Why Are Persons Reluctant To Make An Uninsured Motorist Claim?
Sometimes you can be in a serious car accident and the other driver does not have automobile insurance to cover your medical expenses, wage loss and pain and suffering. Under Wisconsin law, there is a mandatory “Uninsured Motorist Law” (UM coverage), that allows a person injured in an accident caused by another driver who is not insured, to make a claim against their own insurance company for their injuries and expenses. The insurance company must pay you on whatever your coverage is allowed under the plan; as an example if your insurance provides coverage of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, you are allowed to claim compensation up to the $100,000 per person for your injuries and expenses. This is a state mandated law, so it is perplexing that some individuals find it unfair that they would have to use their own insurance to be compensated for the accident. Some might think there insurance rates might go up; that is of concern, but only if an individual has had or made multiple claims against their own insurance company; some may think that it is simply “unfair’ that the other driver gets off without having to pay anything because they were too cheap to cover insurance in the first place; The injured party wants to pursue the person who caused the accident directly to be compensated. The problem with that is that if the person who caused the accident couldn’t afford and doesn’t carry automobile insurance, the likelihood of success suing the person individually is extremely remote. The person is not going to have sufficient assets or income to pay you directly for your expenses, injuries and pain and suffering.
Many individuals who are injured in accidents by the fault of other drivers, have no reservation in making an uninsured motorist claim. You simply make the claim against your own insurance company. The company will assign an adjuster and when you are completely done treating, they will make you an offer. If you don’t want to accept the offer, you have the other option of starting a lawsuit for further compensation, up to your own policy limits. Uninsured Motorist claims in Wisconsin are considered contractual and up until last month, they were subject to a 6 year statute of limitations to start a lawsuit, not the ordinary 3 year rule for personal injury under sec. 893.54. In February, 2016 Governor Walker signed into law for new cases after the filing date, a law that changes that 6 year rule, although it is still considered contractual, to three years from the date of the injury. I wrote about this in a recent blog, also at this web site, when the law first went into effect.
A person has a lawful right to make an uninsured motorist claim. It is a state mandated law. If you have been injured in a serious accident through a driver who was careless enough to be driving without proper insurance coverage on their vehicle, it is important that you sit down with your own personal injury lawyer and find out all the details in what would be involved in making an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance company. While a person may think it is unfair that the other person gets away with things, the larger tragedy, in my opinion, is you as the injured person, going uncompensated, because an individual is too strong headed to see the importance of making the claim and being compensated by their own insurance company for what happened to them; that isn’t fair either!
If you were injured in a serious car crash and the other driver did not have insurance, you have the right to proceed against your own insurance company on an uninsured motorist claim. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Karp & Iancu, S.C. for a free consultation.