Virginia Attorneys Advise You on Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Accidents
Car accident attorneys help you throughout the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area
Carrying auto insurance surprisingly is not required in the state of Virginia. Many drivers choose to drive without insurance. Others choose minimal insurance coverage, making it increasingly difficult for victims to collect full compensation when they are injured in a car accident. At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we fight for your recovery if you've been injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage
The Insurance Research Council estimates about 11 percent of drivers in Virginia lack auto insurance. If the at-fault driver has no auto insurance, you must look to your own uninsured motorist insurance for compensation — coverage carried by the owner of the car you were in when you were hurt. All Virginia policies have UM coverage that’s equal to the coverage you have to protect other folks you injure, unless you sign away this coverage. The UM insurance covers you if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
If you have a motor vehicle insurance policy in Virginia it will automatically include both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage that equals the minimum policy limits for liability. It makes sense to have over and above the bare minimums to cover the cost of a serious accident.
Minimum liability coverage in Virginia
Virginia’s minimum liability coverage requirements are as follows:
- Bodily injury or death of one person: $25,000
- Bodily injury or death of two or more people: $50,000
- Property damage: $20,000
If a driver carries only minimum coverage, he or she may be unable to compensate you fully in a vehicle accident. To protect yourself from a situation like this, be sure to purchase as much auto liability insurance coverage as you can afford. It will then provide you underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage from your insurance company if you or a family member is hurt by a driver with minimum coverage.
How underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can help
Underinsured motorist coverage allows you to file a claim with your insurance company after an accident with an underinsured motorist. Your insurance company may then pay you up to the difference between your UIM limit and the limit of the other party’s insurance.
Unfortunately, even if you carry UM/UIM protection, your insurance company will try to reduce the amount of compensation it pays you — or reject your claim altogether based on a technicality. Our Virginia car collisions attorneys can help you file a strong UM/UIM claim or challenge any rejection you have received, pursuing the financial compensation you need to make a full recovery from your injuries.
Recent Changes in the UM/UIM System in Virginia
Legislation enacted in Virginia in 2015 has made it easier to process UM/UIM claims and made the personal injury compensation system faster and more streamlined.
In cases in which a claim is made against an at-fault driver after an accident with injuries, and there is coverage available both on the vehicle of the at-fault driver as well as the vehicle of the car that the injured person was in, we can now, under certain circumstances, obtain the payout from the first insurance company and give the money straight to the claimant who needs it immediately rather than waiting for both parts of the claim to be involved.
In almost three decades before the change in Virginia, you were unable to take money from the first insurance carrier under the liability policy until you had reached a deal with the second insurer, the underinsured motorist coverage or UIM. It was a considerably more cumbersome process.
Other sources of compensation
As experienced Virginia car accident lawyers, we know all of the other places we can look to for more insurance, such as:
- Umbrella policies
- Resident relative policies
- Stacked coverage
We will explore every avenue possible to help you obtain the justice and compensation you need from an uninsured/underinsured motorist or any VA car accident with injuries.
Get the information and help you need if you've been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver
If you or a loved one has been injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver in Virginia, our experienced Virginia UIM/UM personal injury lawyers can assist you and advise you of your rights. Please contact Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers today by calling 757.455.0077 to schedule a free case evaluation. We have a main office in Norfolk and client meeting locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia but we can come to you if travel is difficult.