Rhode Island Uninsured Driver Accident Attorney
The laws of Rhode Island require every driver to carry liability insurance in at least the minimum amounts of $25,000 for personal injury per person or $50,000 per accident, along with $25,000 in property damage liability. If you’re injured in a car wreck, you can sue the at-fault driver and recover compensation for your medical bills and property damage, which are paid by the negligent driver’s insurer. Sadly, despite the legal mandate to carry insurance, over 15% of Rhode Island drivers fail to do so. This figure means that one out of every six or seven drivers in the state is uninsured, ranking Rhode Island 13th in the country for having the highest percentage of uninsured drivers on the road.
Unfortunately, the odds are pretty good that if you’re struck in a crash, the driver who hit you may be uninsured. So, what do you do when you’re hit by an uninsured driver? How do you make sure you get the medical care and compensation you need and deserve after being injured in a car accident through no fault of your own? There are answers to these questions, and the Rhode Island uninsured driver accident attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates are here to help after a collision with an uninsured driver.
What is the law in Rhode Island on uninsured drivers?
Just like state law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, Rhode Island law requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage as well. The insurance company providing the driver’s liability insurance is required to provide uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in an amount equal to the policy limits selected for bodily injury liability. The insured has the option of selecting less UM coverage, but not less than the minimum amounts of liability coverage required by law. However, if the driver is buying only the minimum amounts of liability coverage required by law, then the insured can reject UM coverage in writing. UM coverage for property damage can always be rejected in writing, and if the driver is purchasing collision coverage, then UM for property damage is not required at all. Given the percentage of uninsured drivers in Rhode Island and the relatively small additional expense for UM coverage, rejecting UM coverage is generally not considered to be a wise choice.
What does uninsured motorist coverage do?
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage will pay for your damages up to your policy limits in the event you are hit by a driver who is at fault in the accident but does not have liability insurance. UM coverage also applies if you are struck by a hit-and-run driver who cannot be identified or located. UM coverage will additionally apply if the other driver carries liability insurance, but the negligent driver’s insurance company turns out to be insolvent or goes insolvent before your claim gets paid.
UM coverage also includes underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. UIM coverage comes into play when the other driver has liability insurance – say, the minimum required by law – but this coverage is not enough to fully compensate the car crash injury victim or victims. In that situation, the victims can turn to their own UM/UIM policies for additional compensation to meet their needs.
Do I need a lawyer to file a UM claim with my own insurance company?
Even though you are filing a UM claim with “your” insurance company and not the negligent driver’s, it is still wise to have a lawyer represent you. Whenever you file an insurance claim, your interests in getting fully paid are adverse to the insurance company’s interests in paying out as little as it can. Without an experienced car accident attorney on your side, you are likely to be offered far less than your case is actually worth. With Robert E. Craven & Associates working for you, we’ll make sure you are offered a full and fair amount, and if you aren’t, we’ll take your case to court and let a jury decide what’s fair. When faced with an experienced and successful trial lawyer, insurance companies would rather settle than go to court. It doesn’t cost you anything upfront to hire our firm, so you are better off letting us represent you than trying to negotiate on your own.
Our Attorneys are Here for You after a Rhode Island Car Accident Injury
For help after a Rhode Island car accident involving a fully-insured, partly-insured or completely uninsured driver, call the car accident attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates for a free consultation at 401-453-2700.