The rate of uninsured drivers has increased across the country over the past few years. This is a dangerous trend. Why? Well, let’s assume you and your family are driving into Boston one weekend and a careless, negligent driver crashes into you and causes you and your family to be seriously injured. Your family requires extensive medical treatment, which costs a significant amount of money. Additionally, your injuries require you to stay home for a while and prevent you from working.
Medical bills are piling up in the mail and you’ve used all of your sick and vacation time at work while you’ve been out. That’s when you contact a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer. After a few conversations with your attorney, you learn that the driver that caused the accident didn’t have auto insurance. Now what? You’ve been saving for a new house or an upcoming family vacation, but you may need to use that money to pay medical bills and your household bills because you’ve been out of work.
We all hope that this scenario never happens to us. But, unfortunately, this is always a possibility, especially with the increasing rate of uninsured drivers. We’ve all heard the expression: Save for a rainy day. Well, in the world of motor vehicle accidents, this is the rainy day. So, make sure you and your family are protected. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself and your family from this awful situation.
A Recent Report Shows an Increase in Uninsured Drivers
The Insurance Research Council, a division of The Institutes, released a report in October 2017 that established approximately one in eight drivers on the road in 2015 was uninsured. According to the report, the rate of uninsured drivers was on a seven year decline, but that rate increased from 12.3% in 2010 to 13.0% in 2015. The report itemized the estimated percentage of uninsured drivers for each state. Massachusetts had the third lowest rate of uninsured drivers with an estimated percentage of just above six percent.
Just because we live in a state with a low percentage of uninsured drivers compared to the rest of the country doesn’t mean we should ignore our uninsured coverage. You could be involved in a serious car accident caused by an uninsured driver from another state. Also, if you are injured in a serious motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver and he or she takes off from the scene (a hit-and-run accidnet), your uninsured motorist coverage may come into play. Let’s look at this in more detail below.
Protect Yourself and Your Family With Uninsured Motorist Coverage
In Massachusetts the laws require drivers to carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This insurance coverage is available to cover damages and losses caused by a negligent driver that did not have auto insurance. Additionally, uninsured coverage is available in the event you are ever struck by a negligent driver, who leaves the scene of the accident and cannot be identified.
Currently, the minimum amount of uninsured coverage required is $20,000/$40,000 of Uninsured Coverage ($20,000 per person / $40,000 per accident), but you can always purchase more Uninsured coverage. This is something we always recommend to make sure you and your family are fully covered if you are ever injured in a hit-and-run accident or injured by an uninsured driver. The amount of auto insurance coverage is very important in injury cases and may be the difference between getting the amount you deserve for your injuries and damages.
Using the example above, assume you suffered a serious neck injury in the car crash on your way into Boston, MA. The car crash was caused by an uninsured driver from Rhode Island. (I used Rhode Island because it’s close to Massachusetts and was in the top one-third of estimated percentage of uninsured drivers in the country). Since the other driver didn’t have auto insurance, you can pursue a claim for compensation against your own car insurance company under the uninsured motorist coverage portion of your auto insurance policy. Your medical bills totaled $15,000 and your lost wages were $20,000. If you only had the state minimum of $20,000/$40,000 of uninsured motorist coverage, then you would only have $20,000 of insurance coverage available. This is not enough to cover your damages that were caused by the uninsured driver.
Now, let’s assume you previously took the time to review your insurance policy and increased your uninsured motorist coverage to $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident. Then you would have $100,000 of insurance coverage available, which may be enough to cover the damages you sustained in the accident.
This is why you should review your auto insurance policy with your insurance agent or an experienced personal injury attorney. Don’t wait until you or your family have been seriously injured to think about how much uninsured motorist coverage you have or may need.
If You Are Injured In an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Driver – Speak With An Experienced Attorney
If an uninsured driver caused a car accident in which you were injured, you are not out of luck. You should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Massachusetts. A skilled accident attorney will review your case, research for available insurance coverage and advocate to secure financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
If you have questions about an accident case or want a free case evaluation, feel free to contact us online or call us at (508) 879-3500. We are happy to answer your questions and explain your legal rights to compensation.