Car accidents are very stressful events. They can be even more stressful if the collision is caused by an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run, where the at-fault driver flees the scene. Luckily, if you carry your own Connecticut insurance policy or are in a vehicle that is covered by a Connecticut insurance policy, you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You will be able to recover money for your injuries and losses. If you have an insurance policy from another state, you still likely have applicable coverage. To determine the amount of available insurance coverage for your injuries, it is in your best interest to call a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer.
The Connecticut legislature enacted a law (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-112. Proof of financial responsibility) requiring all Connecticut drivers and vehicle owners to carry at least a minimal amount of bodily injury insurance coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This is what is known as Liability Coverage. It protects your assets when a claim is made against you by another driver.
Despite the fact that the Connecticut legislature enacted this law to ensure that drivers are at least minimally insured, approximately 6.3% of Connecticut motorists are still uninsured according to a 2021 study by the Insurance Research Council.
Similarly, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in 2015, 11.7% of all crashes nationwide were hit-and-run incidents. Moreover, 5.9% of all traffic injuries were caused by hit-and-run crashes.
UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
So, what is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and why is it important? Unlike liability coverage which protects your assets, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you and your family, when you are injured by an at fault driver who has no or low insurance limits. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 38a- (Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage) requires in Connecticut, that automobile insurance policies provide uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in amounts equal to the limits of the liability coverage.
This means that if you have insurance to protect others from your negligence, you also have insurance to protect yourself from the negligence of others.
HOW IT WORKS
Uninsured motorist coverage can sound complicated, but it is very simple. If an accident is caused by someone who does not have insurance or flees the scene, you can make a claim against your own insurance company to recover money for your injuries. As mentioned above, usually, your limits of underinsured motorist coverage will be equal to that of your bodily injury limits of liability coverage. So, if you only have the state-required minimal limits, you will only be able to recover up to $25,000 for your injuries.
To best protect yourself and other insured in your household in these situations, typically for a nominal increase in your car insurance premium, you can double the amount of uninsured motorist coverage that will protect you when you’re in need. You can also “write down” your limits of uninsured motorist coverage, meaning that the limits would be less than your bodily injury limits, but this is a very dangerous thing to do, as you cannot control other drivers on the road. If you write down your limits of coverage, you will not be as protected if you are hit by an uninsured vehicle or involved in a hit and run.
So, while it is important to purchase high enough limits of bodily injury insurance coverage to protect your assets, it may be even more important to purchase high enough limits of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to protect your family. If you or a family member, defined as an insured under your policy, are seriously injured through the fault of another, and that person is uninsured or flees the scene, you need to make sure that you have enough insurance coverage to compensate for any injuries and losses.
It is in your best interest to call a Connecticut Car Accident Lawyer, because the insurance company, even though you pay them premiums to protect you in these circumstances, will do their best to pay you as little as possible. The ACK Injury Law team is experienced in prosecuting uninsured and hit-and-run claims and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve from your insurance company.
Make sure you have enough coverage to protect you and your family from the uninsured or hit and run driver. Don’t wait for an accident to happen to find out you don’t have the proper coverage. Call the ACK injury law team for a free review of your Uninsured/Underinsured coverage today.