After a car accident, many people worry about the potential scenario where the at-fault party doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover their claim. In Maine, drivers are required to have car insurance as a financial responsibility law. This article explores the concept of liability insurance, minimum coverage limits, and the importance of uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.
Liability Insurance and Financial Responsibility
Maine operates under an “at-fault” system, holding the responsible party accountable for covering the costs of injuries and property damage resulting from an accident. Liability insurance forms a crucial part of a car insurance policy, offering financial protection. It comprises two main components: coverage for bodily injury and coverage for property damage.
Insufficient Liability Coverage
While drivers in Maine must carry liability insurance, there are instances where the coverage limits may be too low to account for the full costs of an accident. With minimum liability limits as low as $50,000 per person, medical expenses alone can quickly surpass that amount in the case of serious injuries.
Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
To address the concern posed by insufficient insurance coverage, drivers are advised to have uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. Maine law mandates UM/UIM coverage with a minimum limit of $50,000 per person and up to $100,000 per accident. This coverage acts as a safety net, protecting you and your passengers if the at-fault party lacks adequate liability insurance.
Benefits of UM/UIM Coverage
UM/UIM coverage not only applies when the responsible driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance but also in various other scenarios. It covers you and your passengers if the at-fault driver is uninsured, flees the scene, or if the accident is a hit-and-run. Additionally, it provides protection in situations where the at-fault driver’s insurance has lapsed, their policy was canceled, or they were driving without permission.
Filing a Claim and Protecting Your Rights
If you find yourself in a situation where the at-fault party doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your claim, your own UM/UIM coverage can assist in covering medical expenses. Importantly, utilizing your own UM/UIM coverage should not result in a premium increase. Consulting with a personal injury attorney can be beneficial, especially if you are faced with a UM or UIM driver and your insurance company is not providing the coverage you expected.
Why Contact Maine’s Injury Lawyers
While the concern of inadequate insurance coverage after an accident is valid, understanding your own policy’s UM/UIM coverage and its benefits is crucial. By having the right coverage in place, you can ensure that your medical expenses and rights are protected in various scenarios. Contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing, car accident lawyers, for a free consultation to discuss your situation and explore the best options for your specific needs.