Honolulu Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney
Despite strict laws requiring drivers to carry auto insurance for personal injury, property damage and other car accident-related losses, nearly 10% of Hawaiian drivers choose to go without.
When these drivers cause accidents, victims are often left wondering who will cover the cost of damages. Unfortunately, without proper coverage or sufficient information, the answer is almost always “no one.” To ensure this is not the case for you or a loved one, turn to a car accident lawyer in Honolulu who will help when an uninsured driver causes an injury.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Though no-fault insurance often mitigates issues that uninsured or underinsured drivers cause, Hawaii drivers still have a need for uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage. Both UM and UIM are optional and affordable forms of insurance that could substantially benefit you should the need for either arise.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is a rider policy paying for expenses that exceed your policy limits and that arise from an accident with an uninsured driver. If you need monetary support beyond what your standard car insurance policy offers, you would typically file a claim against the other driver’s policy.
However, if he or she is uninsured, your next best option would be to simply file a claim against your own UM policy, assuming you have one.
Underinsured motorist coverage
Say the other driver did have insurance, but his or her policy was for the minimal amount and insufficient to cover the cost of your damages. In this case, you would first file a claim against your standard policy. Once you maxed out that policy, you would then file a claim against the other driver’s policy. If you require more support beyond those two policies, you could then file a claim against your UIM policy for up to its limit.
Benefits of UM/UIM Coverage in Hawaii
As uninsured motorists in Hawaii make up close to 10% of the total population, you have about a one in 10 chance of being in an accident with an uninsured driver. This fact alone should be enough incentive to want to purchase a UM/UIM rider.
In addition, consider the following benefits of obtaining both types of coverage:
- Both UM and UIM will cover the cost of medical bills and other injury-related expenses that exceed your standard policy’s limits.
- Both UM and UIM will pay for a hospital stay and long-term care expenses, whereas most health insurance policies will not.
- Both UM and UIM will pay out economic and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and lost wages, whereas most standard no-fault policies will not.
These, along with peace of mind, are the top benefits of obtaining UM/UIM coverage.
UM/UIM Coverage Not Limited to Vehicle Occupants
Another great thing about uninsured and underinsured motorist policies is that benefits are not limited to drivers or vehicle occupants. If necessary, you can also rely on these policies for support after the following types of accidents:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Crosswalk/pedestrian accidents
- Electric scooter accidents
- Moped accidents
Standard car insurance policies typically will not kick in for these types of accidents.
Learn Your Rights From an Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer
Following a car accident in which you sustain significant injuries and/or property damage, it is always a good idea to consult with an auto accident lawyer. This is particularly true in Hawaii, which follows no-fault car insurance rules.
Though states adopt no-fault car insurance laws to simplify accident cases, such laws often end up complicating matters, especially in cases involving substantial damages. This is because when damages exceed one’s own policy, victims have the right to seek additional compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Because claims against another driver’s policy are atypical in Hawaii, insurers hesitate to pay them. In such situations, it pays to have a car accident lawyer by your side.
A car accident attorney also comes in handy when the other party to your accident was driving without insurance in Hawaii. If your damages exceed your policy limits, you may wish to recover the remaining amount from the other driver. However, if he or she lacks insurance, you would be unable to place a claim. In this situation, your attorney can help you explore your options and advise you on what you need to do to recover compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Motorist
Many drivers opt out of both an uninsured and underinsured motorist rider policy. If you have done so, recovering compensation beyond your standard policy may prove difficult. However, it is not impossible.
Though you should certainly consult with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer before pursuing legal action against an uninsured driver, know that filing a lawsuit is an option. If successful, you may receive an uninsured motorist settlement or award for the damages you claim, including the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering and emotional duress
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent injury
- Loss of enjoyment of life
However, because uninsured or underinsured drivers often lack resources or assets, it would be in your best interests to partner with an attorney before taking legal action.
Contact an Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer in Honolulu
Motor vehicle accidents can result in costly and life-changing injuries and damages. Typically, you would be able to recover damages from your own and the at-fault driver’s insurance policies. In the event that said policies are not enough, though, you may be able to file a claim against a UM/UIM policy. If you do not have either, entrust your case to a skilled uninsured motorist accident lawyer. You should schedule your free consultation with Recovery Law Center today.
What are UM/UIM policy limits?
Policy limits for both UM and UIM vary exponentially. However, at a minimum, you must purchase $20,000 per person if you want to obtain such coverage.
Does Hawaii law require drivers to carry UM/UIM coverage?
Hawaii does not require drivers to carry UM/UIM coverage. It does, however, require insurers to offer it and for drivers to reject the coverage in writing.
Are there disadvantages to buying UM/UIM coverage?
Aside from the added cost of such policies, there are no pitfalls to obtaining either type of insurance. Even the added cost is minimal, at just a few extra dollars each month.