Take a look around you next time you’re on a busy Kentucky roadway. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 15.8 percent of the people that you’re sharing the roadway with are uninsured. That translates into about one out of every 6.4 drivers having no liability insurance at all. Many others are only driving on minimum Kentucky policy limits of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per occurrence and $10,000 of property damage coverage.
Minimum liability limits are insufficient
Uninsured and underinsured drivers can create profound issues when they cause accidents and seriously injure or cause the deaths of other people. That’s because Kentucky’s minimum liability insurance limits don’t even approach fair and just compensation for the damages that an individual or surviving family members might incur in a motor vehicle accident.
Drivers are not required to have UM coverage
The importance of having sufficient liability and uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can’t be stressed enough. UIM is part of UM, so if you have UM coverage, you have UIM coverage too. Kentucky law requires UM coverage to be offered with every auto insurance policy, but drivers need not purchase it. If a person doesn’t want UM coverage, he or she need only waive it in writing. Often people are not educated about these coverages and do not know what they are waiving.
Don’t expect your insurer to treat you fairly
When a person makes a UM or UIM claim, he or she makes it with their own insurance company. They might believe that it’s a relatively simple process given the loyalty that they’ve had by paying premiums to that insurer for 10 or 15 years, but that’s wishful thinking. The insurer’s objective is to take in as much money as possible on premiums and pay as little as possible on claims. That’s how insurance companies make money. So when you file a UM or UIM claim with your own insurer, you’ll quickly learn that you’re likely now in an adversarial process, and your insurer is your opponent. Since your insurance company will likely do anything legally possible to minimize its financial exposure on your claim, it’s important for you to have an experienced, aggressive and respected law firm at your side every step of the way.
Who is covered? UM and UIM policy language differs between different auto insurers. The general rule is that you and any blood relative who is a resident of your household are covered under UM and UIM insurance when injured in an accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. It’s highly likely that you’re all probably even covered when you’re injured in an accident that was the fault of a hit-and-run driver.
Who is covered?
UM and UIM policy language differs between different auto insurers. The general rule is that you and any blood relative who is a resident of your household are covered under UM and UIM insurance when injured in an accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. That blood relative need not be domiciled in your home. He or she need only be a resident. People can have more than one residence, but they can only have one domicile. Most policies also cover blood relatives who are members of your household as pedestrians, joggers or bicyclists.
It’s highly likely that you’re all probably even covered when you’re injured in an accident that was the fault of a hit-and-run driver. In this context, you’ll need to prove that:
- The crash was caused by an unknown driver
- Diligent efforts were made to ascertain the driver’s identity and any insurance information
- Actual injuries and damages were suffered by you as a result of the accident
Kentucky is a no fault insurance state. A person, is covered by no fault unless they file a written rejection with the Kentucky Department of Insurance. If a person selects no-fault coverage, he or she must overcome a threshold to be eligible to collect certain damages. That’s not a complicated issue in just about all serious personal injury cases. Once that threshold has been overcome, damages might consist of:
- Past medical bills and medical bills reasonably expected to be incurred in the future
- Past lost earnings and earnings reasonably expected to be lost in the future
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a normal life
- Funeral and burial costs in the event of a wrongful death
Contact a Louisville Hit and Run Lawyer today
Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation right away after being injured in an accident with any uninsured or underinsured driver. You paid for that UM and UIM coverage. Don’t try to represent yourself in your UM or UIM claim or lawsuit. That’s where your insurer wants you, and it will do whatever it legally can to wiggle out from under its obligation to you. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a hit and run driver in Lexington, Louisville, anywhere in Kentucky or Indiana, give us a call at (800) 937-8443. A member of our personal injury team will answer the phone and have you talk with one of our experienced Louisville car accident lawyers, immediately.