Last blog post addressed making sure that you have the right amount of automobile liability coverage in the event that you accidently cause a car crash where others are significantly injured. Now I want to talk about making sure that you have enough insurance coverage in the event that you get significantly injured in a car accident caused by someone else.
Imagine this nightmare scenario: You are driving to meet your family for dinner when "Joe Texter" traveling in the opposite direction, who is busy texting on his cell phone instead of paying attention to the road, goes left of center and hits you head-on. Unfortunately, you suffer multiple serious fractures, you require a two week hospital admission, and then spend three months in a rehabilitation facility recovering. You can't work, your medical bills are piling up, and you are concerned that you may lose your job because of your injuries. Making matters worse, it just so happens that "Joe Texter" has no insurance, no job, and is in the process of filing bankruptcy when this crash happens, meaning that you aren't going to see any money out of him to cover your medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering. So what do you do?
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) is insurance coverage that you can purchase as part of your automobile insurance policy. The purpose of this insurance is to make sure that you are covered in precisely this type of situation. The key is to make sure that you have purchased enough. Insurance companies often offer $1 million umbrella policies for both liability coverage and uninsured coverage for relatively cheap (about a two hundred dollars or so a year). In the big scheme of things, this is a great value because it buys you protection when you need it most. Oftentimes in serious injury cases, having only $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage is not enough as the medical bills can quickly eat this money up, leaving you with very little or nothing at all.
As trial lawyers, we have seen a lot of car accident victims severely undercompensated for their injuries because the at-fault driver had inadequate insurance and was not personally collectable. Hopefully you are never in a serious car accident. But if you are, my hope is that you have protected yourself and your family in advance by purchasing the right insurance.