Being involved in a car accident that is not your fault is stressful enough. When you add to this unfortunate incident the fact that the driver who caused the accident is either uninsured or underinsured, it gets even more complicated. If you are a responsible, insured motorist, you may not be aware that you are probably protected from these situations by your own insurance policy. Your own policy of insurance likely has what is known as "Uninsured Motorist Coverage" ( UM ) and "Underinsured Motorist Coverage" ( UIM ). So, if you are injured by an uninsured driver, you can call upon your own policy to cover your damages under the UM coverage. Or, if the other driver does not have sufficient coverage to pay for your damages, you can look to your own UIM coverage to make up the difference between your total damages and the amount of insurance the negligent or at-fault driver has.
Always remember, the first and most important thing to do if you are in an accident is to call the police. The police will investigate how the accident happened and record their findings in an accident report. Also, the police should be able to determine whether the parties involved in the accident had insurance coverage and should also compile contact information for who that insurance company is. Often the police will prepare a Driver Information Exchange Report that will contain all of this important information.
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to pay for damages (medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, disability) that are a result of bodily injuries and damages caused by a driver who does not carry automobile liability insurance. While you can opt to sue the driver for compensation, chances are they do not have the funds to cover the damage. The best course of action in this case is to utilize your own policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
Underinsured coverage protects you if your damages from the accident are not completely covered by the negligent driver’s insurance policy. This provision in your insurance policy will cover the difference between the expenses/damages from the accident and what the at-fault driver’s policy will cover.
It is also important to remember that UM and UIM coverage can protect you if you are struck as pedestrian by an underinsured or uninsured motorist or if you are in someone else's vehicle when the accident happens. UM and UIM coverage is personal protection that goes with you. If you are involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle, UM and UIM coverage will apply, even if your own insured vehicle is parked in the garage.
In Iowa and Nebraska, UM and UIM does not cover damages to property.
If you or someone you know in Iowa or Nebraska has been impacted by an underinsured or uninsured driver, contact the professionals at Fitch & Stahle ! Our lawyers can provide you with legal advice to guide you through the process of pursuing your case.
After you’ve survived an injury-causing accident that was not your fault, the main job of a personal injury attorney is to prove that the other party was wholly responsible for what occurred.
But how exactly does a lawyer make that case?
In other words, what is the process that a personal injury lawyer takes to help prove that his or her client did not cause the accident?
An accident of any kind, whether it involves a motor vehicle, or a slip-and-fall at the workplace can impact your life in ways you never expected, especially if you suffered serious injuries. And after this type of event occurs, the question often arises:
How long should you wait before you contact a legal advisor?
Most personal injury lawyers would answer with one word: immediately.
And that’s true, but what’s more important is for you to understand why contacting an attorney as quickly as possible can positively affect your legal claim.