Wisconsin law does not require drivers to carry insurance coverage. Therefore, the possibility always exists that you or a family member may be injured as a result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle by an uninsured motorist.
When you purchase an auto insurance policy in Wisconsin, you automatically receive uninsured motorist coverage since it is mandated by law in Wisconsin. This coverage protects you or your family members if you are injured as the result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle by a driver who does not have liability insurance coverage.
Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
There are important differences between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you would use this if you were hit by a driver who does not have any car insurance and it is determined that this driver was at fault. You can file an underinsured motorist claim when you are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver whose policy does not fully cover your damages.
With our experience in handling car accident claims across the state, we at The Previant Law Firm, S.C. are fully qualified to represent your interests. If you were involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, our Milwaukee lawyers can work to represent your interests and maximize your recovery from your own insurance policy and any other possible sources.
To learn more, call (414) 240-1185. Your consultation is free and confidential.
Handling an Uninsured Motorist Claim
If you are injured as the result of the negligence of an uninsured motorist, you have some obligations to your own insurance company. Since your insurer issued this coverage, you are required to fully cooperate with it. Such cooperation may involve giving a tape recorded or signed statement, allowing access to your medical records, and being examined by a doctor chosen by the insurer. Do not fail to cooperate with your insurer under these circumstances, as you may find that it may turn around and deny you uninsured motorist coverage because you did not cooperate.
From this point forward, uninsured motorist cases are handled just as if the other motorist were insured. In other words, you or your attorney would proceed to negotiate or discuss a settlement with your own insurance company just as if that insurance company were insuring the uninsured motorist. Because there is an adverse relationship here, we always advise those injured by uninsured motorists to retain the services of an attorney. It is almost impossible to reopen a settlement at a later date even if your medical condition should substantially worsen.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Wisconsin
Underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Wisconsin, but your insurance company must offer this coverage in limits of at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident when you initially purchase the policy. You should always request underinsured motorist coverage when you are looking into obtaining or renewing an auto policy. Underinsured motorist coverage is available to you or a family member if you are injured as the result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle by another motorist who has only minimal liability coverage or whose coverage limits are less than yours.
For example, assume you have sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver who has liability insurance policy limits of $50,000. Assume also that your injuries have a value of $100,000. Clearly, this is an underinsured motorist situation since the other driver’s liability limits are insufficient to compensate you for your injuries. If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you may be able to avail yourself of such coverage.
However, under the terms of most policies, if you have only $50,000 in underinsured motorist limits, your limits are the same as the other driver’s limits in our example. Therefore, when compared to you, the other driver is not underinsured. Consequently, it always makes sense to purchase underinsured motorist coverage in as great an amount as you can afford to protect yourself and your family. This coverage is affordable and adds little to the premium paid for liability coverage.
How to Claim Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
After your accident, there are important steps that you should take to properly file an uninsured or underinsured claim. Since your insurance company is essentially taking over for what the other driver’s insurance company should be doing, you will need to prove your case. Although this process may be clear and simple depending on the details of the accident, you should be prepared with the following documents and pieces of evidence:
- Records of what occurred
- Photos of the scene of the accident
- Photos of the injuries you sustained
- Receipts of all expenses related to the accident
- Proof of lost wages
Keep in mind that you should only discuss the incident with your attorney. You do not want to say something that holds you back from getting the compensation you need and rightfully deserve.
If all of these steps are correctly followed, you will have the best chance at recovering the full amount of compensation you need. We can help you understand your rights and how to improve your chance at full recovery as you file your personal injury claim.
Looking for more help after a serious car accident?
Call The Previant Law Firm, S.C. at (414) 240-1185.