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If I Claim on Virginia Uninsured Motorist Coverage Will My Premiums Go Up?

As your lawyer, I do everything in my power to get you results.- Jim Hurley

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

If I Claim on Virginia Uninsured Motorist Coverage Will My Premiums Go Up?

By John Cooper, Virginia Auto Accident Injury Lawyer

This is one of the most common questions I have heard in nearly three decades in personal injury work.  The answer is that the insurance companies do not and will not increase your family's automobile insurance rates if you make a claim like underinsured motorist, uninsured motorist or Medpay, all of which are based not on your fault but on somebody else's fault.  The whole purpose of UM, UIM and Medpay coverage is that your insurance company has already been paid to cover some things which may occur that injure you or your family members or the occupants of your vehicle.  These coverages are not based upon anything that you did wrong behind the wheel but rather something that was done to you by some other at‑fault person.  Because of this an uninsured motorist claim against a hit and run driver or an underinsured motorist claim where you get the benefit your higher limits if you're hurt seriously by somebody with.

Lane-change

These coverages are not based upon anything that you did wrong behind the wheel but rather something that was done to you by some other at‑fault person.  Because of this an uninsured motorist claim against a hit and run driver or an underinsured motorist claim where you get the benefit your higher limits if you're hurt seriously by somebody with lesser limits should not affect your insurance rates.  Rest assured if we make a claim of this sort it is for your benefit and to your benefit.  The insurance company, whether State Farm, Geico or Allstate, is not allowed to increase your premiums because you were not at fault.

Often in my experience, particularly on serious injury cases arising out of automobile accidents in Virginia, these kinds of coverages under your own policy or your family auto policy make all the difference to a successful outcome.  Unfortunately, not everybody carries all of these coverages in the maximum amounts that they could.  If you aren't sure what's on your policy you should call your insurance sales broker or the insurance company's sales agent and ask them if you have the highest available limits on your UM/UIM and medical payments coverage.  Chances are that you don't.  You can make a change like that even in the middle of a policy term before your 6 month or 1-year renewal.  They will just pro‑rate the amount of insurance. 

Normally the underinsured motorist coverage and uninsured motorist coverage follow in the amount of whatever you've bought as far as liability limits, so if you have a $25,000.00/$50,000.00 policy which is minimum coverage in Virginia that is the amount of the uninsured motorist that you have, i.e. $25,000.00 per person per accident.  This is not enough to cover any kind of significant auto collision with injuries.  A typical emergency room visit with X‑rays and CAT scans of the head can easily be $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 even without being admitted to the hospital.  Then a visit to your family doctor a couple of times to get prescription medication plus a trip or two to an orthopedic or neurosurgical specialist to make sure that you don't need a surgery is common in a back or neck injury arising from a car accident. 

This is not enough to cover any kind of significant auto collision with injuries.  A typical emergency room visit with X‑rays and CAT scans of the head can easily be $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 even without being admitted to the hospital.  Then a visit to your family doctor a couple of times to get prescription medication plus a trip or two to an orthopedic or neurosurgical specialist to make sure that you don't need a surgery is common in a back or neck injury arising from a car accident. 

Also, in order to get back to work more quickly and to feel better faster the doctors will typically send you to at least one session of physical therapy.  The physical therapist might be another $3,000.00 to $5,000.00.  An MRI to make sure that there's no ruptured disc in your back or significant spinal injury to your neck might be another $2,000.00 approximately.  As you can see you might end up with medical bills close to $25,000.00 even in a moderately severe automobile accident where you or someone else gets hurt.  That doesn't even take into account lost wages, pain and

As you can see you might end up with medical bills close to $25,000.00 even in a moderately severe automobile accident where you or someone else gets hurt.  That doesn't even take into account lost wages, pain and suffering and money for your general inconvenience and mental anguish.  If you get by a drunk driver or irresponsible person who does not carry insurance then you are forced to look to your own UM coverage.  If you're only running around on minimal limits in Virginia and only could get $25,000.00 you might be feeling that you didn't get full and fair compensation.  You'll never get it from the drunk driver who was so irresponsible that they didn't even bother to buy insurance at all themselves and therefore likely do not have any financial means to cover any judgment beyond the insurance.

So the simple answer to this common question is, no, your insurance rates will not go up based upon a one‑time accident which was not your fault even if you make a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage.  As your personal injury attorney I can often make a huge amount of difference financially to you and your family by making the UM claim when applicable.  Knowing how to do this is my stock-in-trade that me and my law partners do day‑in, day‑out at our firm which specialized in automobile accidents and injury claims against insurance companies.

If you have been hurt in a car wreck and have questions about an insurance claim, call us at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 for a free consultation.

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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