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  • The Miley Legal Group
  • 229 West Main Street
    Clarksburg, WV 26301
  • Phone: 304.931.4088
  • Fax: (304) 326-1801
  • Toll Free: 888.436.0859
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Importance of Uninsured (UM) Insurance & Underinsured (UIM) Insurance

Tim Miley
Injury Lawyer, Author, & Owner of The Miley Legal Group

Injury car accidents require immediate medical care and may also require long-term medical attention. West Virginia dictates that drivers in Clarksburg – or elsewhere in the state – who are to blame for an accident are responsible for damages they cause, including medical bills and property damage of other drivers. Those harmed may file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company to recover damages.

Unfortunately, the Insurance Information Institute reported than in 2009, 10.8 percent of motorists in West Virginia where uninsured. Therefore, uninsured (UM) insurance can be vital to recover compensation after an accident with such a driver.

West Virginia even requires drivers purchase UM coverage.

  • at least $20,000 bodily injury for one person.
  • $40,000 bodily injury for one accident;
  • and, $10,000 property damage for one accident.

Drivers may elect higher coverage and may pursue underinsured (UIM) insurance as well, which provides coverage if the at-fault driver’s insurance does not fully cover damages.

What is UM insurance?

UM insurance protects a person in the event that that he or she is involved in an accident caused by a person who is operating a vehicle without car insurance, or if involved in a hit and run accident. Uninsured motorist coverage covers injuries resulting from an accident, as well as property damage.

So if the other driver had no insurance and you suffered $15,000 in bodily injury damages and $8,000 in property damage, you are covered assuming you have the minimum UM insurance required by West Virginia law.

The maximum uninsured motorist coverage is the following.

  • $100,000 in bodily injury for one person.
  • $300,000 in bodily injury for one accident.
  • and, $50,000 in property damage for one accident.

What is UIM insurance?

UIM insurance is similar to uninsured motorist coverage. However, uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that the other driver has no insurance, whereas underinsured motorist coverage will protect you in the case that the other driver has some insurance coverage, but not enough to cover your damages.

If you suffered $35,000 in bodily injury damages but the other driver has the minimum $20,000 bodily injury liability coverage, then your UIM coverage can pay the remaining $15,000 assuming you have sufficient UIM insurance.

Why are UM and UIM coverages important?

As stated above, there is a large percentage of people who are operating motor vehicles without any insurance coverage. What’s more, in the event of a hit and run, you would not have another driver from whom to recover damages unless the police are able to locate the at-fault driver.

You should always seek medical attention after an accident even if you do not feel injured. Having UM insurance allows you to cover this cost and any other injury- or property damage-related costs stemming from the accident. Further, having UIM insurance allows you to receive proper medical treatment without worrying as much about whether a driver’s liability coverage will cover the full extent of damages.

Get Help from an Attorney after Clarksburg Accident

Unfortunately, some insurance companies don’t always want to pay out the benefits to which you’re entitled in the event that you’re in an accident, leaving you financially burdened. In the case that you haven’t received the benefits to which you’re entitled from your insurer (such as if you’re pursuing UM insurance benefits) or that of another driver, an attorney can help.

At the Miley Legal Group in Clarksburg, our attorneys know how devastating being in an accident can be, especially when you can’t afford the medical care you need. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we’re ready to fight hard for your rights as a victim. To get started filing your claim and to take the first steps to get the compensation you need and deserve, call us at 304-931-4088 or use our online contact form to set up an appointment with an attorney.

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