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Recovering Compensation from Uninsured Drivers

Published: Jan 31, 2017 in Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Under Alabama law, every driver must have auto liability insurance. An uninsured motorist is someone who lacks any auto liability insurance or has insurance that is below the state-mandated minimum coverage limits. In Alabama, the minimum coverage limits are $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) in 2012 Alabama ranked seventh highest in the nation in uninsured drivers. Last year, Alabama announced that the uninsured motorist rate had been reduced from 19.6 percent to 12.9 percent. While the decrease in uninsured motorists is certainly encouraging, there are still many drivers in Alabama without adequate or any auto liability insurance.

If you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you need experienced legal representation from our Alabama car accident lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. Call us today at (205) 933-1500 to find out how we can help you obtain compensation.

What Happens If I’m Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

If you have been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you may be wondering how you will obtain compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses. There are two ways to recover compensation for your injuries:

  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage – You may make a first-party claim under your own auto insurance policy if you have UM/UIM coverage.
  • Personal Injury Lawsuit – You should seek compensation from the at-fault driver through a personal injury lawsuit. If you didn’t have UM/UIM coverage, or if your insurance company does not cover all of your losses, a personal injury lawsuit can help you.

What is an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim?

When you are involved in an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, you may be able to file a claim under your own auto liability policy as long as you have UM/UIM coverage. Under Alabama Code, §32-7-23, every auto liability policy issued in the state are required to contain UM/UIM motorist coverage unless the policyholder rejects it in writing.

If you have UM/UIM coverage, you or your family members may be able to recover compensation for bodily injury and property damage up to the policy limits. The minimum UM/UIM coverage limits in Alabama are $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 per accident.

Not only is UM/UIM coverage incredibly important, it is generally a good idea to purchase more than the minimum policy limits so that you can avoid the risk of having to pay out-of-pocket expenses.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

If your damages exceed your UM/UIM policy limits, or if you do not have UM/UIM coverage, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to try and recover compensation. In a personal injury lawsuit, you would need to prove that the uninsured driver’s negligent actions caused the accident that resulted in your injuries and property damage.

Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Property loss or damage

Because you would be filing a claim against the driver personally, rather than the insurance company, it can be difficult to collect any settlement amount or verdicts. If you’re considering filing a UM/UIM motorist claim or personal injury lawsuit, it is important that you work with a car accident lawyer that can help you maximize your recovery.

Contact Our Alabama Car Accident Lawyers Today

If you have been hurt in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. The car accident lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. have more than 65 years of collective experience handling UM/UIM motorist claims and personal injury lawsuits. Our goal is to obtain the maximum compensation possible for our clients so they have access to the resources they need for a full recovery and to move forward with their lives.

If you or a loved one were injured in an auto accident, call the Alabama car accident lawyers from Belt & Bruner, P.C. at (205) 933-1500 or use our online form. We offer a case evaluation free of charge and are ready to help you obtain full compensation for your losses. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our attorneys will quickly travel to investigate your case.