Sharing information with my BNI group is something that is very important to our law firm’s growth and development. The business owners I have met over the years in BNI have become a great source of knowledge, friendship and referrals.
This month I presented on the problem of uninsured drivers. On average about 14 percent of drivers have no car insurance. The main way for responsible motorist to protect themselves from this problem is by purchasing underinsured motorist coverage with their car insurance.
Drivers who purchase uninsured / underinsured coverage aka UM/UIM, can recover for medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering if a negligent but underinsured driver causes injury in a car accident. With UM/UIM coverage personal injury client’s who purchase this coverage are entitled to recover the consequential damages they can prove flowed from the accident. Unfortunately many purchasers of car insurance overlook the value of UM/UIM coverage, fail to purchase this coverage, and are left with thousands of dollars of unpaid medical bills and lost wages if they are injured by an uninsured motorist.
Contributing to the presentation was Business Builders member Traci Holander. As a State Farm Agent Traci has great knowledge about car insurance. Traci pointed out that in addition to the driver’s who carry no car insurance, a percentage of drivers only carry the “state minimum” policy of $15,000. This is the scenario where the underinsured coverage becomes applicable and will protect an injured plaintiff.
New lawyers helping accident victims must also understand that in addition to uninsured / underinsured coverage other avenues for recovery are also available to people who are injured by uninsured drivers. For example, if a driver is in the course and scope of employment at the time of an accident, the negligent driver’s employer may have a commercial insurance policy that can cover the losses. Also, If a defective product caused or contributes to a car accident a product liability action may allow for recovery. Our upcoming program “Signup to Settlement: Personal Injury Law Bootcamp,” provides lawyers with the knowledge they need to identify and respond to issues injured people face in the aftermath of car accidents caused by uninsured drivers.