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Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers

Eastern Connecticut attorneys representing claims in accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers

States typically set minimum insurance coverage requirements in order for someone to legally drive a vehicle. Unfortunately, not all drivers abide by these laws. A 2019 study by the Insurance Information Institute found that about one in eight drivers, including about one in 16 in Connecticut, were uninsured.

Drivers’ insurance policies may also not sufficiently cover the expenses you incur in an accident, especially since many people only purchase the minimum coverage required by statute in order to keep their insurance costs low. 

In Connecticut, drivers are required to carry bodily injury liability insurance that provides up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This amount does not even begin to come close to the financial toll created by medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, nor does it account for your pain and suffering.

Any expenses incurred beyond the minimum insurance policy must be shouldered by the injured driver. However, uninsured/underinsured coverage can compensate you for these costs. The attorneys at Anderson Trial Lawyers help ensure that you are compensated to the fullest extent possible through this coverage.

Types of Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

There are three types of insurance coverage that can compensate you if you are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, or a driver whose policy does not cover your costs:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage: This coverage provides compensation if you are involved in a crash with a driver who does not have insurance or leaves the scene after the crash. This coverage also applies to hit-and-run accidents and crashes where the at-fault driver’s insurance company refuses to provide coverage.
  • Underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage provides additional compensation if the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability limits are not sufficient to cover the expenses you suffered as a result of an accident. 
  • Underinsured motorist conversion coverage: This coverage allows you to collect additional funding from your underinsured motorist coverage if you reach its limit. Let’s say your underinsured motorist coverage has a $250,000 cap, that you are involved in a crash resulting in $300,000 in medical bills and other expenses, and the at-fault driver’s liability coverage is capped at $50,000. The other driver’s coverage counts as a credit toward your own underinsured motorist coverage, meaning you’ll only be able to collect $200,000 from the policy before reaching the cap — leaving you responsible for the remaining $50,000. Conversion coverage allows you to collect this additional compensation from your underinsured motorist policy.

Filing an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim

While it is possible to file a claim against an uninsured or underinsured driver to seek damages, this is often not the best idea. Drivers with no insurance or insufficient coverage usually have financial limitations, and any settlement you win is likely to be insufficient to cover your expenses. Moreover, it is impossible to seek these damages if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident or a crash where the driver leaves the scene and is not apprehended.

Seeking compensation through your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is a better option. This coverage can not only be used to cover medical bills, but also to compensate you for things like lost wages or pain and suffering.

Hiring a skilled attorney is the best way to get fair compensation from your insurer. An attorney can help you through these often complex claims, establish the circumstances of the accident, and push back against any effort by the insurer to deny your claim or pay less than what you deserve.