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Have you Checked your Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverages?

by | Mar 10, 2016 | Car Accident

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is the portion of your automobile insurance policy that allows you to recover compensation if you are injured in an accident involving a driver who either does not have automobile insurance or whose policy’s coverage limits do not provide enough money for you to cover your needs. Wisconsin is a “fault” state when it comes to seeking compensation after a car accident, which means that an injury victim must seek compensation from the negligent driver’s insurance provider. When this does not result in an adequate amount, the victim may go through his or her own policy to cover the rest of his or her needs.

In recent years, Wisconsin’s laws about this type of coverage have changed. Check your insurance policy to determine what your current rights and coverage are. They could have changed with the law changes, leaving you entitled to recover less money for your damages than before.

Repeal of the Truth in Auto Law
In 2009, Wisconsin saw multiple dramatic changes to its automobile insurance rules with the repeal of the Truth in Auto Insurance Law. One of these was a law that prohibited “stacking,” which is the insurance policyholder’s right to collect up to the maximum amount of compensation multiplied by the number of vehicles on his or her policy. For example, a driver who had two vehicles with $100,000 worth of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage each on their policy could potentially recover $200,000 through that policy. Now, a driver can only recover up to $100,000 in this scenario.

Another change was the new reducing clauses, which make it possible for the amount of money a victim could recover through an uninsured and underinsured motorist claim to be reduced if he or she receives compensation from another source, such as the negligent driver’s insurance policy or state disability compensation. This potential recovery amount can be reduced all the way down to nothing if adequate funds can be found recovered elsewhere. An example of how the reducing clauses work is this: If an injured driver suffers $300,000 worth of damages in a collision and the negligent driver’s insurance policy can only cover $100,000, but the victim has $100,000 worth of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, he or she could use both to have $200,000 worth of his or her damages covered. Now, the amount of money the victim can apply to damages in a case like this is reduced according to the negligent driver’s insurance contribution, putting the victim in this scenario in a position where he or she can only recover $100,000.

Work with an Appleton Car Accident Lawyer
If you are suffering from financial damages after being involved in a car accident in Appleton, Neenah, or elsewhere in eastern Wisconsin, consider working with one of the experienced Appleton personal injury lawyers at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. Our Appleton OWI lawyers can discuss your options for recovering compensation through your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage policy as well. Do not wait to contact our firm and schedule your free legal consultation with us.