You’re out enjoying a leisurely drive when suddenly it happens: someone else is behaving irresponsibly behind the wheel, makes a colossally bad decision, and you end up in a serious accident. You face major injuries and seek compensation. You win the case, only to find out that the insurance company only covers them to a certain level, and you’re not going to see the sizable settlement you were awarded.
Is there a way to avoid this? The answer is that yes, there is, but too many people don’t carry the necessary coverage. Read about underinsured motorist coverage, why it’s so vital to getting the compensation you deserve, and why you should have car accident lawyer services.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
One of the most important limits you’ll face on getting paid in a lawsuit isn’t the insurance company’s attempts to lower the settlement. Rather, it’s the hard limit on the policy coverage of the person who caused your accident.
For example, if you are hurt in an accident and you receive a settlement to the tune of $500,000, but the other party’s policy only covers up to $300,000, you won’t receive the extra $200,000 you were awarded in the settlement. You’re still entitled to it, of course, but if the other party can’t pay, the money isn’t there. Underinsured motorist coverage is a policy you carry that helps to offset these limits.
How It Works
When you’re involved in a case where the settlement exceeds the available coverage, your underinsured motorist policy will kick in to cover part of the remaining money. It’s very important to understand that it works in conjunction with the existing policy, however, and not separate from it.
In essence, you get the difference between your policy limits and the policy limits of the defendant, rather than between the defendant’s limit and the settlement. Thus, in the example above, let’s say you have a policy covering you against underinsured motorists up to $400,000. You would receive the $300,000 from the defendant’s policy, plus an additional $100,000, the difference between their policy and yours.
Unless you have a very high underinsured motorist policy you might still not receive the full amount of your settlement; you would, however, receive more than you’d get otherwise and it’s better than nothing!
Hiring a West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer
When you’ve been hurt in an auto accident, it’s important to have the best possible representation so you can get the most out of your settlement case. A qualified West Virginia car accident lawyer will be your best bet in seeking compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, damage to your quality of life, and more.
At Stewart Bell, PLLC, we’ve got decades of experience in a variety of injury cases, and have proven results to back it up. We’ve collected millions in settlements over the years, and your case could be next. Give us a call or drop us an email today for a free consultation at no obligation to find out what we can do for you.