Uninsured/Underinsured Accident Lawyer in Columbia, SC
The understandable stress and anxiety you might feel after suffering injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident could turn into outright panic if you learn that the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance, or their insurance coverage won’t fully compensate you for your losses.
If you are facing this anxiety-inducing circumstance, know that you don’t have to navigate it alone. Also, understand that if an uninsured or underinsured driver has harmed you, you may still have solid legal options available that can empower you to recover any and all compensation you’re rightfully owed. A Columbia uninsured and underinsured motorist accident lawyer with the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis can clarify your rights and evaluate your options if the at-fault party doesn’t have enough coverage to compensate you.
Our team is here to help you get your life back on track in the wake of an injurious accident. Our commitment to obtaining the best possible results is reflected by the numerous 5-star Google reviews and by the many clients referred to us by family and friends when they need legal help. If you have recently been injured in a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver in Columbia, contact the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis for a free consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about our unique approach to client-focused representation.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident Involving an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver
If you have been injured in an accident with a driver you know or suspect to be uninsured or underinsured, you should act quickly to protect your rights. Steps to take after an uninsured/underinsured motorist accident include:
- Contact law enforcement immediately so that they can respond to the scene. Do not trust the other driver to “contact you later with insurance information” or allow them to pay you under the table in exchange for not reporting the crash to insurance
- Gather contact and insurance information from each driver involved in the crash (when possible)
- Take photos and video of details of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, skid marks and debris in the road, traffic signals, weather/lighting conditions, and any visible injuries you have sustained
- See a doctor as soon as possible to get a formal diagnosis of the injuries you suffered in the accident
- Follow all your doctor’s treatment instructions
- Keep records of any expenses and financial burdens incurred as a result of the accident
- Hire an experienced car accident attorney to represent your interests aggressively
What Happens When an At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance or Not Enough Insurance?
If a driver causes an accident and does not have insurance or has only minimal liability insurance coverage, those injured in the crash might have difficulty getting compensated for their expenses and losses. While injury victims may pursue a claim directly against the at-fault driver, many uninsured or underinsured drivers may not have sufficient personal assets and financial resources to pay a judgment after a car accident lawsuit.
Thankfully, an injured victim in an uninsured/underinsured motorist accident claim may have the option of turning to their own insurance policy for compensation if it includes uninsured or underinsured motorist (UI/UM) coverage.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM coverage, provides compensation to an insured party who suffers injury and loss due to an auto accident caused by another motorist who does not have liability insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage can also compensate a hit-and-run accident victim since hit-and-run drivers are treated like uninsured drivers for insurance purposes.
When you file an uninsured motorist coverage claim, your insurance policy should kick in to provide the compensation you’ll need to pay for your medical bills, repairs or replacement of your vehicle, and other qualifying financial losses.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist coverage, or UIM coverage, is triggered if you are injured or suffer loss from an auto accident caused by another driver who does not have sufficient liability insurance coverage limits to compensate you fully for your losses. As with uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage allows your personal insurance policy to pay for losses you’ve incurred due to a crash.
Depending on the terms of your policy, the limits of your underinsured motorist coverage may need to exceed the limits of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage for you to be eligible to make an underinsured motorist claim. You might also be entitled to recover the full limits of an at-fault driver’s liability coverage and recover any remaining losses from your underinsured motorist coverage.
You might be required to seek payment from your insurance company in exchange for assigning your auto accident claim against the at-fault driver so that your insurer can pursue reimbursement from them and their insurance policy.
While you may be grateful to have underinsured motorist coverage to lean on in the wake of your crash, navigating the ins and outs of the claims process can be stressful. Allow our firm to handle the legal “heavy lifting” of this process on your behalf so that you can concentrate on healing.
Is Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage Required in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, all auto insurance policies are required to provide uninsured motorist coverage with a policy limit equal to the limit of bodily injury liability coverage purchased by the policyholder. State law also requires insurers to offer underinsured motorist coverage equal to the applicable limits of bodily injury liability coverage.
However, policyholders can waive underinsured motorist coverage in writing to obtain a lower insurance premium. Because underinsured motorist coverage premiums typically make up only a small fraction of the total premium and coverage can be very beneficial in the wake of an injurious wreck, drivers can best protect themselves by not waiving UIM coverage.
Potential Compensation Paid Via an UM/UIM Claim
An uninsured or underinsured motorist claim will allow you to obtain compensation for many of the same losses and expenses you would be entitled to recover from the at-fault driver if you filed a personal injury lawsuit. These compensation types include expenses for medical treatment and rehabilitation of your physical injuries, which can add up quickly if your injuries are serious. You may also be able to recover compensation for property damage sustained in the wreck.
Why Seeking Legal Help with a UM/UIM Claim Is a Good Idea
If you decide to file a UM or UIM claim with your insurance, seeking legal help will give you the best chance at maximizing your financial recovery. Although you are filing a claim with your insurer, you need to remember that your interests are not aligned with the interests of your insurance company. Your insurer will want to minimize the value of your claim to preserve the profits they make on the premiums you pay. Your insurance company might even argue that you were partly at fault for the accident or question every bill and invoice you submit for compensation.
When you hire an attorney to assist you with your UI/UM claim, you can rest easier knowing that someone is looking out for your best interests. A lawyer can aggressively negotiate or file a lawsuit to recover what you deserve.
How Our Columbia UM/UIM Accident Lawyer Can Help
Securing fair compensation via an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim can sometimes become a complicated, time-consuming process. Insurance companies often try to minimize the amount of money they have to pay for claims, even if the person filing the claim is the policyholder. This is one of the many reasons why it’s crucial to hire an experienced UM/UIM accident lawyer to help you get what you’re owed. At the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis, our Columbia UM/UIM accident lawyer could help you by:
- Closely working with you during your case; you will always have a direct connection to attorney Chris Davis
- Promptly responding to your calls and emails day and night when getting advice and help from your lawyer cannot wait
- Conducting a thorough investigation of the crash to recover the evidence we need to prove the other driver’s fault
- Sitting down with you to discuss your legal options so that you can make informed decisions about taking legal action
- Seeking fair compensation, whether through a settlement with the insurance company or by taking your case to trial if a settlement offer from the insurer is not in your best interest
Contact Us Today for a Free Claim Analysis
Every motorist is required to carry insurance coverage to protect themselves and others in the event of a collision. If you’ve been injured by someone who failed to carry insurance or has a policy that is not adequate enough to compensate you, don’t despair. Instead, contact the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis today for a free, no-obligation consultation. An experienced Columbia uninsured/underinsured motorist accident lawyer can evaluate your situation and help you seek the compensation that you deserve.