Help! I’ve had a car accident with an uninsured driver! Greenville Personal Injury Attorney at Hammack Law Firm explains your options.
It’s every driver’s worst nightmare: an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Fortunately, according to the South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI), state law requires that insurers provide uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in order to drive legally.
If the driver who caused your crash was uninsured, then your UM coverage will pay for your damages up to your policy limits. In South Carolina, the minimum UM coverage limit is $25,000; however, you should purchase as much UM coverage as you can afford up to your liability limits. If your medical bills and other damages exceed your policy limits, then you will have limited options for recovering full compensation.
One option would be to file a personal-injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. Unfortunately, most drivers who do not have insurance lack the assets to pay for damages they cause in car accidents. As such, even if your lawsuit is successful, you may be throwing away good money.
The bottom line: Buy as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford.
If you were injured by an uninsured driver in South Carolina, contact Hammack Law Firm. Paul Hammack is a personal injury attorney in Greenville with over 16 years’ experience who will evaluate your situation and provide legal guidance. He can help you make a claim against your own insurance provider, or if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Call 864-326-3333 to schedule a free consultation. Until then, read on to learn about underinsured motorist coverage:
What if the driver who hit me was does not have enough insurance to cover my injuries?
In South Carolina, drivers are only required to carry a minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person, and $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident, according to the DOI. Those limits may not be sufficient if you sustain a serious injury.
As such, all drivers should purchase underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. If you are injured in an accident and the other driver does not have enough liability insurance to cover your damages, then your UIM insurance should cover the difference up to your policy limits.
In certain situations, drivers can “stack” insurance policies if they purchase UIM coverage for multiple vehicles in their household. For example, if you have $50,000 in UIM coverage for the vehicle you were driving in the accident, and your spouse’s vehicle also has $50,000 in UIM coverage, then you may have access to $100,000 in UIM coverage if needed to cover your damages.
You can stack any UIM policies in your household provided that you are related to the vehicle’s owner. However, the amount you can recover from these policies depends on the amount of UIM coverage you had for the vehicle in the accident. For example, if you have $50,000 in UIM coverage for the vehicle in the accident, and your spouse has $100,000 in UIM coverage for her vehicle, then you would only be able to recover $50,000 from your spouse’s UIM insurance. As such, it is a good idea to purchase the same amount of UIM coverage for all vehicles in your household.
The bottom line: Buy as much UIM coverage as you can afford. This is the coverage that protects you and your family. We consider this to be the most important insurance you can buy.
The laws related to “stacking” insurance policies are highly intricate. If you were in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver in South Carolina, contact Hammack Law Firm.
Paul Hammack will help you pursue the maximum compensation for lost income, medical bills and non-economic damages. Call 864-326-3333 to schedule a free consultation with an injury lawyer in Greenville.