One of the most important considerations after an accident is the available insurance coverage. Insurance policies will only pay up to their maximums, and this amount is sometimes insufficient to cover the complete cost of a victim’s injuries. In these situations, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) benefits can be invaluable for Alexandria car accident victims.
If you were hurt in a collision, you may be overwhelmed and concerned about how to pay for your expenses. Fortunately, an experienced personal injury attorney could step in to help find all available insurance coverage and pursue fair compensation.
In Louisiana, every person is required to carry minimum liability limits on their vehicle of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident for bodily injuries. While this can seem like a lot of money, healthcare is very expensive. Surgeries or rehabilitation can easily exceed this limit. This can pose a problem for auto crash victims. Someone injured through no fault of their own should not be responsible for the resulting expenses, but it can be very difficult to collect compensation without adequate insurance coverage.
This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage comes into play. An individual can elect to purchase a UM/UIM policy which is equal to or less than the liability limits they carry. For example, someone could purchase a liability and a UM policy that both cover up to $1 million. If the victim is seriously injured and the defendant’s insurance is insufficient, their own policy would step in to cover the rest of the injuries. Without this coverage, their could be no recovery for someone with severe injuries.
There are different types of UM/UIM coverage in Louisiana. UMEO, or economic only, coverage will only compensate a car accident victim for their economic damages. These can include medical bills and lost wages. While this coverage is helpful, it does not allow plaintiffs to recover compensation for their general damages.
In contrast, UMBI coverage does compensate victims for noneconomic, or general, damages. The most common is payment for pain and suffering, but noneconomic damages can also include loss of consortium or loss of enjoyment of life.
UMBI coverage can be extremely important, but unfortunately, many people fail to appreciate the benefits. A driver cannot control the insurance coverage of other drivers on the road, but they can control what they purchase themselves. Purchasing insurance in excess of the state-mandated minimums and purchasing UMBI can play a valuable role in protecting victims’ financial interests in the aftermath of an accident.
Many people hesitate to file a claim with their insurance company due to fears their premiums will increase. However, Louisiana law does not allow insurance companies to raise rates for individuals who file claims through no fault of their own. If you have UM/UIM benefits, you should not hesitate to lose them.
For help understanding your insurance policies and seeking all available compensation, consider contacting a dedicated Alexandria attorney. They could pursue every available avenue in pursuit of the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation.