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What if I Don’t Have UM or UIM Coverage?

Financial concept meaning Underinsured Motorist Protection Coverage with phrase on the piece of paper.

When it comes to protecting yourself on the road, your auto insurance policy can turn out to be every bit as important as the coverage the other guy is carrying, especially when they aren’t carrying any at all. In Indiana, uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance can protect you against damages caused by drivers with insufficient or no insurance. But not everyone understands how important this coverage is, and not everybody carries it. Read on to learn about what UM/UIM can do for you, and what options you are left with if you don’t have it when you need it. For help after a car or truck crash in Indiana, contact Lee Cossell & Feagley to speak with an experienced and successful Indianapolis personal injury lawyer.

Understanding Indiana’s Uninsured Motorist Statute

Under Indiana Code 27-7-5-2, automobile insurers are required to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of their standard auto insurance policies. This provision aims to safeguard drivers in Indiana from the financial pitfalls that can arise after an accident with a driver who either lacks insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages incurred. Insurers must offer UM/UIM in at least the minimum amounts of liability coverage required by law ($25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident). If the policyholder buys more liability coverage, they are entitled to purchase the same amount of UM/UIM coverage as well.

Uninsured motorist coverage kicks in when you are involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance, providing compensation for bodily injury and property damage. Conversely, underinsured motorist coverage applies when the at-fault driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover the full extent of the damages.

It’s important to note that while Indiana law mandates the offering of UM/UIM coverage, drivers have the option to decline this coverage in writing. Drivers can reject UM coverage, UIM coverage, or both. This decision can have significant implications in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

The Impact of Not Having UM/UIM Coverage

Choosing to forgo UM/UIM coverage might seem like a cost-saving measure in the short term, but it can leave you vulnerable to substantial financial risks. If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and you don’t have UM/UIM coverage, you may find yourself facing the following challenges:

  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Without UM/UIM coverage, any medical bills, repair costs, or other expenses resulting from the accident may need to be paid out of pocket if the at-fault driver cannot cover the costs.

  • Limited Recourse for Compensation: Pursuing compensation directly from an uninsured or underinsured driver can be a complex and often fruitless endeavor, as many such drivers lack the financial resources to pay for the damages they’ve caused.

  • Increased Financial Burden: The financial impact of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can be significant, potentially leading to debt or financial instability, especially if you’re unable to work due to injuries sustained in the accident.

Navigating the Aftermath of a Crash Without UM/UIM Coverage

If you find yourself without UM/UIM coverage after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, there are still steps you can take to navigate the situation:

  1. Assess Your Insurance Policy: Review your auto insurance policy to confirm whether you have other coverages that might apply, such as collision or medical payments coverage, which can help mitigate your losses.

  2. Explore Legal Options: Consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can advise you on potential legal avenues for pursuing compensation, including filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

  3. Consider Health Insurance: If applicable, your health insurance may cover medical expenses related to the accident, though this won’t address property damage or other costs, and you may still be liable for applicable deductibles and co-pays.

How Lee Cossell & Feagley Can Help

In the complex landscape of auto insurance and personal injury law, having the guidance of experienced legal professionals can be invaluable. The attorneys at Lee Cossell & Feagley, with expertise in personal injury cases in Indianapolis, can provide crucial support and advocacy for individuals navigating the aftermath of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. We can help evaluate your case, explore all available legal options, and work tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.

While opting out of UM/UIM coverage may lower your insurance premiums by a small amount, the potential financial and legal risks following an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can be significant. Understanding your insurance policy and the protections it offers is crucial for every Indiana driver. In the event of an accident, consulting with a skilled personal injury law firm can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you pursue the best possible outcome in your situation.

If you or a loved one were hurt in an auto accident in Indiana, call Lee Cossell & Feagley at 317-631-5151 for a free consultation with a team of compassionate and dedicated Indianapolis personal injury lawyers. There is no fee until we recover for you.

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