Despite the fact that South Carolina requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, as many as ten percent of all drivers on the road ignore this requirement and drive without insurance. What happens if you are hit by an uninsured driver? Fortunately, if you have liability insurance, then you are also protected against uninsured motorists. However, you must still file a claim with the insurance company in order to collect, and insurers are not always quick to hand over the full amount of your claim. The auto accident attorneys at Peake & Fowler can help you recover all the compensation that is due to you when you are struck and injured by an uninsured driver.
South Carolina Uninsured Motorist Law
Under South Carolina law, every auto liability insurance policy also comes with uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. If you are hit by an uninsured motorist, you can make a claim for damages to your insurance carrier under the UM provisions of your policy. You can also make a UM claim when you are injured in a hit and run and cannot identify the car or driver that struck you. South Carolina also has a unique law that allows certain drivers to forgo liability insurance, so long as they register as uninsured motorists and pay $550 into an uninsured drivers fund. Because of this law, even more people may be driving without liability insurance.
It is important to understand that even though you are making a UM claim to “your” insurance company, your interests and their interests are not the same. Insurance adjustors and insurance company lawyers work for the insurer, and they will try to minimize their liability and exposure as much as possible. This means the insurance company may not value your claim fully and offer the full amount they should. The attorneys at Peake & Fowler can represent you in your UM claim. We will make sure you receive a fair settlement or take the insurance company to court if necessary.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage Makes Up for Low Mandatory Minimums
Insurance companies are also required to offer Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage, but it is not automatically included. You can use your UIM coverage when the other driver only had minimal coverage that does not cover all of your expenses. Adding UIM to your policy is relatively inexpensive, so it is a good idea to be well-insured with UIM in the event you are hit by a driver who is only carrying the minimum liability insurance required by law.