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Dealing with the Uninsured Driver in an Auto Accident

Posted on: March 31, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

uninsured driver

Imagine your shock when you find out the automobile accident you were involved in, which caused you to spend nearly a week in the hospital, missed work and income, was caused by an uninsured driver. Now, you must consider the added expense of hiring an expensive attorney. We here at Edwards & Patterson have handled these types of accidents before and understand the complexities of dealing with insurance companies that wish to deny your claim, even though you have loyally paid your premiums every month. In fact, we have won settlements of over a million dollars for several of our clients in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner’s office at OK.gov estimates that there are over a half million uninsured drivers on the roads of Oklahoma. Therefore, every fourth car that approaches yours is likely uninsured.

Oklahoma Law and Uninsured Drivers

It may be worth a little extra money every month to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UI) insurance in addition to your coverage. Actually, insurance companies are required by law to offer you UM/UI insurance. Why? Twenty-five percent of all Oklahoma drivers have no insurance, even though the law requires them to carry a minimum of $25,000 liability insurance to cover bodily injury, a minimum total of $50,000 liability insurance for two or more bodily injuries per accident, and $25,000 liability insurance for any property damage they may cause per accident. An Oklahoma for-profit hospital charges $1,833 per day for inpatient care. How long will it take to use up $25,000 with the costs of an Emergency Room visit, intensive care, and doctor’s fees? And, that’s not even counting the possibility of long-term home care or prosthetic devices. An add-on UM/UI policy, which would only cost a few dollars extra per month, would help to cover the additional costs.

Just think about those property damage minimums for a minute, chances are your car’s replacement value is more than $25,000. What about a rental car while yours is being repaired or while you look for a new one? What if your car is not the only vehicle involved or there are other property damages in that uninsured driver accident? Chances are if it was a severe accident, you could lose income from loss of work. You soon start to see that the Oklahoma minimum coverage is not adequate.

Who Is Covered by Uninsured Driver (UM/UI) Insurance?

When you are in an accident with an uninsured driver or if the total liability for personal injury is above the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage and you carry UM/UI insurance, everyone in your automobile is covered for personal injury. When the numbers are above the maximum coverage your family would be covered first and other non-family members in the vehicle would be able to use any other money available for compensation. The same is true for hit-and-run accidents. UM/UI coverage never extends to your car, your collision insurance must cover that. If all you have is liability insurance, you could be out of luck even though the accident was not your fault.

Edwards & Patterson are a knowledgeable and professional team of personal injury and property damage attorneys with more than 30 years of experience dealing with insurance companies, both in negotiations and in the courtroom. Their reputation as tough trial attorneys makes it easier for them to negotiate an equitable settlement. When you or a family member has been injured or suffered property damage at the hands of an uninsured driver, call our office 877-402-7308 today to set up a FREE, no obligation initial consultation. Or, fill out our simple contact form and one of our attorneys will contact you as soon as the office opens.

“We care. We fight. We win!”

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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