of the hospital.
Given the fact that you pay each month to maintain this coverage, your insurance company should be happy to fulfill the purpose of UM/UIM coverage, which is to place you in the same position as if the uninsured/underinsured motorist had been properly insured, right? Having handled many UM/UIM cases, the answer is an unqualified WRONG! Your own insurance company will have no issues denying your claim, nickel and diming you, and treating you like a criminal. Not only that, but these cases are technically complicated and full of pitfalls for the uninitiated. You need a skilled attorney, preferably one that is board certified in personal injury trial law like our own Joan Ballard, to handle your case from the very beginning. The experienced attorneys at Bill Kennedy Law are committed to achieving results and fighting for our clients. Don’t go it alone, unprotected and uninformed. We never charge for a consult and, if we accept your case, we don’t expect any money upfront. We only get paid if we recover money for you.
So call your insurance agent today. As a matter of fact, call right now! Tell him or her that you need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and select the amount of coverage that’s right for you. It’s a no-brainer. And if the unexpected happens, call us at Bill Kennedy Law and we will fight to protect your rights.