If you are in a car accident caused by someone else, you probably expect them to pay for the cost of your damages through their automobile insurance policy. You may experience significant costs after an accident based on how serious the incident is.
The insurance held by the at-fault driver will help you cover many of these costs. However, do you know your options if the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured?
Keep reading to learn more about your options and how a personal injury lawyer may help with your claim.
Insurance Laws in South Dakota
South Dakota is an at-fault state, and all drivers must have uninsured/underinsured auto coverage. As long as you have this coverage as part of your auto insurance policy, it is possible to recover for your injuries and damages.
While this is true, the first step after a car accident caused by another driver is to file a claim with their insurer. You can also choose to sue the at-fault driver.
What Happens When the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance Coverage?
Approximately 12.6% of drivers in the U.S. don’t have auto insurance. This means that every one out of eight people on the road doesn’t have insurance. Many other people are underinsured. While South Dakota requires that all drivers have liability insurance, many don’t follow these laws or carry limited insurance.
The costs can be significant if you are involved in a serious accident with a driver who is uninsured.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Uninsured and underinsured insurance is another type of coverage that your standard auto insurance policy covers. It requires you to pay a separate premium. While the cost for this varies, you can expect to pay around five percent of your usual auto insurance premium for this coverage. It is also required in South Dakota.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver and it is determined to be their fault, the uninsured/underinsured insurance will kick in and provide reimbursement for injuries you and your passengers sustained.
Some of the costs that this policy can cover include:
- Loss of your normal life
- Past and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of past and future earnings
The uninsured motorist coverage you have will not just cover you. It typically covers your family members, too, when they drive, are a passenger, are a pedestrian, or are riding their bikes. Sometimes, it can even kick in and cover a designated driver or an accident that involves a hit-and-run.
Get in Touch with a Legal Professional to Learn More About Your Legal Rights
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you have rights. One of these rights is to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. It’s important to contact an attorney at Alvine Law Firm, LLP immediately to ensure your rights are protected and that you can collect compensation from the at-fault driver or through your own auto insurance policy.