Car Accident with Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Car crash on major highway during rainfall at night. Ambulance in foreground and police car in background concept.t

As anyone who has been involved in an auto accident knows, it is a stressful and uncertain time. The stress is compounded if you learn that the other driver did not have insurance at the time of the collision, or did not have adequate insurance to cover the full extent of your loss. To address this situation, automobile insurance companies offer Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage, often abbreviated as UM / UIM coverage. If you purchased an automobile insurance policy that includes UM / UIM coverage, your insurance company will compensate you for your injuries when the other driver was uninsured or lacked sufficient insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries.

What Is a UM / UIM Claim?

Connecticut drivers are required to carry an automobile insurance policy with minimum limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence, and up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. Unfortunately, one out of every eight drivers on the road does not carry insurance. If you purchased UM / UIM coverage through your car insurance carrier and were involved in a collision with a driver who did not have insurance, your Uninsured Motorist Coverage will pay to cover the damages.

UM / UIM coverage works like a backup insurance policy that applies when you are hit by a driver who did not carry their own insurance. Your UM / UIM policy will cover the claim and pay for medical bills and property damage, up to your insurance policy limits.

When the accident occurred, the police were called to the scene and asked the other driver to provide proof of insurance. If the other driver could not prove that they were covered, the police will note this information on the police report, and you can file a claim with your insurance carrier.

You can still file a lawsuit against the other driver. They may have significant assets and be able to pay your claim for damages. But in most situations, people who choose not to carry insurance do so because they cannot afford it. It is often easier to make a claim under your UM / UIM policy.

Uninsured Motorist Vs. Underinsured Motorist

Your UM / UIM coverage applies in two different situations. The first is when the other driver simply does not have insurance. In this case, your UM / UIM carrier steps in to pay for your damages.

But what happens when the other driver has insurance, but not enough to cover the full extent of your damages? This is where your underinsured motorist coverage applies.

Suppose you are involved in a car crash and incur medical bills of $35,000, but the other driver only has $25,000 in liability coverage. Your UIM coverage will step in to pay the difference.

It can take time to determine whether the at-fault driver has adequate insurance, and the fact usually will not become apparent until after you have determined the full extent of your damages and the amount of the other driver’s insurance policy.

Recovering Compensation Under a UM / UIM Insurance Policy

If you were injured in a car crash, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Lost wages and future lost earnings;
  • Permanent physical limitations;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Mental anguish.

If the other driver did not have automobile insurance or lacked sufficient coverage to pay for your losses, your UM / UIM policy will apply to cover these damages.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a UM / UIM Claim?

While you do not need a lawyer to file a UM / UIM claim, working with an experienced personal injury attorney helps ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.

UM / UIM insurance policies are complex and difficult to understand, and recovering full and fair compensation for your injuries is often an uphill battle, especially when you need to coordinate with multiple insurance companies.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will prepare a settlement demand package that shows all of the ways your life has been impacted by the crash and will negotiate a favorable resolution to your claim. If the insurance companies are unwilling to make a fair offer, your lawyer will file a lawsuit to protect your rights and prosecute your claim so you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.

How Long Do I Have to File a UM / UIM Claim?

In Connecticut, you generally have up to two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and your own insurance company for benefits under your UM / UIM coverage. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the applicable timeframe, your claim for damages will be time-barred.

Contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm

If you were injured in a car crash involving an uninsured or underinsured driver, Connecticut personal injury attorney Stephen Lebedevitch can help.

The Lebedevitch Law Firm fights for injured people in and around Fairfield and New Haven Counties. Stephen Lebedevitch offers an honest and straightforward approach to personal injury law. He has the experience, resources, and expertise to handle your claim and recover the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.