I Was Hit By an Uninsured Driver. Am I Covered?
It’s an all-too-common occurrence. Out of nowhere, another driver hits your vehicle, causing significant damage to you and your car. And though you weren’t at fault for the accident, now you’re worried about how to pay for medical and auto repair bills because the other driver wasn’t insured.
If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver, Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC, can help. We are experienced car accident lawyers who can guide you through your legal options and get the compensation that you need to cover your expenses.
Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers in Mississippi
A shocking 30% of Mississippi drivers don’t have any type of liability insurance, which is the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the nation. Many other drivers only carry the bare minimum insurance required by law and, therefore, don’t have adequate coverage to fully compensate the other driver.
The state of Mississippi requires drivers to carry liability insurance that will cover at least $25,000 per person and at least $50,000 total per accident.
Although this might seem like enough, it is often insufficient. Even in the case of a minor accident, expenses can add up quickly. Worse yet, a victim of a more serious accident might face overwhelming medical bills related to hospitalization, medical testing, and surgery. They may need to buy a new vehicle. And when you add in lost wages as a result of the accident in addition to pain and suffering, expenses can quickly exceed $100,000.
What makes matters worse is the reality that insurance companies are reluctant to pay out for a policy. They will launch their own investigation of the accident and often find reasons to dismiss the claim or pay far less than what a claim is worth.
Difficulty in Resolving an Uninsured Motorist Claim
If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, it’s often a difficult legal process to recoup the compensation you deserve. It’s possible to sue the uninsured motorist for damages. However, a civil trial can take time, and there is no guarantee that you’d receive fair compensation. Most of the time, uninsured or underinsured drivers don’t have the type of money needed to cover accident costs.
Alternatively, you could file a claim against your own insurance company if you believe that you weren’t given the option to purchase uninsured motorist insurance. Even though this type of coverage isn’t required, according to Mississippi law, auto insurance companies must give their clients the option. If you can prove that you weren’t given this option, you could potentially sue your insurance company. However, this also requires legal litigation, and it might be difficult to prove that you weren’t given the option for uninsured motorist insurance.
Another possibility might be to determine whether you have a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy, which is a type of no-fault insurance that will cover medical expenses related to the accident beyond what the health insurance company will pay. The main problem is that this type of policy doesn’t cover damages to your vehicle nor does it reimburse you for lost wages and other types of expenses.
The Benefit of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
By far the best way to protect yourself from the unnecessary expense and hassle that results from an accident with an uninsured motorist is to get coverage before an accident occurs. Uninsured motorist coverage is not a legal requirement; it’s an inexpensive add-on to your insurance policy that provides financial compensation when the at-fault driver is unable to do so.
With uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim against your own insurance company in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. It provides the reimbursement you would need to pay for auto damage, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Uninsured motorist coverage also gives you the ability to stack your coverage, meaning that you can combine coverage amounts from multiple vehicles. So if you have coverage for two vehicles, each with $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, the coverage for both vehicles could be combined to provide $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
Even if you are in an accident with someone who is underinsured, uninsured motorist coverage is extremely beneficial because it can be used to pay your remaining expenses after the other driver’s coverage has run out.
Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe Can Help
If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, enlisting the help of a car accident lawyer will ease your stress and ensure that you receive fair compensation. Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe will advocate on your behalf with the insurance company to get the full compensation you deserve, saving you both money and stress. Contact us today for more information.
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, the unfortunate reality is you might be out of luck. Mississippi has the highest instance in the nation of uninsured drivers, around 30% of drivers behind the wheel in the state of Mississippi are driving around without any type of liability insurance. The good news is you can do something to protect yourself before you’re in an accident, which is all insurance companies who write coverage in the state of Mississippi, offer a coverage called uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage.