What is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?

What is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?

Posted by the Charleston Car Accident Attorneys at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Our Auto Accident Lawyers help those injured in car accidents in Charleston and across South Carolina. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, contact our office today to find out what we can do for you.

As attorneys, we are frequently asked questions by our clients, close friends and families that run the full gamut on legal issues. Unfortunately, one area where they often find that they are doing themselves a disservice is in the area of automobile insurance. South Carolina Code Ann. § 38-77-140 mandates that an automobile insurance policy may not be issued or delivered in this state unless it has the following limits to protect other drivers:

– $25,000.00 for bodily injury to one person in any one accident (this is the maximum the policy will pay for injuries to any one person)

– $50,000.00 for bodily injuries to two or more people in any one accident (regardless of how many injured people, the policy will pay a total of $50,000.00)

– $25,000.00 for damage to or destruction of property of another

Given the cost of medical care, selecting automobile insurance coverage limits is very important to protect the public at large in the event that you have an unavoidable accident, or if someone has an accident that injures you.  Unfortunately, time and time again the people we discuss this information with are confused about what coverage they have and how much coverage they have.  In the instance where you have been injured by someone else, the South Carolina legislature has given our citizens a valuable tool that can be used to protect ourselves in the event that the at-fault party did not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your medical bills or damage to your property.

An example might be the easiest way to show how this comes into play.  Lets say for instance that you are involved in a collision with another party and they are at fault.  Hopefully, the collision would not be too bad and nobody would be injured.  In that instance, an insurance claim would be filed for any damage to your vehicle, the cost of a rental car, etc.  However, if the collision is significant and causes significant injuries there is a decent chance that yours and any passenger's medical bills could be more than $25,000.00 a piece.  Likewise, depending on the vehicle that you are driving, the amount of damage to your vehicle could exceed $25,000.00.  In this instance, you are really left with two possible avenues of recovery.  

The first is to recover the excess amount that their insurance will not cover directly from the at-fault party.  If they are not willing to hand you a check then you are probably going to have to file a lawsuit against them, and may even be forced to have them sell their personal or real property to satisfy any judgment you get against them for your damages.  This can be a long and tedious process, and many times the at-fault party might not have sufficient assets to sell to compensate you for your damages.

The second option is what we discuss with our friends and families, and that is the option to purchase what is known as Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM).  This coverage is generally not too expensive to add on to your existing liability policy and it provides coverage in the event that the at-fault party's insurance coverage is insufficient to fully compensate you for your injuries or property damage that result from a collision with an at-fault party.  This coverage is available to purchase in the same limits that you purchase for your liability coverage.  Remember, your liability coverage protects other people if you are the at-fault party, and UIM coverage protects you and your passengers in the event that someone injures you.

This is a very broad and general discussion about this insurance coverage, and as such, there are many nuances that have not been discussed.  If you or anyone you know has any questions about this please feel free to give us a call to discuss.  We want to make sure that our families, friends, and potential clients are safe, but in the event that an accident happens they are prepared.

As you can imagine, each injury case comes with it's own unique set of facts and circumstances.  Each case also comes with a unique individual.  What our injury lawyers do is look at each individual case and negotiate with an insurance company to compensate our clients for the damages that they have suffered at the hands of a potential defendant.  We are passionate about representing our clients and are happy to discuss your potential case with you.  If you or a loved one would like to talk to one of our attorneys about an injury that you have sustained that was not your fault, please call our office today at (843) 388-3661.  Please remember that our personal injury consultations are free of charge.

Charleston Car Accident Lawyers

Our Charleston, SC auto accident attorneys are here to help those injured in car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Charleston, North CharlestonMount PleasantSummervilleGoose CreekHanahanJames IslandWest AshleyIsle of PalmsSullivans IslandFolly BeachJohns IslandLadsonAwendawMcClellanvilleMoncks Corner and across South Carolina.