Uninsured motorist coverage is probably the most misunderstood form of car insurance in the State in Virginia and probably in most other states as well. I have had injured clients tell me that they are not happy about having to pay money for darn uninsured motorists operating on the Virginia highways. What they do not realize is that the uninsured motorist coverage on their own car insurance policy in Virginia is probably the most important coverage they have. Why??
The reason that it is the most important coverage is because it provides insurance coverage for you or your family member if you are in a collision with an uninsured motorist! What this means is that even if the person who causes your wreck is uninsured, that your own insurance company provides insurance to you. How? Your own insurance company must actually retain a lawyer to represent the uninsured motorist in the case. How much insurance is available to you? It depends on the amount of your uninsured motorist coverage under your own policy and any other policies that might apply for you. If your policy calls for one hundred thousand dollars in uninsured motorist coverage, it essentially means that you can recover up to one hundred thousand dollars under your policy, even though your own insurance company has to hire the independent lawyer to represent the careless uninsured motorist.
The uninsured motorist law is a quite complicated beast and I can barely scratch the surface here. It takes an experienced injury lawyer to explain all the fine points. Be advised however that you want your uninsured motorist coverage to always be as high as your general liability insurance limits–so check your existing policy coverages. (General liability limits protect you up to the liability coverage amount if you are careless or negligent in a car accident, so be sure your uninsured motorist coverage is equal to the liability coverage amount). So, next time you get mad about uninsured motorist coverage, I hope you realize it could be the most important coverage you have against being injured by a drunk driver who has no insurance.
An experienced Virginia injury lawyer can explain all the fine points if you have questions. Or, send me an email if you were injured and would like some answers! Our firm’s general website is hsinjurylaw.com .