While rules relating to uninsured motorists coverage varies from state to state, West Virginia requires that all drivers obtain and maintain automobile insurance for every vehicle operated within the state. While many individuals are in compliance, there is an alarming number of individuals who do not comply with the law. Unfortunately, many motorists’ failure to comply goes unnoticed for several months or years until the individual is pulled over or is involved in a devastating accident. When an accident occurs, there may be criminal consequences for failing to obtain insurance and the at-fault party may be cited as a result of the incident. However, the criminal citations will not assist the victim in payment for property damage, physical injury, or added medical expenses.
The state of West Virginia’s solution is to require all motorists to carry uninsured motorist coverage, in an attempt to protect those individuals who are injured by an uninsured driver. They also make under-insured motorists coverage available within the state. While all policies cover uninsured motorists and there are options for under-insured motorists, many do not understand the difference between the two coverages. If you have been injured in an accident within the state of West Virginia, contact Colombo Law today to determine your rights to compensation.
Uninsured Motorists Coverage
West Virginia requires that all insurance policies contain uninsured motorists coverage. The minimum amount of coverage required is $20,000. Uninsured motorist coverage is beneficial in that it protects you and your loved one from the damage and injury that occurs after an accident, regardless of whether the at fault driver is insured or not. Although the protection is given, you or your loved ones are not required to file a claim against your own policy when an uninsured motorist causes property damage or injury to you or your loved ones. If circumstances suggest there is a feasible alternative, such as bringing a civil claim against the at-fault party, all alternatives should be explored prior to filing a claim against your own insurance policy.
Underinsured Motorists Coverage
Underinsured coverage protects you and your loved ones from circumstances in which the at-fault party did not maintain enough insurance to cover your damages. West Virginia requires that all drivers maintain the state required amount of minimum insurance policy limits. Frequently, this is not enough to cover the expenses that arise after an accident or incident.
In contrast to uninsured coverage, motorists are not required to carry underinsured motorists coverage. However, insurance companies must offer underinsured motorists coverage in insurance policies. If you have obtained underinsured motorists coverage, you may be able to recoup up to the full amount of the difference between the amount of coverage and the amount of damages.
Contact Colombo Law Today
Many individuals tend to falsely believe that nothing can be done when hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. While it is certainly advantageous to bring a lawsuit against the insurance company who provides coverage to the driver, there may be other options in your case. To obtain specific legal advice relating to the facts and circumstances of your case, speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers.