Every time you get in your vehicle, you take certain risks. While you can take precautions to make sure you do not cause an accident, one factor is mostly out of your hands — other drivers on the road. Fortunately, purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage could give you peace of mind and protect your financial interests in the event of an accident.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM) protects you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who lacks insurance or whose liability limit does cover your damages. This type of coverage is especially useful if you are involved in a hit and run accident and the at-fault driver is unidentifiable.
There are two main types of UM insurance: UM property damage coverage (UM PD) and UM bodily injury coverage (UM BI). UM PD insurance covers physical damages to your car. UM BI covers medical bills and other associated costs, including lost wages, if you sustain any bodily injuries during the accident. Most of the time, UM insurance limits match the amount of your liability coverage.
Under Louisiana law, drivers are required to have minimum bodily injury coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Additionally, drivers must carry a minimum of $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Drivers are not required to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but they are automatically enrolled unless they specifically reject it. If a driver in Louisiana wishes to reject or select lower limits on their UM coverage, they must fill out and sign a form indicating that they are aware of this decision.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit-and-run accident deaths have increased by over 60% since 2009, and Louisiana is among the deadliest states in the nation. Additionally, as of 2015, 13% of drivers in Louisiana are uninsured. UM coverage provides valuable protection in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you or someone you know was involved in a hit-and-run or an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver, please contact us for a consultation. Here at Laborde Earles Law Firm, our skilled lawyers are dedicated to pursuing full and fair compensation on behalf of accident victims.