What is an underinsured motorist?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Those driving or riding in passenger vehicles in Connecticut often take for granted that they have the protection of liability insurance. The state requires that drivers invest in basic bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, as well as additional forms of coverage.

After a crash occurs, the driver at fault for the wreck typically provides insurance coverage for anyone negatively impacted by the collision. Some people cannot get appropriate insurance support because the driver who caused their crash was uninsured. Such scenarios are thankfully relatively rare. Unfortunately, far more people may end up involved in a crash with an underinsured driver. That could have a very similar impact on people as those who suffer a crash involving an uninsured driver.

What makes a motorist underinsured?

Connecticut state statutes establish a minimum amount of mandatory insurance coverage. Those minimums do not reflect the typical costs of severe collisions. Drivers should carry $25,000 in property damage liability protection.

There are two levels of bodily injury coverage that may apply depending on how many people experienced injuries because of the crash. There could be $25,000 worth of coverage on a basic policy for crashes when one person gets hurt or $50,000 in total per crash regardless of how many people get hurt.

The actual cost of a collision could be significantly higher than those minimum requirements. Trying to purchase a replacement vehicle with $25,000 can be a very challenging prospect. The bodily injury coverage available needs to offset both medical treatment costs and lost wages. Underinsured drivers may technically comply with Connecticut state law, but they do not have enough insurance to actually compensate the people involved in a crash or protect themselves from liability.

What happens next?

There are several options available to someone injured in a wreck caused by a driver with insufficient insurance coverage. In some cases, people can make claims against their personal insurance policies. Underinsured motorist coverage, which Connecticut also requires in baseline amounts, could help someone cover the expenses generated in a crash where a driver with poor insurance coverage is to blame.

Other times, a personal injury lawsuit could be the most viable solution. A personal injury lawsuit can reimburse someone for the full value of their economic losses related to a car wreck. Often, the driver at fault is the party the plaintiff blames for the collision. However, there could potentially be a business with a degree of liability in some circumstances.

Reviewing all the options for compensation with a skilled legal team after a major motor vehicle collision can help people recoup their losses more completely. Those injured by someone with insufficient insurance may need to take assertive action to protect themselves from financial hardship related to their recent wreck.