General Info About UIM/UM Claims in Delaware
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is available to an injured driver if and only if the injured driver was in an accident caused by another party and the injured driver’s damages exceed the at-fault driver’s bodily injury insurance coverage amount. Basically, the at-fault driver is “underinsured” or did not obtain enough auto insurance to sufficiently compensate the other, innocent driver.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is available to an injured driver if and only if the driver was injured in an accident caused by another party and the at-fault driver did not have any applicable insurance coverage. A typical UM case involves a hit and run.
How to Make UIM/UM Claims in Delaware
UIM/UM claims are made with the injured driver’s own car insurance company, not the car insurance company of the other, at-fault driver. In addition, there are two prerequisites: 1. the accident must have been caused by another driver’s negligence, and 2. the value of the injuries and damages must exceed the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage amount.
In other words, the injured driver must show that the other driver caused the accident and must also prove the nature and extent of the injuries and damages (i.e., lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.).
Also, it is important to note that UIM/UM law in Delaware changed significantly this past year. Effective this year, UIM/UM coverage under Delaware auto policies issued or renewed after January 3, 2014, will be easier to access. Before the amendment, UIM claims could be made if and only the injured driver’s own UIM coverage amount exceeded the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage amount. Now, UIM claims can be made regardless of whether the injured driver’s own UIM coverage amount exceeds the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage amount. The only requirement is that the injured driver’s injuries and damages exceed the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage amount.
How Much UIM/UM Coverage is Available?
Determining how much UIM/UM coverage is available generally depends on the UIM/UM coverage amount in the applicable car insurance policy of the injured driver. However, it is important to note that determining exactly how much UIM/UM coverage is available varies from case to case. That is because of two variables: 1. stacking, and 2. the potential application of multiple policies. Delaware UIM / UM auto accident law allows stacking or adding coverage amounts under separate car insurance policies, in some circumstances. Learn more about how UIM works in DE car accident cases.
Depending on the facts, multiple auto policies may apply in a given car accident case. Passengers, pedestrians and drivers may be able to access benefits under different policies. Therefore, it is vital to have a UIM/UM case reviewed by a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyer
Firm founder, Martin Knepper, has been handling auto accident cases throughout Delaware since 1982. Please call for a free case assessment. (302) 658-1717
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