Be prepared and learn about what you don’t know about uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage. Call our Boise lawyers to learn more today!
Rules of an Underinsured Motorist Case
Are there special rules that apply to a situation where you’re in a car crash, the other driver is at fault, and that driver does not have enough insurance to cover the value of your claim? Yes, there are special rules involved in those types of situations.
First, understand that you are actually entitled to sue the individual not only for their insurance up to their limits, but also personally for the value of your claim. While you have that perfect right, however, if the person has no financial stability or ability to satisfy the value of your claim, then you may have a claim that’s not worth pursuing. That’s the first question you have to ask yourself: Does the defendant have the financial wherewithal to satisfy judgment over and above their insurance limits?
If they don’t, then that triggers either an underinsured motorist claim under your own policy, or, if the other driver had no insurance at all, an uninsured motorist claim under your own policy. Idaho law requires you to have, if you have a policy at all, uninsured motorist coverage. You don’t have to have underinsured motorist coverage, but most policies are sold with both benefits. Those claims are pursued directly against the insurance company, your own insurance company, for what would have been the value of the claim against the at-fault driver.
Insurance companies have lots of lawyers on retainer and they have seriously experienced lawyers who do this as a profession, so if you have such a claim, you, too, want to have an experienced lawyer on your side who has a track record of actually pursuing such claims and actually going to trial or hearing over such claims. You want them on your side. You want to level the playing field. You want somebody who has the track record of success in pursuing such claims.
Our firm has been doing this for more than 50 years, at this point. If you have such a claim, please feel free to call us anytime. We all work closely together and all do the same type of work.
Choosing an Underinsured Motorist Attorney
What should you look for in the way of an attorney to handle an uninsured motorist claim? The answer to that question would be to find a lawyer that actually has the experience of being a trial lawyer in front of whoever is going to be the one who makes the decision, whether it’s a jury or an arbitration panel. In uninsured motorist cases, the insurance policies typically have a clause that says those are subject to arbitration as opposed to jury trials, but it’s still a trial, and you need a serious trial lawyer who has actual experience doing trials to assist you in pursuing the claim successfully.
You also want to look for someone who has got the actual experience of dealing with the insurance companies. The insurance companies know who out there actually does jury trials and does actual trials, and they know who doesn’t. It’s important for you to have an attorney that does have the experience and the command of the insurance company’s attention. Our firm, for example, has been pursuing uninsured motorist claims in front of either juries or arbitration panels for well over 50 years.
If you have such a claim, it’s the kind of claim that requires seriously experienced counsel because the insurance company – whether you’re dealing with the insurance company directly on uninsured motorist claims – has serious attorneys on their payroll. You definitely would like to have somebody who has a comparable level of experience for pursuing uninsured motorist claims successfully. If you are looking for an attorney and you would like to talk, please call any of the lawyers in our firm today because we all do the same work and we all do it together.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance Policies
We are often asked whether somebody should have underinsured motorist coverage under their policy. It’s an interesting question. First, understand that Idaho law requires anybody who has a motor vehicle policy of insurance to include uninsured motorist coverage benefits. It’s absolutely required by statute. It’s not required, however, by statute for insurance policies to also provide underinsured motorist coverage benefits, that’s where the at-fault driver has insurance but doesn’t have enough. The short answer to the question of whether you should have underinsured motorist coverage is a very clear and unequivocal yes.
People often ask this question too late. They have already been involved in an accident and do not have enough insurance to cover your claims. That’s the situation you want to avoid. It’s a bad situation that could turn a badly injured situation into an even worse one, financially. You should absolutely provide yourself with underinsured motorist coverage for the maximum amount that you can afford. It’s needed in Idaho, and it’s something that you are very much cautioned to get immediately if you don’t have it.
Differences Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
What is the difference between uninsured motorist coverage benefits and underinsured motorist coverage benefits? The words kind of say the answer. If you’ve been in a car wreck and the at-fault driver is somebody who has no insurance at all, then you look to cover under your uninsured motorist coverage benefit of your policy. Your policy will have certain limits for each such claim, just like the at-fault driver does.
If you have such a claim, you need to understand that this is going to be directly against one of these big, bad insurance companies, and they’ve got big, bad lawyers that are looking to defend such claims. If you have such a claim, you would want the best, most experienced trial lawyer that you can get and one with the experience of pursuing claims directly against the insurance companies for either uninsured motorist coverage benefits or underinsured motorist coverage benefits. It’s your policy and you’re entitled to those benefits. You want somebody fighting for you that’s in your camp, not in theirs, because they, at that point, are not your friend— they’re your enemy.
If you have such a claim, you want to have somebody who has the experience and the track record of successfully pursuing such claims. Our firm has been doing this for longer than everyone, probably. Myself personally, I have been pursuing such claims for almost 30 years at this point. If you have such a claim, please feel free to call my personally, anytime, or any of the other lawyers at our law firm because we all do the same work and we all work very closely together. Please, call anytime.
Were you injured by a negligent motorist in Boise and have questions about uninsured and underinsured motorists? Be prepared and learn about what you don’t know about uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage in this article. Contact our experienced Boise Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Lawyers at Hepworth Holzer today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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