Car accidents often lead to expensive repair bills and costly medical treatments. If the driver who struck you has no insurance, you might be covered by uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage are optional insurance policies that might help you if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. If you do not have UM or UIM already, you can contact your insurance company to enroll. This coverage kicks in when the other driver has no insurance – which is illegal – or does not have enough insurance to cover all your damages. If you do not have UM or UIM, our legal team can help you file a lawsuit and hopefully get you compensation that way. Whether you should enroll in these insurance options is up to you, but we can review your policies and help you decide.
After a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may need help getting compensation. Our Arkansas car accident lawyers are here to help. Call us at (479) 316-0438 to arrange a free case evaluation.
What Is Uninsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are optional insurance policies for Arkansas drivers. Under Arkansas Code § 23-89-401, these forms of insurance are designed to cover drivers injured by other negligent drivers without any insurance.
When a negligent driver hits another vehicle or pedestrian, that driver may be on the hook for the injured victim’s damages. You can file a claim with another driver’s insurance to get compensation for your costs and injuries. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes fail to carry insurance, or their insurance has lapsed. In such cases, there is no insurance coverage to help you.
This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes into play. You can turn to your own insurance coverage for help if you have these policies. The extent of your coverage will vary depending on the terms of your insurance policy.
While many drivers expect to file a claim with another driver’s insurance, they might not know how to file one with their own. Our Bella Vista car accident attorneys can help you review your insurance policies and determine where and how you can file your claim. If you do not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, our team can help you sue the negligent driver for compensation.
Can I Add UM/UIM Coverage to My Car Insurance?
UM and UIM coverage can be added to your existing insurance coverage. According to Arkansas Code § 23-89-403, insurance companies must offer bodily injury coverage in case of uninsured motorist accidents. However, drivers are free to reject this coverage if they choose. If you decide to reject UM or UIM coverage, you must do so in writing.
If you are in the process of getting insurance for a new vehicle, or perhaps you are switching to a new insurance company, it might be hard to understand the process. Insurance tends to be complicated, even when you have not had a car accident. Our Benton County car accident attorneys can help you go over your insurance policies so you know whether or not you have UM or UIM coverage.
If you want to opt out of UM or UIM coverage, we can help you understand how to do that. Alternatively, if you want to add this coverage to your policy or make sure it is being offered, we can also assist.
How Does UM/UIM Coverage Work in Arkansas?
According to the Arkansas Insurance Department, uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage are two separate forms of insurance coverage. UM coverage may be applied to your case if the driver who hit you had no insurance whatsoever. This coverage would come from your insurance policy, not the other driver. Our Arkansas car accident lawyers can help you determine what coverage works best for your case.
There are two types of UM coverage. First, there is uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI). This coverage may be purchased alone without the other form of UM coverage that applies to property damage. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) may also be purchased but cannot be purchased alone. If you have UMPD, you must also have UMBI.
Underinsured motorist coverage applies if the negligent driver who struck you had their own insurance to cover your damages, but their insurance is insufficient. Perhaps the other driver’s insurance is maxed out before your damages are fully covered. In that case, your UIM coverage would help fill in the gaps.
What Happens If I Don’t Have UM/UIM Coverage?
If you do not have UM or UIM coverage, and you are hit by a driver without insurance or who has insufficient insurance, you can file a lawsuit. Drivers are not required to carry UM or UIM insurance, and there is a chance that such a driver may be in an accident with someone who has no insurance at all. The only way to get compensation without filing an insurance claim is to sue.
You can sue the other driver and hold them liable for your accident. You will need evidence showing the other driver is responsible for the accident to do so. After the crash, you should take pictures and videos of the scene to show a judge and jury, so they can see for themselves what the accident looked like.
You should also speak to the police as soon as possible so they can complete a police report. While the report cannot be used as evidence in a trial, it may lead you to useful evidence. For example, details about potential witnesses might be in the police report. Our Crawford County car accident attorneys can help you find those witnesses, and they might testify in your case.
Should I Enroll In UM/UIM Coverage?
Whether you enroll in UM and UIM coverage is entirely up to you. Some drivers choose to opt out of UM and UIM coverage because they cannot afford it or do not believe it is necessary. Other drivers choose to enroll because they want to be prepared for anything and everything. Our Farmington, AR car accident lawyers can help you go over possible UM and UIM policies and help you determine if enrolling is best for you.
Call Our Arkansas Car Accident Attorneys for Assistance
If you were in an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver with insufficient insurance, you might be covered by UM or UIM insurance if you have it. If not, our Rogers car accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit for damages. Call us at (479) 316-0438 to set up a free case review.
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