If you’ve been in a serious car accident in Virginia, you probably realize how important car insurance is to cover you claim. Far too often, I speak with potential clients who were injured by someone who was either uninsured or under-insured. And it turns out that the potential client didn’t have enough of their own under-insured motorist (UIM) coverage to help their claim. (And if you don’t know what UIM is, check out my video here).
If it turns out that there’s not enough car insurance to cover your claim, you may be out of luck trying to be fully compensated for your injuries. However, insurance law is very complicated and before you give up, it’s important to talk to an attorney to get more information.
Look to other potential insurance policies. (Are there other policies to "stack" in your case?)
Once circumstance I recently encountered was an individual severely injured. He also had limited insurance to cover his claim. Through the course of our discussion, however, it turned out that he had adult children living in his home. And those children had their own separate car insurance policies. So we dug deeper.
The definition of “insured” is really important.
Ultimately, we were able to determine that he had additional coverage through his kids’ car insurance. That’s because under their policy, an “insured” person is a “family or household member” who has involved in an “automobile accident.” Because this individual was hurt in a car accident and he was indeed a family and household member, he qualified for coverage under their policy too! This ended making a huge difference in his case.
Insurance law is confusing.
Now, just becuase this worked in his case doesn't mean it applies in every case. And insurance law, like life, often doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. We could get into the nitty gritty of the Virginia insurance codes. In reality, however, the practice outcome was that there was additional coverage for that individual. But you need to deterimine what insurance may apply in yours.
If you’ve been hurt, your goal (and your attorney’s goal) should be to try to find coverage for your claim. Of course, it’s not always possible. But it’s worth the effort. And if it turns out you don’t have enough insurance, my advice is to buy more now for the future.