Car accidents can be stressful and unfortunate events, and the last thing you want to worry about is whether the other driver has insurance or not. However, in Idaho, uninsured motorists are a real concern, with around 6.7% of drivers in the state being uninsured. To protect yourself, it’s essential to understand Idaho’s uninsured motorist laws.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is an insurance policy that provides protection in case of an accident with an uninsured driver. UM, coverage will pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
In Idaho, UM coverage is not mandatory, but insurance companies are required to offer it to drivers. If you decide not to purchase UM coverage, you must sign a waiver stating that you declined it.
Idaho’s Uninsured Motorist Laws
Idaho’s uninsured motorist laws require that all insurance policies offered in the state include UM coverage. The minimum amount of UM coverage that insurance companies must offer is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Idaho’s UM laws also include underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). UIM coverage applies when the other driver has insurance, but their coverage limit is not sufficient to cover the damages. For example, if the other driver has a policy limit of $15,000, but your damages are $25,000, your UIM coverage will pay for the remaining $10,000.
It’s important to note that UM and UIM coverage does not cover property damage, such as damage to your car. To protect yourself from property damage caused by an uninsured driver, you will need to purchase collision coverage.
What to Do if You’re in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you should report the accident to the police and your insurance company immediately. Your insurance company will investigate the accident and determine if you’re eligible for UM coverage.
If the other driver is at fault, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them to recover damages. However, if the other driver is uninsured, they may not have the financial resources to pay for your damages. In this case, UM coverage can be a lifesaver, providing the necessary funds to cover your expenses and damages.
While having UM coverage is crucial in protecting yourself from uninsured drivers, there are additional steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver in Idaho. Here are some tips:
- Be Prepared: Before hitting the road, make sure you have a copy of your insurance policy, including your UM coverage. Keep this document in your car or on your phone so that you can access it quickly if needed.
- Avoid High-Risk Areas: Some areas have a higher rate of uninsured drivers than others. Avoiding these areas can reduce your risk of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver. You can check with your insurance company or the Idaho Department of Insurance to find out which areas are considered high-risk.
- Consider Higher Coverage Limits: While the minimum UM coverage required in Idaho is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, you may want to consider purchasing higher coverage limits. If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, the damages could easily exceed these minimum limits, leaving you responsible for paying the remaining costs.
- Practice Defensive Driving: Being a defensive driver means being aware of your surroundings, anticipating potential hazards, and being prepared to react quickly if necessary. Defensive driving can help you avoid accidents caused by uninsured drivers or minimize the damage if an accident does occur.
Getting into an accident with an uninsured driver can be a frustrating and expensive experience, but with the right insurance coverage and a few precautions, you can reduce your risk and protect yourself financially. Remember to purchase UM coverage, be prepared, avoid high-risk areas, consider higher coverage limits, and practice defensive driving. By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to handle any situation that comes your way on the roads of Idaho.
As a law firm based in Boise, Idaho, we at Hepworth Holzer, LLP have extensive experience in handling personal injury cases, including those related to uninsured motorists. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in Idaho, we can help you in the following ways:
We can evaluate your case to determine if you’re eligible for compensation under Idaho’s uninsured motorist laws. We can help you understand your legal rights and options and advise you on the best course of action.
We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with, especially when it comes to UM claims. Our attorneys have experience in negotiating with insurance companies and can fight for your rights.
If negotiations with insurance companies fail, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf to recover damages. Our attorneys have experienced trial lawyers who will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.
We can provide you with the emotional support and guidance you need during this difficult time. Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and overwhelming. We understand the challenges you may be facing and will provide you with the support you need to move forward.
We at Hepworth Holzer, LLP can help you navigate the complex world of Idaho’s uninsured motorist laws, negotiate with insurance companies, file a lawsuit if necessary, and provide you with support and guidance throughout the process. If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.