It really depends on that individual, do they have assets that you can go after because, quite frankly, what happens is if there is an uninsured driver and they are at fault, they are going to be responsible or liable for the damages that you have incurred, such as your medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, all of that is going to have to be covered by that individual. I f that individual is bankrupt or destitute, you are going to have a hard time recovering for the damages that have been incurred and if they have a job, than possibly you can always garnish wages, a bank account or something of that nature, but it does present an uphill battle because there is no insurance company that has a pot of money in reserve to pay for damages such as yours.
Does Utah Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
They do not require uninsured, but there is what we call uninsured coverage or uninsured coverage that you can get as an option, which is always good, because that way if the other party is destitute or uninsured or underinsured, then your own insurance policy will kick in and cover up to the limit that you have on your own policy.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Actually Cover?
If you are uninsured, there are basically the two portions; the property damage and then the bodily injury coverage. Usually, if you have uninsured motorist coverage or what we call UMBI, Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage, it is going to cover you and your passengers in any motor vehicle for medical bills, any type of lost wages and any pain and suffering that you are going to incur as long as whoever is at fault, whoever caused the accident, does not have any insurance. There are different limits that you can get. You can get $15,000, $30,000 and up. I am sure you can get even higher if you wanted to.
Is It Advisable To Sue an Uninsured Motorist in A Vehicle Accident Claim?
A few years back, we had such a case. It was not a major case, but there was one where it was around $10,000 of damages and the client ultimately decided it was worth trying because that individual had a job, at least, so we tried to garnish his wages, if we prevailed. We did prevail in court and we did begin garnishment of wages. Unfortunately, in that case, the person who caused the accident shortly thereafter filed for bankruptcy relief and obtained a discharge and so our client was unable to recover any further damages at that point.
I usually recommend that if it is going to be over $10,000 that you make sure that they either own their car outright, they have a home or some type of investment account, assets and as attorneys we have access to databases and different services that allow us to research into somebody’s monies and to find out whether they are worth going after, so to speak.
Common Misconceptions about Being Involved In an Accident with An Uninsured Motorist
One of the misconceptions is that everything is going to be taken care of and everything is going to be fine. Your insurance policy will automatically pick everything up and that is simply not the case. They may. It really just depends on your policy limits. Most insurance companies will never go one iota over what their policy says. If you are unfamiliar with your policy or you are just unsure, it would behoove you to go meet with your insurance agent and just go over your limits and see what is covered and what is not before an accident happens, so you are aware.
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