This really happened to our client.
It was a terrible crash. The other driver ran a red light. She hit our client’s vehicle as he entered the intersection. Her car then continued out of the intersection, over the sidewalk and pinned a mother and her two young daughters to a wall. They were merely out for a walk, enjoying the sunshine while they strolled along the sidewalk. The mother and her daughters sustained terrible injuries. They were rushed to the hospital with broken bones, head injuries, deep lacerations and painful bruises. Their hospital bills and medical care was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. My client was more protected inside of his car, but he too sustained painful and long lasting neck, head, and back injuries. He had to leave his job and find one that was less physically demanding.
The at-fault driver had minimum insurance coverage. After she was done denying the crash was her fault, her insurance company offered up its minimal insurance coverage of $30,000.00…to be divided up among all of the injured parties. Needless to say, her insurance coverage didn’t even dent the medical expenses. And the loss of income, permanent scarring and disabilities? Forget about it.
The poor mother and her daughters did not have a car. So they did not have any insurance to cover all of their injuries. They were stuck with the small recovery offered by the other driver’s insurance company. Even though they received most of the $30,000.00 from the other driver’s insurance coverage, they were left with huge bills, permanent injuries, and no alternative but to take what the insurance company offered and get on with their lives.
My client however, had the foresight to have auto insurance with a fairly large amount of uninsured motorist coverage. What this coverage did for him is this: no matter how small a portion of the other driver’s $30,000.00 he recovered, his uninsured motorist coverage allowed him to make a claim through his own insurance company to make up the difference between his small share of the $30,000.00 and what his claim was actually worth. Of all of the people injured in this car wreck, our client was the only one who was able to recover all of his damages. All of his medical bills. All of his loss on income. All of his future medical care and all of his pain and suffering.
The lesson to be learned is to carry as much uninsured motorist coverage as you can afford. It is the insurance coverage that protects you and your loved ones in the event of a car crash caused by a negligent driver with little or no insurance coverage. By the way, you can carry auto insurance even if you do not have a car.