Car insurance is mandatory in almost every state, including South Carolina. But not every motorist obeys the law. About 1 in 8 drivers who hit the roads every day are uninsured. Many others don’t have enough insurance to cover the cost of serious injuries if an accident happens.
Every car accident is stressful. But a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist can leave victims wondering how to pay for their medical expenses and other losses. An experienced uninsured motorist lawyer can be a valuable asset during such a worrisome time.
South Carolina Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Lawyers
The attorneys at Jebaily Law Firm understand how overwhelming the aftermath of a car accident can be. You shouldn’t have to worry about how to make ends meet while you recover from your injuries.
For Over 50 Years, we have assisted clients in Florence, Myrtle Beach and throughout South Carolina with injury claims involving uninsured and underinsured drivers. We are ready to work with your insurance company to ensure that you are treated fairly and obtain proper compensation for your injuries.
There’s no cost to meet with our lawyers for a free case review. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.
Uninsured Motorist Claims in South Carolina
A South Carolina car accident can result in injuries that can cost thousands — or, in the worst cases, millions — of dollars in lifetime expenses. In an accident in which the other driver is at fault and insured, a victim files a claim for compensation with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
It’s different for people struck by hit-and-run or uninsured drivers. In those cases, the injured person files an uninsured motorist (UM) claim with their own insurance company. That means the payout comes directly from his or her own policy.
South Carolina law requires drivers to purchase both liability and UM coverage. Your UM coverage must equal the minimum requirements for liability coverage, which are:
- $25,000 for property damage
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death per accident
Although those minimums may seem substantial at first glance, the costs for medical care are astronomical. Federal government statistics estimate that the average cost of fixing a broken leg is $7,500. A three-day hospital stay can cost $30,000 or more. Hospitalizations for severely injured people can last for weeks or more, not counting time they may later spend in inpatient rehabilitation centers. It’s important to purchase as much auto insurance as you can afford to protect yourself if an accident happens.
How Does an SC Underinsured Motorist Claim Work?
An underinsured motorist (UIM) claim may arise when the at-fault driver carries insurance, but not enough to fully compensate you for your injuries. In these cases, injured drivers can make up the difference if their policy includes UIM coverage.
In South Carolina, UIM coverage is not mandatory. But every SC insurer is required to formally offer it to its policyholders. Our underinsured motorist lawyers strongly suggest that you do not waive UIM coverage.
Medical costs are not the only damages that add up after a car accident. Without UIM, you could miss out on additional compensation for lost income, lost earning potential and pain and suffering simply because the insurance policy limits were too low.
How Do I File a UM or UIM Claim with My Insurance Company?
You should notify your insurance company as soon as you know that you will be filing an uninsured motorist claim. You could discover that’s the case at the accident scene, assuming that the negligent driver admits to not having auto insurance. It may take time to know whether you have an underinsured motorist claim until you understand the full extent of your injuries and damages. Regardless, informing your insurance company promptly is important to avoid missing any deadlines.
Like all car accident cases, your UM or UIM claim will be scrutinized carefully before you receive compensation. You will need to prove that the other driver was negligent and that his or her recklessness caused your injuries. Insurance adjusters are trained to search for any angle that could imply that you are at fault for the crash and are tough on claimants. This is true even when dealing with “your” insurance company. Expect all of that talk about “good neighbors” and “good hands” to go out the window when you make a claim.
Working with a qualified underinsured motorist attorney can protect you from aggressive insurance tactics that seek to undermine the value of your UM or UIM claim.
What Our Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorneys Can Do for You
The attorneys at Jebaily Law Firm can help you with every aspect of your UM or UIM accident case. It can be challenging to figure out the true value of an uninsured motorist claim without legal advice. For example, you will likely need to pin down your financial losses with thorough documentation of your medical bills, lost wages and other accident-related expenses. It can take some tough negotiating to get an insurance company to make a fair uninsured motorist settlement offer. The Jebaily Law Firm is committed to making sure that you aren’t shortchanged.
- Investigate your uninsured motorist claim in detail. Our UM/UIM lawyers will collect law enforcement reports, photographs, medical records, video surveillance, witness statements and any other evidence needed to support your claim.
- Work directly with the insurance company. Life after a serious car accident is hard. Turn over all of the hard work and negotiating to our uninsured motorist lawyers so that you can focus on getting your life back on track.
- Look at all possible legal options. South Carolina insurers are obligated to make an offer of underinsured motorist coverage. But if the offer wasn’t a meaningful one, a lawyer may be able to get the insurance company to reform the policy to include UIM coverage.
An SC Uninsured Motorist Attorney Can Make a Difference
If you were injured in a car accident involving an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver, contact our lawyers for a free consultation today. We are ready to help you secure the compensation you need from every available source. Contact us online or call us today!