Nearly every U.S. state requires all drivers to carry liability insurance when it comes to paying for property damage and medical expenses, yet in 2014 the Insurance Research Council (IRC) released a study showing that almost 13% of all drivers aren’t covered by insurance. This is a major issue should a car accident occur and injure others. Uninsured or underinsured drivers often leave those they injured responsible for paying for damages, but there are some instances in which victims can receive assistance. If you or a loved one has been injured, call our Charleston uninsured/underinsured motorist accident attorneys. Bostic Law Group, P.A. has successfully recovered millions in damages for our past clients and has committed our firm’s legacy to achieving justice for those who have been wronged by negligence.
Contact us online or by phone at (843) 350-9646 for a free consultation. Our attorneys have handled motor vehicle accident cases for decades, including those involving drivers who lack liability insurance.
UNINSURED MOTORISTS (UM) VS. UNDERINSURED MOTORISTS (UIM)
An uninsured motorist (UM) is a driver who has no insurance or doesn’t have insurance that meets the state-required minimum liability coverage. Uninsured motorists also include those who caused hit-and-runs because you don’t have their insurance information to make a typical car accident claim. UM coverage is paid for by your insurance and covers medical expenses and lost wages for you, your family, and/or other passengers who were in the vehicle with you up to the limits you have.
An underinsured motorist (UIM) is a driver who doesn’t have enough liability insurance to cover the extent of your injuries. In these particular cases, the other driver’s insurance will pay first, and then your UIM coverage will make up the difference up to your limits, providing for the rest of the costs of medical bills and lost wages.
SOUTH CAROLINA INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
South Carolina state law requires all drivers to have both liability and UM coverage.
Minimum UM requirements for liability coverage include:
- $25,000 for property damage
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident
UIM coverage isn’t mandatory in South Carolina, though every insurance company is required to offer it to policyholders. It’s recommended that driver do not waive UIM coverage – though the minimums listed seem like a lot, it can be incredibly expensive to pay for medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. Surgeries and hospital stays can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and many people don’t factor in the expenses associated with hospital rides and medication purchases.
HOW TO FILE UM OR UIM CLAIMS
Like any car accident claim, you still need to prove that the driver who caused your injuries was negligent in their actions. Insurance adjusters will attempt to avoid liability altogether or pay less by trying to hold claimants partially responsible for their injuries. You must notify your insurance company about your intent to file an uninsured or underinsure motorist claim as soon as possible, and then hire an uninsursed motorist accident attorney.
An attorney can protect you from insurance adjuster tactics to reduce compensation by handling all future communication with adjusters so you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing. Our team can also help you figure out the value of your claim by documenting your financial losses. We can collect your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses and negotiate a settlement offer that is fair to you.
Injuries after car accidents can be minor, such as fractures and sprains or whiplash, but they can also be serious and include broken or crushed bones or limbs, spinal cord and neck injuries, head and brain trauma, and more. You shouldn’t have to suffer more than you already have just because the at-fault driver lacks sufficient coverage. You have options – options our team can make you aware of when you call to utilize your free consultation.
Call (843) 350-9646 to reach a Charleston uninsured/underinsured motorist accident attorney today. Our personal injury team is available to schedule weekend and evening appointments for your convenience.