Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is statutorily mandated insurance coverage that provides protection to individuals who suffer a loss because of the negligence of an uninsured driver. An uninsured driver can either be a person or a vehicle that does not have liability insurance or an unknown driver, such as in hit-and-run type accidents.
Typically, when you are injured as a result of the negligence of another driver, the other auto insurance company will pay for your damages. However, some drivers do not have liability insurance or did have an insurance policy that is no longer in effect. In some situations, the driver of the other vehicle leaves the scene of the accident and cannot be located. In these situations, you can turn to your uninsured motorist insurance to pay for your damages.
West Virginia law requires all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage. The minimum limits are $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage. $20,000 is not a lot of coverage for an automobile accident. An average trip to the emergency room can cost upwards of $5,000. You can certainly obtain more uninsured motorist coverage for a relatively reasonable cost.
The most litigated area of uninsured motorist coverage occurs in situations involving a hit-and-run driver. To recover uninsured motorist coverage in a hit-and-run accident, it must be proven that (1) the uninsured driver made physical contact with your vehicle or (2) but for immediate evasive action, direct physical contact would have occurred between your vehicle and the hit-and-run driver. The evasive action element must be proven by independent third-party testimony, such as a police officer or an eye witness.
If the insurance company tries to avoid paying you uninsured motorist benefits, then you need to call an experienced personal injury/insurance attorney, who can easily assist you in obtaining uninsured motorist coverage. There are many aspects of uninsured motorist coverage in West Virginia. At The Moore Law Firm, we have extensive experience in insurance law and dealing directly with the insurance company.
The attorneys at The Moore Law Firm have had great success in obtaining uninsured motorist coverage for their clients. Recently, The Moore Law Firm assisted a victim of a hit-and-run accident in obtaining uninsured motorist coverage. The victim was told by several other attorneys that he would be unable to recover from the insurance company. Attorney Jared T. Moore obtained full policy limits for the victim under two separate uninsured motorist policies.