Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Proving financial responsibility by carrying auto liability insurance or a state-approved bond, which will show a driver’s financial capability in compensating anyone who he/she may injure in an accident is a requirement in all 50 states in the U.S. This requirement is meant to ensure injured victims that they will receive compensation, which ought to cover cost of treatment for their injury and loss of income.
The type of auto insurance, however, differs among states. While most states require a tort-liability policy, there are a few that require a no-fault auto insurance coverage – the difference simply on how compensation may be sought.
In tort states, a victim of an accident can seek compensation from an at-fault driver’s car insurance provider; he/she also has the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver if the compensation paid by the insurance provider does not cover the total amount of damages suffered by the victim (any amount lacking from the payment made the car insurance firm will already have to come from the liable driver’s own pocket).
In no-fault states, however, cost of medical treatment resulting from the injuries (of both drivers) sustained in the accident will be paid by each driver’s insurance provider, regardless of whose fault the accident is. This means filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver is no longer necessary, unless the injury of the innocent victim is too severe and requires too costly medical treatment that cannot be covered fully by his/her own insurance provider.
This state requirement, of carrying auto liability insurance, particularly in tort states, should be enough assurance to anyone of the compensation that he/she may be deemed eligible by the court to receive. However, there is one very troubling major problem (related to this auto liability coverage) that the Insurance Research Council has identified – that 1 in every 8 drivers in the U.S. continues to drive freely on roads and highways despite being uninsured. Instead of catching these drivers and making sure that they purchase a policy, however, insured drivers are the ones given an additional requirement: of carrying Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage on top of their auto liability insurance.
Due to the absence of coverage on a vehicle, Uninsured motorist coverage will cover all economic losses and damages suffered by an innocent victim. This coverage is most helpful if a person is hit by an uninsured driver, a stolen vehicle or a victim of a hit & run. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is intended to cover the amount in excess of the policy limit of the underinsured motorist.
According to Chicago car accident lawyers, while it may initially seem like there is no way for an accident victim to obtain the compensation needed in the wake of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the good news is that with legal assistance, there are several different ways in car accident-related costs can be effectively handled. Seeking assistance from a highly-skilled car accident lawyer can be the best way to obtain this compensation.