Uninsured & Underinsured Collisions

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Uninsured & Underinsured CollisionsWould you like to know an alarming statistic? The State of Michigan is one of the top five states in the country for uninsured drivers. This is a dubious distinction to say the least. According to the Insurance Research Council, a 2017 study of Michigan showed that 20% of Michigan drivers are driving without insurance. Most commentators agree that this number is much larger in populated areas. Michigan law requires every driver to purchase insurance to drive their vehicle on Michigan roads, but oftentimes this is ignored. To put these numbers in perspective, if someone causes a car crash in Michigan, there is a one in five chance they do not have insurance. If that sounds scary, it should. While auto insurance is required under Michigan law, many times people cannot afford to purchase insurance.

This can be the result of being out of work, having a lack of funds, or having a horrible driving record and therefore uninsurable. Whatever the reason, it is important that you review your insurance policy to see if you have Uninsured (UM) or Underinsurance Motorist (UIM) coverage. If you don’t, contact your carrier or insurance agent to see if it is offered. These policies cover injured people for pain and suffering claims when someone causes a crash and that person is either (1) not insured or (2) their policy of insurance is inadequate to fully pay for your injuries.

What is the Law In Michigan For Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorist Insurance Policies?

Michigan law generally requires all owners of vehicles to have a valid insurance policy in order to drive on Michigan roads. The idea is to protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians (as best as we can) with an available insurance policy if they are seriously injured or killed. If an owner of a vehicle ignores the law and does not get insurance, he or she may be subject to serious penalties including getting a ticket, losing their license, being incarcerated as well as being liable for extensive civil penalties and damages under the law. While many people may feel like they can’t afford to carry insurance or they would rather spend their money on other things, that does not allow them to ignore the law. Don’t allow their bad decision to influence yours. If 20% of people driving on Michigan Roads are uninsured, then you must protect yourself. The last thing you want it is to rely on someone else to follow the law to protect your interests. You should always protect yourself from those uninsured drivers by purchasing your own Uninsured Motorist Policy.

An Uninsured Motorist Policy is often referred to as a UM Policy and instead of being compensated from the negligent uninsured driver, the same claim would be directed toward your own insurance carrier. These policies are quite common all over the country and increasing in popularity due to the increase of uninsured drivers on the road. For those negligent drivers who have purchased insurance and are legally driving on Michigan Roads, you are in luck as they have at least some insurance coverage available to them. The Michigan No-fault Law generally protects these insured persons from being sued as a result of a car crash except in certain circumstances. One of these circumstances is when someone causes an accident in Michigan where a person is seriously injured or killed. The liability portion of these insurance policies generally will only pay up to the coverage limits amounts if someone is found legally responsible for these serious injuries or deaths. For many years, Michigan law required that these bodily injury coverage limits had a minimum amount of coverage up to $20,000 for a single injured person or $40,000 per accident if several people were hurt or killed. However, Michigan law has changed recently and there are many different coverages available for drivers on the road currently. Notwithstanding these recent changes, it is more important than ever to make sure you are protected against not only uninsured drivers but also underinsured drivers as well.

The last thing you want is to be seriously injured and only have a $20,000 policy as potential available compensation. An Underinsured Motorist Policy protects covered people when a negligent driver has a minimal amount of insurance and that amount is not adequate to cover the injuries (including physical or mental damages) or death in an accident. An Underinsured Motorist Claim is often referred to as a UIM Claim. The purpose of both of these policies or clams (UM and UIM) is to cover exactly how they are defined – to compensate covered people for their injuries if they are injured by uninsured or underinsured drivers.

If I have a UM/UIM Claim, Should I contact a Lawyer or Can I Handle It Myself?

We always recommend contacting an attorney before negotiating or agreeing to any settlement with an insurance carrier. Remember, an insurance carrier may not necessarily have your best interests in mind when they are negotiating or settling a claim. There are also many legal pitfalls, timing requirements and situations which may allow an insurance carrier to deny you coverage for these benefits. For example, if you were to accept a settlement from the negligent driver (no matter what amount) you may have foreclosed receiving any money from your own UM/UIM policy. There are also timing requirements and other mandatory steps you must perform to preserve a UM/UIM claim. These requirements are often buried deep in the policy language itself. These vary from carrier to carrier. Insurance policy language can be confusing and troublesome. A good rule of thumb is to consult an attorney with experience when dealing with these insurance policies and insurance companies. Your attorney has an ethical obligation to represent you – the injured party. Attorneys can review your policy, make sure the legal requirements are met under the policy and maximize your recovery with the insurance carrier.

Let The Mike Morse Law Firm Handle Your Michigan or Detroit Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Claim

Here at Mike Morse Law Firm, we have handled hundreds of UM/UIM claims over the past 20+ years for our clients. If you have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, that means you’re dealing with someone that may be reckless (by not having coverage) or someone who does not have the ability to compensate you fully for your injuries. Call us for a discussion about the specific facts of your case. Even if you have been handling your own UM/UIM claim, we advise you not to take on the insurance carriers alone. You may be dealing with an insurance carrier who may not be giving you the full value of your injuries. We can help you with your case. You only have one shot at being fully compensated. Let the lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm help you with your matter. We will deal with the insurance carriers so you can get the full value of your injuries while you have the peace of mind that someone is fighting for you and looking out for your best interest.

Uninsured Motorist Lawyer & Underinsured Motorist Attorney Proudly Serving: Detroit, Southfield, MI, Warren, MI & the Surrounding Areas

Uninsured & Underinsured Collisions

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