Hi! I’m Gary Burger of Burger Law and I’d like to talk about underinsured motorist coverage. What that is, is that if a defendant negligently injures you and they have a certain amount of insurance but your damages is more, that’s why you have underinsured motorist coverage.
So, let’s say you get rear-ended and you need neck surgery and your damages are $100,000 but the defendant only has $25,000 in insurance coverage, you are then underinsured by the amount of $75,000. So, you have a claim against your own insurance company for the underinsured protection that you purchased through your premiums many times for years and years, and you should make that claim.
So, what you do is first you have to pursue the auto accident claim against the driver who negligently injured you and you have to get all of their policy. You can’t get $24,000 on a $25,000 claim; otherwise, you destroy your underinsured claim. So, you make sure you get all 100% of the policy from the primary person who injured you and then you also put your underinsured insurance company on notice. You tell them that you have a claim. You tell them, “I’m about to settle the case. Do you have any objection to me doing it?” You communicate with them. You try to be fully transparent. You show them all of your damages and you settle the primary claim but then you go ahead and say, “All right. Our primary claim’s done. Now we want to settle with you in an underinsured case.” Sometimes they’ll settle and be fair to you, sometimes they won’t. I often and of numerous times file suit against companies who are trying to undercompensate you.
Many times they will get a credit for the – it’s written in their policies – to get a credit for the money you’ve got from the insured driver against their uninsured, so frankly there’s no such thing as a $25,000 underinsured policy because the defendant always has $25,000 in insurance, the person of injury here. But sometimes people have $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $200,000 underinsured policies and you’ll have to take out from that or set off the amount from the underlying insurance before you make that claim and before you can recover.
And, underinsured company claim is just as good as any other claim and an underinsured company who writes those which what I was trying to say is just as obligated to fully pay you for a 100% of your medical bills and wage loss damages and other damages.
If you have any questions about that, I’m at 314 542 2222 or [email protected] . Thank you.