What is an underinsured motorist? An underinsured motorist is someone who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for damages in an accident. In other words, the accident-related costs exceed policy limits.
Insurance Requirements and How They May Impact an Accident Case
The state of West Virginia requires motorists to carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. The minimum amounts for liability include $20,000 per person (bodily injury), $40,000 per accident (for bodily injuries to two or more people) and $10,000 property damage.
The minimum requirements for UIM are $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. This coverage helps pay for costs when involved in an accident with another driver who isn’t insured.
If someone is involved in a serious collision in which the other driver was at fault, the losses to be covered -- such as medical bills, lost wages and more -- may be higher than the liability coverage available. For instance, the other driver has the minimum $20,000 in bodily injury but the expenses are $30,000. This would be considered an underinsured motorist.
Options When a Driver Is Underinsured and at Fault for an Accident
What an underinsured motorist costs those who do have insurance is the gap between the other driver’s coverage and the total in damages, unless the injured Clarksburg driver has additional protection, such as underinsured motorist coverage.
This optional type of insurance pays for bodily injuries and/or property damage when the other driver’s liability insurance isn’t enough. But again, it’s up to the limits of the policy.
If the injured person doesn’t have this extra protection, then it would be a good idea to consult legal counsel like the accident attorneys at the Miley Legal Group. An attorney can determine if a personal injury lawsuit could be filed against the at-fault driver in order to recover the remaining amount of damages not covered by his or her insurance policy. The Miley Legal Group contact form is a quick and easy way to investigate if you have access to more restitution for your car accident with an underinsured driver.