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Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Protecting Your Recovery

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Why do you hire a lawyer on a car wreck case?  I thought I might give one example today and provide others in the future. So here is you’re hypothetical and think about it before you respond.  

 

Hypothetical: You are in an accident with Joe Driver which he negligently T-bones your car.  You are seriously injured in the accident and suffer a compound neck fracture.  You are rushed to the hospital and the doctor performs a neck fusion surgery. Your medical bills are $50,000.00.  You call Joe Driver’s insurance company who states that Joe Driver only has the state minimum of $25,000.00 in insurance coverage (not enough to pay your bills).  You think to yourself, “that’s ok, I have $500,000.00 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that will pick up the rest of the medical bills and pay me for my pain in suffering.” 

 

Now here comes the test.  Which of the following would you do?

 

A.                 Accept the $25,000.00 from Joe Driver then file a claim with your insurance company.

B.                 Call your insurance company and file a claim then accept the $25,000.00

C.                 Hire a Lawyer to represent you.

D.                 Other.

 

Answer:      (C) is the most correct answer with (D) being the second most correct answer as it at least leaves you some wiggle room.

 

(A)  and (B) are wrong and would destroy your ability to collect the $500,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage leaving you owing medical bills.

 

 

Now the for the lesson.  In Oklahoma, if you do not obtain and “Waiver of Subrogation” from your insurance company before accepting the at-faults policy, you have basically destroyed your ability to collect under your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. 

 

What is a “Waiver of Subrogation”?  In layman’s terms (I’m not going to cite case law or statutory law), it is a condition of an insurance policy which states that the coverage will not be prejudiced if the insured has waived in writing prior to a loss any rights of recovery from a party responsible for the loss.

So if you want to protect yourself and maximize your recovery in a car or trucking accident, hire an attorney.