What Should I do if I’m Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?

Being involved in a car accident can make for a very bad day.  Finding out that the driver responsible for the accident was uninsured, or underinsured, can turn a bad day into a prolonged ordeal.

While most state laws require all drivers to carry insurance, many people have found ways to scam the system.  However, their breaking the law doesn’t have to become your problem. If you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver, you’re not necessarily out of luck.

Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers in Kentucky

Kentucky drivers must carry a minimum of only 25/50/10 in liability coverage – which is:

  • $25,000 for all claims for bodily injury damages sustained by any one person
  • $50,000 for all bodily injury damages sustained by all persons as a result of any one accident
  • $10,000 for all property damage as a result of any one accident

Kentucky also requires basic No-Fault coverage (called Personal Injury Protection or PIP) on all motor vehicles (except motorcycles) that provides up to $10,000 per person per accident for medical expenses, lost wages, and similar “out-of-pocket” costs due to an injury.

However, Kentucky law mandates that drivers carry uninsured motorist (UM) but not underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage to protect themselves from those who decide to “bypass” these laws – and it’s become a real issue in the State. UM replaces the bad driver’s lack of coverage. If you have UIM it can be stacked on top of the inadequate liability coverage of the bad driver. UM coverage can be waived and many insurance agents try to talk consumers out of UM and UIM as a cost-saving measure.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Kentucky Legislature recently mandated a crackdown on uninsured motorists to enforce the “gap” that enables some drivers to bypass the law. However, that will take time to enforce – which means that there are still many drivers out there without insurance.

Recovery Damages with Insurance

So, what do you do when no insurance, or not enough insurance, is available? If you cannot fully recover the amount of your damages from a UM or UIM policy, there may be other types of policies available such as a family member’s insurance or your own insurance policy depending upon the type of insurance coverage you have.

However, rest assured that insurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying on your claim, or paying as little as possible, and will likely end up pointing fingers at each other to accept liability. Unfortunately, many car accident victims get stuck in the middle. Keep in mind that an uninsured motorist is likely to have no money and an underinsured motorist likely has very little personal money for you to go after.

If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Kentucky car accident lawyer to analyze your situation and determine what legal options are available to you.

Don’t Settle for Less

Kentucky insurance laws are complex and understanding who can be held liable when they can be held liable, and most importantly, how to go about getting compensated for your injuries when dealing with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, can be a challenge.

However, experienced Kentucky car accident lawyers understand insurance and car accident laws inside and out and know how insurance companies often use a policyholder’s confusion about the law, and their rights, against them.

Don’t settle for a dime less than you’re entitled to without contacting an attorney first to get the information you need to make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family.