This morning Bernard is in court regarding an insurance interpleader case. Our Client was hit by a drunk driver. That driver’s insurance carrier has filed the settlement proceeds with the Court asking for guidance on how the money should be distributed between our Client and the two hospitals where he was treated post-accident. Our Client has no health insurance or the financial means to pay for his medical bills which totaled more than $100K. Unfortunately, our Client has permanent brain injuries and the amount of insurance money at issue is not enough to satisfy all the outstanding medical bills.
Alabama’s mandatory automobile insurance laws requires everyone who drives a car in Alabama to have a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 total insurance for personal injuries caused by negligent driving. The law also requires that people maintain $10,000 in property damage coverage. Often though, these minimal limits are not enough to fully compensate the injured parties. That is why underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance coverage is so important.
Most folks think that being “fully covered” means they have automobile insurance for liability, collision and maybe medical coverage. Most, however, are not informed about the absolute need for underinsured/ uninsured motorist insurance coverage.
This above case Bernard is handling is a reminder why all drivers who have auto insurance should always include on their policy underinsured / uninsured coverage. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can pay for injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages to you and your passengers, and in some locations damage to your property, when there is an accident and the other driver is both legally responsible for the accident and considered “uninsured” or “underinsured.” You need this coverage, because, if you get into an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or doesn’t have enough of it, you want to be made financially whole again. You have to protect yourself fiscally and physically, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection can help you in that regard.
In another case we handled recently, a phantom driver ran our client off the road causing our client to crash his car into a brick wall. The collision caused our client to have significant permanent injuries, requiring a cervical fusion to repair a herniated disc in his neck. His medical bills exceeded $100,000. Because our client was insured by two different underinsured/uninsured policies at the time of the accident, both insurance companies agreed to pay policy limits which resulted in a $125,000 recovery for our client. Without underinsured/uninsured coverage, our client would have no recovery to pay medical bills or compensate him for his permanent injuries. This case reflects the importance of obtaining as much underinsured/uninsured coverage as you can.
The point is this – there are lots of uninsured or underinsured drivers in Alabama. Don’t be the one left holding the bag if you get injured by one. Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is a necessary, and fairly inexpensive way to make sure you and your family are protected from a loss.
If you have questions or concerns about this very important topic, please consider contacting us at The Nomberg Law Firm. Nomberglaw.com or 205-930-6900.