Being in a car accident can be a very traumatic and scary experience, especially if you are injured. What can make the experience even more stressful is if you were hit by a driver without insurance or with very little insurance. You’re in a panic, wondering how you can pay for doctor’s visits, afford to fix your car and get to work.
Your normal routine is completely changed, and you didn’t even cause the accident.
Is There Anything That Could Have Been Done to Protect You from Being Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist?
If you get hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, having an uninsured and underinsured motorist policy (UM/UIM) can give you coverage for medical bills, pain and suffering and lost income that the other driver should have been liable for if he or she had insurance coverage.
UM/UIM will also cover expenses for injured passengers. However, you must keep in mind the coverage amount cannot exceed your policy limit.
Why You Shouldn’t Reject Uninsured and Underinsured Policy Coverage
Although coverage is optional in Alabama, it is not wise to reject this coverage, as it is vital to have in case you are ever in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. All Alabama insurance companies must offer this coverage when a vehicle owner is purchasing a policy. In order to reject this coverage, the insured driver must do so in writing.
Why Having a Policy Above the Minimum Limit Can Save You from Financial Burden
Typically, UM and UIM coverage is affordable, and will not significantly drive up your insurance costs. Keep in mind that it is advised to have coverage that is higher than the minimum requirement.
This provides peace of mind if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that results in serious injuries that requires more than the minimum policy limit for damages.
If the damages are higher than your policy limit, you will be left with a large financial strain that will likely make it very challenging to get back on your feet.
Are That Many Drivers on the Roads Uninsured?
According to the most recent data available, 13% of motorists in the United States were uninsured in 2015. To put this in perspective, this is one in eight drivers.
Even more alarming, 18.4% of the population of Alabama drivers had no insurance in 2015. This represented the 6th highest uninsured rate in the nation.
Are There No Fines for Being Uninsured?
According to Alabama’s Mandatory Liability Insurance Law, which was effective on November 1, 2017, vehicle owners must purchase liability insurance coverage that covers $25,000 for property damage per each accident caused. In terms of bodily injury, the coverage must be $25,000 for bodily injury for each person who was injured in the accident.
Although this insurance is mandatory, there are still drivers on the road without coverage. If you are found without coverage, you will be fined $200 for the first offense, $300 for the second offense and $400 for the next offense. Drivers who do not pay their fines will have their licenses suspended.
While fines are an important mechanism for deterring uninsured motorists from continuing to drive without insurance, the fines do not help those who are injured in accidents.
It is important to note that these fines for uninsured drivers are minimal in comparison to what you will have to pay out of pocket if you are hit by an uninsured driver if you do not have UM/ UIM coverage.
The Bottom Line: Protect Yourself with Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
As UM/UIM coverage is cost-effective, Alabama vehicle owners should have these policies in order to protect themselves and their passengers. Unfortunately, accidents happen every day, and the number of uninsured drivers in the state is alarming.
You don’t want to take your chances and gamble with your safety. You should not have to suffer both financially and emotionally as a result of being hit by an uninsured driver, and having a UM/ UIM policy is one of the only ways you can protect yourself from being in that type of situation.
Your Local Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you or a loved one are seriously injured in a car accident that was not your fault, call the experienced Montgomery Car Accident Attorneys at Floyd Hunter at 334-452-4000.
When you call, you’ll receive a FREE case evaluation by an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer. There is never an attorney’s fee due upfront and we don’t get paid until you do. It’s that simple.
We will fight to protect your right to the fair insurance settlement that you deserve for your car accident claim. Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law for a Free Legal Consultation at 334-452-4000.
Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law, because the right lawyers make a real difference.