Despite the strict state laws that require all motorists in Vermont to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance, not all drivers comply with those laws.
Auto insurance is meant to provide coverage to accident victims when they have been in a crash as a result of another person’s negligence or carelessness. In most cases, accident victims must file a claim through the negligent party’s insurance company, as Vermont is a tort state.
When a driver does not have the proper amount of auto insurance, accident victims can still file a claim, but the coverage available is limited, as the motorist did not purchase the proper amounts. So, what can you do if you have been hit by an underinsured motorist? You have options.
Required Auto Insurance Coverage in Vermont
The minimum required amounts of auto insurance coverage in Vermont include:
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $10,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist property damage: $10,000 with a deductible of $150
All drivers are required, by law, to buy uninsured motorist coverage when they first purchase their insurance policy. As such, individuals that are injured due to the negligent actions of an uninsured or underinsured driver can file a claim through their own insurer.
If you purchased the required $50,000 in uninsured motorist coverage, and the other driver carried $25,000 in liability insurance, you could claim the remaining $25,000 with your own insurer. This coverage can provide you compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement.
Stacking Uninsured Auto Insurance
Auto insurance coverage limits are set to allow accident victims to claim up to a certain amount after a crash. Unfortunately, the cost of injuries and other losses often exceed the limits of an auto insurance policy.
When that is the case, it is sometimes possible to “stack” insurance policies. For example, if you were injured as a passenger in a vehicle but you have your own auto insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurer, as well as the driver’s insurance company.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Too many times, drivers make the mistake of thinking that because their insurance company is supposed to provide coverage after an accident, claiming that compensation is easy. It is not. When you file an underinsured accident claim with your insurer, they become the opposing side.
They may try many tactics, including using your own words against you, in an effort to try and deny the damages you deserve. This is just one reason it is so important to work with a Rutland car accident lawyer, even when working with your own insurance company.
Our Car Accident Lawyers in Rutland Can Help You Claim Compensation
If you have been hurt in a crash involving an underinsured motorist, our Rutland car accident lawyers at Larson & Gallivan Law can assist with your case.
We know how to effectively negotiate with insurance companies and liable parties so you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Call us today at (802) 327-8458 or contact us online to request a free consultation.