Generally speaking, underinsured/uninsured insurance companies don’t want to go to court; therefore, in most cases, the uninsured/underinsured carrier will pay their policy limits. However, sometimes cases end up being filed against the insurance carrier because they have way undervalued the case under the value of the underinsured/uninsured policy. However, it is still somewhat rare that these cases end up in court, and in most cases, even when there is a lawsuit, the claim settles before it is brought in front of a jury to present the case.
Occasionally, when a person is uninsured and they have multiple houses, multiple cars, a very good job and other assets, it is advised for the injured person to sue unless that person is willing to contribute a fair sum to the settlement of that case.
Another reason it may be advisable to sue the uninsured person is if that driver had been drinking and driving or doing something that was considered extreme misconduct. In that case, punitive damages against that person may be available and, generally speaking, those are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
It is difficult to get compensated when involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist because, generally speaking, people are uninsured for a reason. Generally, that reason is economics, meaning their economics did not afford them the ability to keep insurance up to date and purchased through the date of the accident. Most people without insurance or with limited insurance have limited economic means and they’re living on the edge. If a lawsuit is pursued against someone who is already in this situation, the chances of recovery is limited for a number of reasons, including the threat of filing bankruptcy.
All of this doesn’t mean that an attorney shouldn’t be called upon to evaluate the situation, to try to determine whether or not this uninsured motorist is judgment proof or if this uninsured motorist is someone to be pursued.
People need to be aware of the possibility of purchasing an umbrella policy from their insurance company. This is relatively inexpensive and can act as an additional underinsured policy for events where there are catastrophic injuries resulting from an accident. Umbrella policies can, again, cost a few dollars a month and can provide as much as $1 million or more in insurance coverage for underinsured and uninsured situations so long as the person’s own insurance company ensures that that umbrella policy is an uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage policy.
In this way, an individual can get even more insurance for an auto accident situation than the standard automobile insurance policy. It is a wonderful way to protect yourself, family members and assets in the event that you’re in a very serious automobile accident that compromises your ability to make a living and has resulted in huge medical bills. Riedmiller, Andersen and Scott, LLC strongly urges anyone who can afford to should purchase an umbrella policy wherever and whenever they can. There are great uninsured/underinsured motorist policies that very few people right now have and they’re very inexpensive.
Another topic with respect to uninsured/underinsured coverage is that Kansas law has made this area very complicated. If someone is involved in an uninsured/underinsured situation, an attorney may not always be necessary. However, it is always advisable to consult with a lawyer who can look at the situation and determine if his services are needed to collect the insurance benefits that were paid for when the policy was written.