Car accidents can cause severe injuries and property damage. Auto insurance should help you recover your losses after a collision but not all drivers carry coverage. If you or your loved one has been hurt in an accident involving an uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM), you have options.
It may be possible to recover UM/UIM benefits under your auto policy. Our North Charleston uninsured car accident lawyers have handled claims related to uninsured or underinsured motorists before. We can help you pursue all avenues available for fair compensation.
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South Carolina Auto Insurance Requirements
The South Carolina Department of Insurance requires all motorists to carry adequate insurance. The state minimum coverage includes a:
- Minimum of $25,000 per person to a total of $50,000 for all injured parties in one accident
- Minimum of $25,000 for all property damage in one accident
- Uninsured motorist coverage equal to the minimum liability coverages above (25/50/25)
Despite the above laws, the Insurance Information Institute reported that 9.4% of South Carolina drivers in 2015 operated their vehicles without any or adequate insurance. Additionally, the minimum coverage laws in South Carolina may not be enough to pay for all your injuries or damages, especially after a serious car accident.
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Understanding the UM/ UIM Coverage in South Carolina
UM coverage is an insurance policy that pays you compensatory damages when an at-fault motorist has no insurance. In certain cases, this coverage policy can also be used to recover damages due to hit-and-run accidents.
Similarly, UIM coverage is a policy that you can use to make up the difference between the at-fault motorist’s maximum coverage and the level of damages due to you (such as damages given after civil litigation).
In South Carolina, all drivers have UM coverage automatically in their liability coverage plans. However, UIM coverage is optional. Still, it is very affordable. Our personal injury lawyers advise all consumers to ensure their auto insurance includes UIM coverage for a rainy day. Otherwise, after an accident, you can only recover damages to the maximum provided by the at-fault motorist’s coverage.
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Common Challenges of UM and UIM Coverage Policies in South Carolina
UM and UIM policies are different from other policies because you ask for compensation from your auto insurer, even if you were not at fault for the accident. If you have UM and UIM coverage, your insurer has a duty to protect you if a motorist has inadequate or no insurance. However, many insurers are reluctant to pay your covered losses.
Another challenge is that South Carolina law demands that the insurance company makes a “meaningful offer” for policyholders to take UIM coverage (the UM is mandatory). This just means that your insurance company has to pay for what is covered in your policy. A lawyer can help you understand your policy after an accident.
The laws of insurance are fairly complex. It is critical to consult North Charleston uninsured car accident lawyers that handle UM/UIM cases. Before you settle for what an insurance adjuster offers after a car accident, call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers.
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What to Do After Injury in a Car Accident
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, you should call emergency services or get to a nearby hospital as soon as possible. If you have minor injuries, however, start by documenting vital pieces of information about the accident as follows:
- Collect the name, contact information, and insurance information of the at-fault driver
- Collect the contact details of eyewitnesses to the accident
- Take pictures of the crash scene, damage to both/all cars, and your injuries
- Make a recording of what you remember about the moments leading to the crash (this is to share with your lawyer, and NOT any other party without a lawyer’s advice)
At the accident scene, avoid getting into arguments about who was at fault. If the other driver becomes aggressive, be quiet. Wait for a law enforcement officer to come and take your statements.
Include your personal injury lawyer as early as possible after the crash. He/she can guide you on the steps to take to secure evidence. They can also represent your interests and help you prepare a compelling case to present to your insurer. If needed, they will represent you at negotiations or litigations.
A Lawyer Can Talk to Insurance Adjusters for You
Note that the insurance companies are not on your side. They aim to convince you to settle for as little as possible. Once you report to the insurance company regarding the crash, the adjuster assigned to your claim will try to get you to accept less than the worth of your claim.
It would be best if you only stuck to the case’s facts when answering the adjuster’s questions. Do not say yes to any settlement award or offer and do not agree to give a recorded statement. Instead, reach out to our uninsured car accident lawyers in North Charleston, and let us guide you on what to do and say after reviewing your case.
A North Charleston Uninsured Car Accident Attorney Will Work for You
If you or your loved one was injured because of a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, it is critical to consult a car accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our law firm understands the complexities of South Carolina’s car accident and insurance laws. Our job is to evaluate your case details and outline all the legal options available, to get you fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Our North Charleston uninsured car accident attorneys can shoulder the burden of negotiation and litigation so that you can focus on recovering from the accident. Contact the Law Offices of George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers today. We offer all callers a free case evaluation.
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