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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists

What to Do If You’re Injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist 

South Carolina drivers are required to carry valid motor vehicle insurance on their cars. Unfortunately, not all drivers have insurance, even though this is illegal. Additionally, drivers that do have insurance may only have the minimum limits on their policies, which can be grossly inadequate in accidents that cause serious injuries or death. If there is not enough insurance to cover your claim, what happens?

It can be difficult to determine if the driver who caused your accident has proper insurance. However, red flags that the driver may be uninsured include refusing to exchange information and attempting to persuade you not to call the police. However, you should always call the police after an accident so that they may verify that the driver is insured. If the driver is not insured, the police should let you know at the time of the accident.

Even if you were not at fault for the accident, you will need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the crash. All insured drivers have a duty to report accidents to their insurance companies. You will need to let your insurance company know that you were hit by an uninsured driver. South Carolina drivers are required to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. Therefore, you will proceed by filing a claim with your own policy. You will be eligible to claim compensation up to the limits you have purchased with your insurance company. 

What if the at-fault driver does have insurance, but it simply is not enough to cover all of your accident expenses?

Many drivers in South Carolina carry only the minimum motor vehicle insurance limits required. These limits are:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury for each individual in the car
  • $50,000 total for all individuals who were injured
  • $25,000 for property damage

In accident claims involving extended hospital stays or various medical treatments, these funds are often quickly depleted. If you need more coverage for your accident claim, you will need to look at your own insurance policy to see if you have underinsured motorist coverage, and, if so, what policy limits you purchased.

If there is not enough coverage available, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. For example, if you have $500,000 in medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, and you only carry $250,000 in uninsured coverage, you would need to sue the at-fault driver for the remaining $250,000. You and your attorney may be able to settle the claim with the at-fault driver, or it may become necessary to go to trial to resolve the matter. 

Being the victim of a motor vehicle accident feels unfair and frustrating. However, personal injury attorneys work with you through every step of your case and manage the legal process—leaving you to focus on your recovery.

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