Obtaining Compensation In Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims
If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, you are entitled to be made whole for the harms and losses caused by the negligent motorist. This includes compensation to you and your family for: past and future medical and pharmaceutical expenses, lost wages, past and future physical/psychological impairment and disability, loss of future earnings and earning power, mental distress, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and inconvenience. Compensation for your damages is potentially recoverable from various sources depending on the specific circumstances of your claim and insurance coverage in force.
Were you involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist? Call 402-817-2717 or toll free at 800-655-9606 to discuss your case in a free initial consultation. With offices in Omaha and Lincoln, we serve clients throughout Nebraska and Iowa.
Diligent Advocacy To Pursue Maximum Compensation
At Atwood, Holsten, Brown, Deaver, Spier and Israel Law Firm, P.C., L.L.O., we work diligently to ensure our clients are fully compensated for their injuries, and we carefully review all potential sources of recovery, including:
- Automobile liability insurance of the negligent driver — We seek compensation up to the policy limits of the negligent driver’s insurance, or any other party or entity, who may be responsible for the actions of the negligent driver. In cases where inadequate insurance exists, the assets of all parties responsible may also be recoverable.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage (UM/UIM) — If the negligent driver has inadequate coverage or no automobile coverage at all, we may seek recovery under your own uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist insurance policy. (See below.)
- Medical payments coverage (Med-Pay) — If you have medical payments coverage on your automobile insurance policy, this coverage may also be available to pay medical expenses incurred in a motor vehicle accident regardless of who is at fault.
Understanding Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Unfortunately, far too often our clients are faced with one of the following scenarios:
1) The negligent driver who caused a motor vehicle accident has no automobile liability insurance. Although Nebraska law requires that all motorists carry automobile liability insurance, not everyone follows the law. A study released in April 2011 by the Insurance Research Council estimated that one in seven drivers is uninsured. The unfortunate victims of uninsured motorists, often recover nothing from the uninsured motorist unless that motorist has recoverable personal assets. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, most motorists who neglect to carry automobile liability insurance have no recoverable personal assets to reimburse the injured victim for his or her losses.
2) The negligent driver’s automobile liability insurance limit is inadequate to compensate the injured party/parties for their losses. Nebraska requires relatively low-minimum liability policy limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident ($25,000/$50,000). This means that the liability of the negligent driver’s insurance company is limited to pay $25,000 to any one victim for his or her losses and a maximum of $50,000 to all victims. These days, it is not uncommon for a seriously injured motor vehicle accident victim to incur $25,000 in hospital bills in just a few days.
In either of the above scenarios, the injured party is forced to pursue a UM/UIM claim against his or her insurance provider. Nebraska law requires that all motorists carry UM/UIM insurance coverage. This coverage typically covers the difference between the victim’s UM/UIM coverage limit and the negligent driver’s coverage limit. The amount of additional UM/UIM moneys available to an injured party varies with the UM/UIM coverage limit provided in the injured party’s motor vehicle insurance policy. Please read our article, Auto Accidents: Insurance to Protect You and Your Loved Ones for recommendations on obtaining adequate UM/UIM coverage.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, insurance companies will not voluntarily pay over UM/UIM proceeds. Amongst others, these reasons can include:
- That the injured party allegedly failed to follow a procedural policy requirement
- The insurance company believes that an injury was not sustained as a result of the motor vehicle accident
- The insurance company believes that medical treatment obtained was not reasonable or necessary, or
- That the insurance company believes the injured party was already fully compensated for his or her injuries by the negligent driver’s insurance limits
At Atwood, Holsten, Brown, Deaver, Spier and Israel, our lawyers have successfully dealt with these insurance issues on countless occasions. As part of our legal representation, we handle all elements necessary toward successful prosecution of a car accident claim to assist you in obtaining full compensation for your injuries and damages.
Contact Our Qualified Legal Team For Assistance
Call our firm at 402-817-2717 or toll free at 800-655-9606 to speak with one of our experienced uninsured motorist attorneys. The consultation is free and without obligation. You may also contact us online.