Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Claims
South Carolina requires all motorists to carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage to provide for injuries and property damages in the event a car accident occurs. While government safety officials claim the Palmetto State has one of the lowest rates for uninsured drivers, that does not mean that the amount of coverage provided will be enough to pay any damages you sustain. Here is some information to assist with filing uninsured or underinsured motorist claims when you have been in an accident.
Car Insurance In South Carolina
According to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute (III), less than eight percent of drivers in South Carolina are uninsured, ranking us 43rd in the country in terms of uninsured car accident risks. Among the states with the highest percentages include Oklahoma, Florida, and Mississippi, where your chance of encountering an uninsured driver on the road is roughly 25 percent.
This is good news for our area, which typically ranks high in all types of motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents and injuries. One problem, however, may be that the amount of coverage a driver has may not be enough to cover all of the damages when an accident does occur. Minimum amounts of automobile coverage provided by the SC Department of Insurance (DOI) include:
- $25,000 bodily injury per person
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 property damage
Unfortunately, while these may seem like reasonable amounts, they are unlikely to cover your damages in the event a serious accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that total economic costs for just a single person suffering otherwise minor injuries as the result of an accident can run as high as $40,000, while severe accidents involving life threatening injuries could cost $6 million or more.
Protecting Yourself Against Underinsured Drivers
The DOI advises that underinsured drivers insurance is not required in South Carolina, but it may be a good idea to consider adding it to your policy just in case. If you are involved in an accident due to the reckless actions of another driver and you suffer injuries and losses exceeding their insurance limits, you do have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against them in court. Damages you may be entitled to include:
- Medical expenses, both for current and any ongoing care you require
- Lost wages, and future losses in earnings
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish you and your loved ones endure
- Punitive damages, which is an amount meant to punish at fault drivers for particularly reckless or negligent conduct, such as driving at a high rate of speed or having a high blood alcohol content
Been In An Accident? Get Help Today
If you are involved in an accident, it is important to contact a South Carolina car accident attorney first, before accepting any insurance settlements or signing any documents. We can arrange a free consultation in Charleston or one of our offices located throughout South Carolina to advise you on the total amount of compensation you are likely to need in order to make a complete recovery. You only have one chance to get the damages you are entitled to in a car accident claim, so call or contact Anastopoulo Law Firm to help ensure you are getting a fair deal.