Tupelo Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims
Suppose you are driving down Interstate 22 when you are sideswiped by a speeding vehicle that veers into your lane. Now suppose that, even worse, the driver of the vehicle that sideswiped you tells you he is uninsured. Mississippi, like most other states, requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to drive on public roadways. Failure to carry the required insurance may result in criminal charges and penalties. Despite this, many people continue to drive in Mississippi with little or no insurance on their vehicles. If you have been injured in a crash with no insurance or not enough insurance to cover your losses, you should contact the Tupelo car accident lawyers of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz to discuss a potential uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. We may be able to help you seek recovery through your own insurance carrier so that you do not have to personally absorb the costs of your losses.
Seeking Recovery When the At-Fault Driver Has Little or No Insurance
Mississippi drivers are required by law to carry liability insurance to cover the losses of an innocent party if the driver causes a motor vehicle accident. The required minimum liability insurance limits are up to $25,000 for each person and up to $50,000 per accident, with an additional $25,000 for property damage per accident.
Unfortunately, not all drivers obey the law, and accidents involving uninsured motorists are common across Mississippi and other southern states. What happens if you are involved in a crash with another driver who has no liability insurance coverage? If you elected uninsured motorist coverage when you selected your auto insurance coverage, you should be able to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own carrier. Mississippi does not require its drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, but many drivers elect to carry it just in case they are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. If the accident was caused by the negligence of the uninsured driver, such as a driver distracted by his or her cell phone, your uninsured motorist carrier will step into the shoes of the negligent party and cover your losses caused by the wreck, up to the applicable policy limits.
Another situation where uninsured motorist coverage may come into play is when you are involved in a hit and run accident. If you are unable to get enough information from the other vehicle so that you or the police department can identify the driver or owner, a claim against the driver or owner cannot be asserted. In this case, you should be able to recover your losses from your insurance carrier so long as physical contact was made between you and the hit and run vehicle.
What happens if the defendant has insurance, but your medical bills and losses exceed the limits of his or her insurance policy? Car wreck victims who suffer serious injuries often face this problem. In that case, you may again be able to look to your own insurance and pursue an underinsured motorist claim, depending on the extent of your coverage. Mississippi law does allow underinsured motorist carriers to offset any amounts received from the liability carrier, though. However, stacking can be allowed based on the number of vehicles on your policy.
Suppose the defendant had the required $25,000 in liability insurance and you also have $25,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your Mississippi-based policy. If the liability carrier tenders its policy limits of $25,000 to you, you will not be entitled to pursue any additional amount from your insurance, as the $25,000 underinsured motorist coverage amount will be offset by the liability payment, essentially canceling it out. Now suppose you have $50,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Your insurance carrier will still receive a credit for the $25,000 paid by the liability carrier, but you would still be able to pursue the balance of $25,000 through an underinsured motorist claim.
Call a Tupelo Lawyer to Help You File an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim
If you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz today to discuss your case with one of our auto accident attorneys. You may be entitled to pursue one or more claims and seek compensation from the defendant’s insurance as well as your own, depending on the insurance coverage available to you. Our auto accident attorneys will review your insurance policy to determine if it entitles you to any additional benefits under the law. Call us today at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.
TYPES OF ACCIDENTS
Our firm represented a twenty-one-year-old woman who was in a head-on automobile collision where she suffered blunt abdominal trauma.