How Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works
If you have been injured in a car accident in West Virginia, you might find that the at-fault driver didn’t carry enough insurance to cover your medical bills and other out-of-pocket costs — or perhaps had no insurance at all. You will then have to file a claim against your own insurance policy’s uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) coverage, which is designed for such situations.
Car insurance laws vary from state to state. Some states operate on a no-fault system, where you seek recourse initially from your own insurance company for bodily injury or property damage. But West Virginia is a fault state, which means a claim for recovery of compensation must be made against the other driver’s liability insurance. The difficulty arises when that insurance isn’t enough. Although you still have the right to sue the other driver personally, litigation may be difficult and expensive, could take a long time and might result in an uncollectible judgment.
That’s where UM and UIM coverage comes in. In West Virginia, all drivers are required to carry liability and UM coverage of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. UIM coverage is optional but is in fact more useful, since you are more likely to encounter a driver with minimal policy limits than no insurance at all. Rather than waiting until you have been in an accident, it is best to review your policy’s UM and UIM coverage now to make sure it is adequate.
If you have been involved in a car accident and want to maximize your financial recovery, it is important to get in touch with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC we have over 35 years of experience in helping accident victims recover just compensation for their injuries at the hands of other people. We offer free consultations in injury matters. Call our Bridgeport office at 304-842-4300 or contact us online for prompt assistance.