Michigan requires every car owner to maintain no-fault auto insurance that covers his or her injuries in the event of an accident. But there are still thousands of drivers on Michigan roads without that insurance. If you get into an accident with one of these drivers, or if you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you could be cut off from your Third Party damage compensation.
What Underinsured Motorist Insurance Covers
Your no-fault insurance will cover all of your medical expenses and some of your wage loss and attendant care expenses, no matter who caused the accident. But the cost of a serious injury accident can be far greater than what is covered under your no-fault benefits. These additional costs could include:
- Disability & Disfigurement
- Long-term Wage Loss; and
- Pain & Suffering.
Ordinarily, these expenses would be covered by a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. But if you are hit by a driver without adequate insurance, or if you can’t find the person that hit you, you’ll need another source for those expenses.
That’s where under-insured motorist insurance comes in. This is an optional insurance policy that supplements your no-fault auto insurance. It fills the gap left by the uninsured motorist and pays for those Third Party damages you need. Basically, it acts as the uninsured motorist’s insurance and pays you for those damages.
Doesn’t It Let the At-Fault Driver Off the Hook?
Just because you get the benefit of your under-insured motorist insurance doesn’t mean the at-fault driver isn’t responsible too. But the reality is that even after you get a judgment against the driver, you still probably won’t be able to actually get paid. If the driver isn’t insured, it’s probably because he or she can’t afford the insurance. If there is no money to be collected then you could be out of luck.
But that doesn’t mean the at-fault driver gets off easy. The Michigan No Fault Act says that when a motorist breaks the law and drives without insurance, he or she can’t receive any no-fault benefits. So even though at fault drivers may not be paying for your Third Party damages, they will be on the hook for all of their own medical expenses.
An underinsured motorist insurance policy covers you in case you are hit by someone without the insurance to pay for your Third Party injuries. It can make sure that even when you don’t know who to sue because of a hit & run accident, your injuries will be covered. An experienced auto accident attorney, like David Christensen at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan, can help you file the right claims and prove your damages to make sure your under-insured motorist policy has you covered.