There are very few guarantees in any given personal injury case. There is no exact science or magic formula to determine what your case’s ultimate settlement value or resolution. Simply put, there are just too many factors that must be considered and no single case is alike. With that said, in order for settlement to be possible, there must be a means of financial compensation. Obviously, the most common avenue for personal injury compensation is through third-party liability insurance. That is the bodily injury insurance of the individual or entity that caused your personal injuries. However, what happens when there is no third-party insurance or insufficient third-party insurance proceeds to even cover your medical bills? Unfortunately, as Torgenson Law is all too aware, often times the negligent party either has minimum insurance policy limits ($15,000 in Arizona) or lacks liability insurance altogether. To say these situations can prove to be “unfair” would be an understatement. This is why it is vital for you to protect yourselves with Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) Motorist coverage.
Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage
Generally speaking, UM coverage kicks in when the liable driver has no bodily injury liability coverage. However, that is not the only time UM coverage is applicable. It also applies when you cannot identify the liable party. For example, let’s say you are involved in a hit-and-run, and the police are unable to track down the culprit. Without UM coverage, you would more than likely be out of luck. However, a UM policy would apply to such circumstances, and you could recover compensation for your injuries. As another example, let’s say there is debris on the highway that causes you to swerve and hit the guardrail. Again, because it is likely impossible to know who left that debris in the roadway, the liable party is considered uninsured, and your UM policy would help pay for your damages.
Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
UIM coverage applies when—*you guessed it*— the liable party is “underinsured.” This means that the other driver’s liability policy is insufficient to compensate you for your full damages. For example, someone runs a red light and hits your vehicle, causing you to incur $50,000 in medical expenses. The negligent driver’s insurance is for Arizona’s minimum limits of $15,000. Assuming there are no liability questions, the third-party insurer will more than likely offer the $15,000 policy limits to settle your case. At that time, an injured person with a UIM policy would be able to present their unpaid damages claim to their own insurer and receive compensation for the remainder of their damages under their UIM policy.
So, call your automobile insurance company today to make sure you have the appropriate UM and UIM coverage to protect you and your loved ones.
Now, with all this said, you must not forget that your UM and UIM claim is being handled by an insurance company. Even though it is your own insurance company, they too will often attempt to make low-ball settlement offers to resolve your claims. For those reasons, you need seasoned personal injury lawyers like those at Torgenson Law who are skilled at negotiation and combating insurance companies’ tactics.
As we mentioned above, there are very few guarantees in any given personal injury case. However, one thing you can always count on is the Torgenson Law will not give up on you or your claim. Even under frustrating or unfair circumstances, we will do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve. Call Torgenson Law today for a free case review (602) 726-0747.