While most responsible drivers carry insurance to protect themselves and others in case of an accident, unfortunately not everyone is so conscientious. The Insurance Research Council estimates that about one in eight drivers, or 13% of all motorists nationwide, lack insurance coverage. This percentage has been rising steadily in the past decade since a record low percentage in 2010. If someone involved in an accident does not have insurance to cover damages to people and property, the victim may be forced to deal with expensive medical bills and other costs.
As the price of insurance has risen in recent years, some drivers have decided to ‘take their chances’ and drive without car insurance. Drivers who lack the required or suggested liability insurance coverage provide no protection for other motorists involved in car accidents with that person, which can turn an already traumatic experience into an even larger headache. State law in Kentucky, like many other states, requires that every vehicle with a license plate must be properly insured.
Drivers in Kentucky are required to have two types of liability insurance: bodily injury liability insurance and property damage insurance. Bodily injury insurance coverage pays for costs related to any injuries or fatalities that a driver causes as the result of an accident, and property damage coverage covers any damages a driver causes to someone else’s property. Kentucky requires drivers to have minimum coverage in the following amounts: $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury, and $10,000 for property damage.
What options does someone have when a driver without insurance hits them? First, they can sue the defendant personally and seek recovery of money to help cover losses caused by the accident. However, this option is usually less successful at recovering enough funds to help make the victim whole, as those who have not paid for insurance often don’t have sufficient funds to satisfy a judgment against them. If the accident was a hit and run, then finding the driver in order to sue them may prove a difficult task as well.
Fortunately, there are affordable insurance policies that reimburse policy holders who are involved in accidents with drivers who are uninsured. Over twenty states and Washington, D.C. have mandatory requirements for drivers to possess these insurance policies, usually referred to as Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM or UM for short). In a no-fault state like Kentucky, UM coverage allows a driver to make a claim against the policy in order to recover money to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, or other damages stemming from an accident with an uninsured motorist. Your insurance company will essentially ‘step into the shoes’ of the driver who caused the accident and pay money to help settle your claim. Without this coverage, a victim would be unable to seek additional compensation from other drivers without the help of an attorney, and would be forced to bear the costs of any damages alone.
If you or a loved one needs help dealing with the aftermath of a car accident involving an uninsured driver, please contact the car accident attorneys at Saladino & Schaaf. We understand how uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage may apply to a given situation, and we regularly pursue cases when insurance companies refuse to fairly compensate our clients. Uninsured driver claims are complicated, and you and your family should focus on recovering from the accident instead of fighting with insurance companies or with other drivers. Leave the complications to us, and let us help you decide the best course of action to receive the compensation you deserve to get you back to your life.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is dedicated to providing high quality, aggressive legal representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Since 1984, this firm and its predecessors have had one goal in mind – to help the victims of personal injury put the pieces of their lives back together.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is a Personal Injury Law Firm located in Paducah, KY and serves clients throughout Kentucky and Illinois.
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