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Underinsured Motorist Claims | RI Car Accident Attorney

Rhode Island Underinsured Motorist Claims

Underinsured Motorist Claims

Exactly what happens to you if the driver at fault for your serious car accident does not have adequate insurance to cover your injuries or property damage? How will your bills be paid and how do you hold the motorist responsible for your losses as a result of their neglect, carelessness or reckless actions? Does the other car driver’s lack of adequate insurance mean you will not receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries, losses and damages caused by the Rhode Island car accident? Not necessarily.


Statistics and Liability Issues concerning Under-Insured Motorist car accidents

Underinsured motorist automobile and trucking accidents are a serious and common problem in the United States, where nearly one in five drivers operate their vehicles with minimal insurance coverage. The sad, but true, reality is that most drivers choose to purchase only the bare minimum compulsory insurance coverage required by state law. In many scenarios, these motorists are unaware of how little they are protected by their policy or how minimally protected their victims are in the event that they cause an automobile, truck or other type of motor vehicle accident.

Underinsured motorist coverage

“In some ways, uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is more important insurance then liability coverage. The reason that UM and UIM insurance coverage is so critical is that UM and UIM covers your or your passengers injury caused by a negligent motorist without proper coverage or no insurance. On the other hand, liability covers when someone else is seriously injured in a mishap as a result of your carelessness.”

Under-Insured Motorist Coverage in Rhode Island

While the truck driver, motorcyclist or auto motorist that hit you and caused your injuries and damages might have not been adequately covered under an active insurance policy, you likely are. This is because you probably carry underinsured motorist coverage on your policy. This effective rider provides additional insurance that ensures you have adequate coverage for the injuries and damages you have sustained in an accident caused by another. Insurers issuing RI automobile liability insurance policies are required to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist protection to its policy holders in an amount up to but not exceeding the liability policy limits. The insured motorist cannot get more underinsured or uninsured motorist protection then his or her liability limits

East Providence personal attorney

If you or your East Providence personal attorney or Coventry car accident lawyer can prove that the other driver is at fault, you have the legal right to file a claim for compensation with your insurance carrier. Your policy will usually provide coverage for bodily injury claims if you can prove certain elements of your case. These elements include:

• Your claim seeks compensatory damages to cover your bodily injuries including recouping your medical expenses, hospitalization costs and lost wages.
• Your claim seeks financial recompense for individuals covered by your policy that might include you, a spouse, and any family member or guest riding in the vehicle when the accident occurred.
• The accident is the direct result of negligence of an uninsured or underinsured vehicle operator or owner.
• Injured parties in your vehicle are legally entitled to receive compensatory damages that were caused by a negligent underinsured motorist.

What is the minimum insurance liability coverage a a Rhode Island motorist is required to have to protect third parties in case of an accident causing injuries, death (fatalities) or property damage?

Rhode Island Insurance Law 31-47-2 states, “Every owner’s policy of liability insurance shall provide insurance subject to the regulation against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to, or death of, any person and injury to, or destruction of, property arising out of the ownership, maintenance, use, or operation of a specific motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the state of Rhode Island or elsewhere in the United States, in North America, or the Dominion of Canada, subject to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one accident; and subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), because of bodily injury to, or death of, two (2) or more persons in any one accident; and a limit of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to, or destruction of, property of others in any one accident; or seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) combined, single limit.” 31-7-2 

What if a motorist from another state (out of state motorist) with lower mandatory minimum liability insurance requirements in his state of residency operates his vehicle in Rhode Island negligently causing injury in a RI car or motorcycle crash?

The out of state liability minimum amounts from other states are automatically raised to the RI state required minimum pursuant to RI laws

Aside from serious injuries and fatalities, most vehicle accident claims and lawsuits focus solely on insurance issues. Determining fault, placing blame and collecting compensation usually falls to the victim at a time when they are already suffering property damage and serious bodily injuries. Because of the legal complexities of filing a claim against an under-insured motorist at fault for an accident, many victims choose to hire a Rhode Island personal injury attorney who handles complex vehicle accident cases.

What types of penalties are imposed under RI law for uninsured motorists who defy the law and operate a vehicle without insurance?

Rhode Island has set forth penalties and license suspensions for those who drive in Rhode island without state mandated insurance coverage: “§ 31-47-9 Penalties. – (a) Any owner of a motor vehicle registered in this state who shall knowingly operate the motor vehicle or knowingly permit it to be operated in this state without having in full force and effect the financial security required by the provisions of this chapter, and any other person who shall operate in this state any motor vehicle registered in this state with the knowledge that the owner of it does not have in full force and effect financial security, except a person who, at the time of operation of the motor vehicle, had in effect an operator’s policy of liability insurance, as defined in this chapter, with respect to his or her operation of the vehicle, may be subject to a mandatory suspension of license and registration as follows:
(1) For a first offense, a suspension of up to three (3) months and may be fined one hundred dollars ($100) up to five hundred dollars ($500);
(2) For a second offense, a suspension of six (6) months; and may be fined five hundred dollars ($500)” 31-47-9 

Hiring a RI uninsured motorist injury Attorney

Unfortunately, insurance carriers often place profits ahead of the financial needs of a devastated victim recovering from their injuries. While insurance carriers have a legal responsibility to handle every claim for compensation in good faith, not all of them do. Some claims adjusters use various adversarial approaches when paying an under-insured motorist claim, including reducing the amount of its value, delaying payment or out rightly denying the claim altogether. Hiring a Providence car accident attorney or a RI uninsured motorist claims lawyer skilled in these types of cases can help.

Driver at fault for the accident

If you have been injured or suffer damages caused by an under-insured motorist, it is essential that you protect your rights to financial recovery. In all likelihood, seeking compensation will require you to deal with your insurance carrier, the insurance company of the driver at fault for the accident or both providers. Your Rhode Island personal injury lawyer will likely need to determine whether it is best to file a lawsuit to take the case to trial or negotiate an out of court settlement.

Reputable personal injury attorneys

Reputable personal injury attorneys in Woonsocket, Warwick or Cranston typically accept underinsured motorist accident cases on contingency. This means that you can receive instant representation, advice and counsel without paying any upfront legal fees. Your legal services will be paid only out of a jury award at the resolution of the successful trial or from a settlement negotiated by your legal team.

Many uninsured motorist claims in RI are hit and run or leaving the scene of a crash case as well as motorists who had their insurance cancelled for failure to pay the policy premiums.

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