There are certain things you have to do to legally drive your car. You have to earn and maintain a driver’s license. You have to pay for liability insurance on the vehicle and then register it with the state. You need to carry proof of your insurance and registration in the vehicle in case you have to interact with law enforcement or get into a car crash. You also have to follow all the traffic laws or risk citations and possibly the loss of your license.
As a responsible adult, you probably follow all of these rules and never think twice about it. Unfortunately, not everyone in Alabama is as responsible as you are. Anytime you get into a crash caused by another driver, there will always be a risk that that driver does not have enough insurance on their vehicle to protect you. In fact, sometimes, they won’t have any insurance at all.
Who covers you when the other driver’s policy won’t?
Understand what coverage is available
One of the first things you will do after a car crash is to ask the other driver for their proof of insurance. You can then make a claim against it for losses associated with the crash. Alabama requires that drivers carry a minimum of $25,000 worth of property damage coverage and $25,000 worth of bodily injury coverage. The minimum amount of medical coverage increases to $50,000 in crashes involving two or more people who get hurt.
Obviously, drivers can suffer injuries that cost more than $25,000 in medical expenses and unpaid wages. It’s also possible, especially if you have a nice, newer vehicle, that your property damage losses might exceed the coverage available. Although many drivers can pay for more protection, quite a few don’t.
You may even that you have some coverage on your own policy that can help. If you paid for uninsured or underinsured driver protection, you can possibly file a claim against your own policy for losses that exceed the available insurance coverage.
Know your options when insurance isn’t enough
If the policy held by the other driver isn’t going to fully cover your costs or leaves you without any coverage at all, that puts a lot of financial strain on you. Thankfully, if the police officers who took the report after your crash allocated responsibility to the other driver, you still have another option.
You can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court seeking all of the damages you’ve suffered because of the crash. Knowing how to properly respond to inadequate insurance coverage after a wreck will protect you from unfair financial losses.