When You are Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist
It may be one of your worst fears; that you may be involved in an awful accident, due to no fault of your own, with no financial recourse available and no way to put your life back together.
New Mexico law requires every vehicle on the road to be insured, at a minimum, with $25,000 (per person) / $50,000 (total coverage) (25/50) of automobile insurance. Unfortunately, a 25/50 policy usually fails to adequately protect those injured in a car accident. Worse yet, many people do not even carry the minimum amount of insurance.
In New Mexico alone 26% of all drivers are uninsured. According to USA Today, nationally one in seven drivers have no insurance. An underinsured and uninsured motorist puts all of us at significant risk. In New Mexico, however, this risk can be reduced by through uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
The number of uninsured drivers keeps climbing which means that this is not an issue that will be going away anytime soon. If you are a victim of an uninsured or underinsured motorist take the legal steps necessary to protect your rights. The best way to protect your rights is to understand them, through seeking the advice of legal counsel.
Uninsured And Underinsured Motorist Claims Are Often The Only Opportunity For Someone To Recover If They Have Been Injured.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage allows you to recover your total amount of damages up to your UM/UIM insurance limits (offset by the 25/50 policy) if the at-fault driver has insufficient policy coverage or no coverage at all. In addition to making up for the damages caused by a negligent motorist in an auto collision, UM/UIM coverage also provides an avenue for recovery in many other situations such as:
- Hit and Run by a car or motorcycle
- Pedestrian hit by a car or motorcycle
- Bicyclist hit by a car or motorcycle
- Drunk or impaired drivers
- Texting or cell phone using drivers
- Crimes committed with the use of a car e.g. drive-by shooting, a car used in a kidnapping, a car used to trap the injured person, a car used to assault or injure a person, car used in any manner as an accessory to the crime, etc.
- Many other situations which involve a car used by the negligent person
Insurance Laws In New Mexico Have The Potential To Change Rapidly
This is especially the case for uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
Indeed, many people are now protected by uninsured/underinsured motorist protection even though their insurance company may have told them that they were not or declined the coverage at the time of their accident.
Furthermore, although your insurance company might seem very sympathetic to your situation and offer you a quick settlement, they might not be entirely truthful as to just how much your policy can cover. Remember, once you accept that check it means you have agreed to settle for that amount only and any additional coverage will not be available to you in the future. Although we are sometimes successful at undoing these types of sleazy insurance tricks, it is better to hire a lawyer before you accept a check from an insurance company to avoid an over-complication of your case or a problem with the statute of limitations for your injury claim.
As an example, in most situations, your insurance company will pay out the bare minimum, even to its own policyholders. This minimum is usually not enough to completely cover things like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
If you have complied to the best of your ability with your insurance company, and they are still undervaluing your claim, it might be useful to hire a lawyer who will make sure that your rights are fully protected.
The Davis Kelin Law firm is a trial law firm based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and offers legal help for those who have been injured in an automobile accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist both in the metro area and around the state.
It is not uncommon for victims of an accident to receive less compensation than they should from insurance companies or even no pay at all. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, it is highly important that you have legal representation to negotiate with the seemingly undefeatable insurance companies on your behalf. This could significantly increase the amount of compensation you receive.
Being in a car accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist is stressful enough, to begin with.
It is important to hire a team that will walk you through the entire process and alleviates some stressfromn your life in the process.
Our team has a wealth of experience in handling UM/UIM claims, and would be honored to help resolve your claim quickly, and with as little stress to you as possible.