How Much Can I Get From an Underinsured Motorist Claim

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be daunting, especially when dealing with an underinsured motorist claim. At Willumsen Law Firm, we understand how crucial it is for you to receive fair compensation to cover your losses and expenses incurred from such incidents. This blog post aims to shed light on a crucial question: how much can I get from an underinsured motorist claim?

Dealing with underinsured motorists means that the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the damages sustained. Whether you’ve recently been in an accident or are simply preparing for the unexpected, knowing your potential recovery options is crucial. Let’s dive into the factors that determine how much you can get from an underinsurance claim and how an experienced attorney can help navigate this complex process.

What is an Underinsured Motorist?

An underinsured motorist is a driver who has auto insurance that meets minimum legal standards but whose liability limits are not high enough to cover the damages they cause in an accident. In Texas, the minimum liability coverage is often not sufficient to cover all the expenses in a serious crash, particularly when injuries are involved. This scenario is where underinsured motorist coverage becomes essential.

Definition of Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is a vital component of your auto insurance policy, designed to protect you in the event of an accident caused by a driver whose insurance is insufficient to cover all the damages and medical expenses. When the at-fault driver’s liability limits are exhausted but your damages exceed that amount, UIM coverage steps in to fill the gap.

This type of coverage typically includes two main protections. The first is bodily injury coverage, which addresses medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injury-related losses you may suffer in such an accident. The second is property damage coverage, which handles the repairs or replacement of your vehicle and other property damaged in the accident, although this coverage may come with a deductible.

The Importance of Having Underinsured Motorist Coverage

 Without UIM, any costs exceeding the at-fault driver’s coverage limits would have to be paid out of pocket or through personal health insurance, potentially leaving you with unpaid medical bills or insufficient funds for necessary repairs. UIM provides a safety net that ensures you are not left financially burdened after an accident, regardless of the at-fault driver’s ability to cover the full extent of your losses.

Knowing you have UIM coverage can give you peace of mind every time you hit the road, aware that you are protected against the uncertainties of other drivers’ insurance adequacies.


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How to File an Underinsured Motorist Claim

Filing an underinsured motorist claim involves several crucial steps. First, you need to promptly notify your insurance company about the accident and express your intention to file a claim. This initial notification sets the process in motion. Next, gather all necessary documentation to support your claim. This includes the police report, medical records, bills, and proof of any lost wages. These documents are essential in substantiating the extent of your damages and injuries. Once you have all your documentation, your insurance company will guide you through the claim process. This involves an assessment of the damages and negotiations to reach a fair settlement based on the limits of your underinsured motorist policy. Following these steps diligently can help ensure a smoother and more successful claim process.

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Calculating Underinsured Motorist Claims in Texas

Calculating an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim in Texas involves a series of important steps and considerations. First, you need to determine the total amount of your damages, which includes all medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses you incurred due to the accident. You must assess the coverage of the at-fault driver’s insurance. This involves examining the liability limits of their policy and determining how much their insurance will pay towards your damages.

Once you know the amount covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance, you can calculate the gap between this amount and your total damages. This gap represents the portion of your damages that your UIM coverage may cover.

It’s also crucial to consider your UIM policy limits, as your UIM coverage will only pay up to the limit specified in your policy. Even if your uncovered damages exceed these limits, your policy will not pay more than the agreed amount. Consider any deductibles that apply to your UIM coverage and be aware of any conditions or exclusions in your policy that could affect the payout.

Example of UIM Claim Calculation

Let’s consider an example to illustrate this:

– Total Damages: $100,000 (medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, etc.)

– At-Fault Driver’s Coverage Payout: $50,000 (the maximum their policy covers)

– Your UIM Coverage Limit: $75,000

The gap between your total damages and what the at-fault driver’s insurance covers is $100,000 – $50,000 = $50,000. Since your UIM coverage limit is $75,000, and the gap is $50,000, your UIM insurance will cover the full $50,000, assuming all conditions are met and there are no applicable deductions beyond this calculation.

Tips for Maximizing How Much Can I Get From an Underinsured Motorist Claim

Maximizing the amount you can receive from an underinsured motorist claim requires careful attention to several key areas. Firstly, it is essential to document everything comprehensively. This means keeping meticulous records of all damages and expenses, including medical records, repair bills, and wage loss statements. Such thorough documentation will support your claim and ensure you can account for all your losses.

Understanding your policy is also crucial. Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your underinsured motorist (UIM) policy. Knowing what is covered and the applicable limits will help you navigate the claims process more effectively and ensure you receive the maximum benefit available.

Additionally, seeking professional advice can be invaluable. Consulting with an insurance expert or an attorney who focuses on auto insurance claims can provide you with valuable guidance. These professionals can represent your interests and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, helping you to maximize your claim.

Fred Willumsen

Managing Attorney

Helping Injury Victims for Over 25 Years

My focus is to give a voice to families who have suffered a wrongful death or a serious injury to a family member caused by an 18-Wheeler, commercial truck, or a drunk driver. 

Contact us today, we can help you.

Fred Willumsen

Managing Attorney 

Helping Injury Victims for Over 25 Years

My focus is to give a voice to families who have suffered a wrongful death or a serious injury to a family member caused by an 18-Wheeler, commercial truck, or a drunk driver. 

Contact us today, we can help you.

Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve

Navigating an underinsured motorist claim can seem daunting, but understanding your rights and the potential compensation available to you is crucial for ensuring you’re adequately protected after an accident. At Willumsen Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping you understand every facet of your insurance coverage and to fighting for the full compensation you deserve.

So, how much can I get from an underinsured motorist claim? The amount you can recover from an underinsured motorist claim largely depends on the specific details of your policy and the extent of your damages. It’s important to remember that while UIM coverage is designed to bridge the gap left by the at-fault driver’s insufficient insurance, the total amount you can receive cannot exceed your own UIM policy limits. Therefore, having substantial UIM coverage is as crucial as understanding how to leverage it in the event of an accident.

If you’re unsure about the details of your UIM coverage or if you need assistance with filing a claim, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional legal help. At Willumsen Law Firm, our experienced team is committed to ensuring our clients receive the maximum possible recovery for their losses. Contact us today to discuss your case and explore your options for securing a fair and just settlement. Your well-being is our priority, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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