Uninsured Motorist Accidents Continue to be a Significant Issue

auto accidentsUninsured Motorist Accidents in Minnesota are common and can be impossible for the average driver to sort out. This post offers more details on the risks and coast of dealing with uninsured motorists.

Accident statistics indicate that injury accidents are probably becoming more common. Uninsured motorists are common on Minnesota roads, in spite of the law. Uninsured motorist claims work differently from standard insurance claims and sometimes have to be handled by a legal expert.

Auto Accident Statistics:

Official Minnesota state statistics show that the roads aren’t getting any safer, but the fatality rate has been going down. There were 29,439 injury accidents in the state in 2014, according to MN Department of Transportation statistics. The same year saw 361 fatalities. The fatality rate has been trending down since 2010, when there were 411 fatalities in traffic accidents. Personal injury accidents in Minnesota have been in the 29,000 to 31,000 range from 2010 through 2014.

Most of the accident’s financial costs should be covered by the driver’s insurance. In many accidents, the responsible driver does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance. The Insurance Information Institute estimated that in 2012, 10.8% of Minnesota drivers were uninsured, well below the national average of 12.8% that year.

More auto accidents translates to more potential that you or a family member will be in a serious accident caused by an uninsured driver. Aside from property damage, an injury accident results in high medical bills and lost wages for many victims.

The Aftermath of an Accident:

Everyone knows to exchange contact information and insurance information after an auto accident. What about an accident where the other driver has no insurance or inadequate insurance? With more than 1 in 10 Minnesota drivers being uninsured or under-insured many drivers will find themselves faced with that question.

The uninsured motorist leaves an accident victim with damage to a car, medical costs, the financial stress of lost wages, and other problems. Your own insurance company might not cover the costs, unless you have extra uninsured motorist coverage.

Motorists who have minimal coverage, under-insured motorists, are driving legally but they can impose additional costs on the people they injure in a serious accident. Some of those costs would be covered by the victim’s own insurance company, but that still leaves the victim with some bills and wages lost. If you have a $2,000 deductible for personal injury, you still have to pay that. The other person’s insurance won’t cover thousands in lost wages either.

Having uninsured motorist coverage is the obvious solution. The coverage tends to be cheap and certainly can reduce the out-of-pocket costs, but uninsured motorist coverage is not 100% reliable.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Might Not Help:

Minnesota law requires motorists to carry liability insurance, but not all of them do. More drivers probably just carry the bare minimum to drive legally. That coverage will not be adequate if they cause an injury accident. Motorists from other states might not have liability coverage at all.

In cases like those, an injured motorist might need to rely on uninsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, getting your insurer to honor an uninsured motorist claim can be a challenge. The insurance company may not deal fairly. You would need to understand the insurance business and Minnesota law rather well to fight back. It often makes better sense to get a lawyer involved in resolving  a disputed claim.

Uninsured Motorists Add Stress to Accident Claims:

Ideally, after you have been seriously injured in an accident the other driver’s insurance company will pay. If they cannot, or if the motorist doesn’t have adequate coverage, financial stress and emotional stress can get worse.

As soon as you know you were injured by an uninsured or under-insured motorist contact us to discuss your case.