That’s why responsible drivers in South Dakota must have uninsured and underinsured motorist (UI and UIM) coverage. In the event of a crash, you should also speak to an experienced auto accident attorney who will help you weigh your options.
How uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage works
In a typical car accident, an at-fault driver with liability coverage would pay for damages through his or her insurance company. Mandatory minimum insurance coverage in South Dakota includes:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people
- $25,000 for damage to property
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage covers the cost of your medical expenses after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Note that in underinsured driver accidents, you cannot stack at-fault and UIM coverage; for example, if the at-fault driver has $25,000 in liability coverage and you have $25,000 in UIM coverage, the total coverage available is only $25,000, not $50,000. This plan also applies to the cost of recovery from injuries incurred from an accident with a hit-and-run driver.
In South Dakota, your UI and UIM coverage must meet the following minimums:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury if passengers were also injured.
South Dakota also offers optional medical payments coverage, which covers your medical costs up to your policy limits. Either way, it’s best to take steps to ensure that you won’t be stuck with a heap of medical expenses, loss of wages and additional suffering.
Following an accident with an uninsured driver, you must file a claim as if you were involved in any other type of crash. However, unlike an accident with an insured driver, the claim could be against your own insurance company.
How an attorney can help
Insurance companies, including your own, only have one interest – reducing their own costs. That’s why you should not attempt to negotiate a settlement on your own. Doing so could reduce your chances of receiving the compensation you need to compensate you for the full cost of your recovery.
The car accident attorneys at Northern Plains Justice, LLP can negotiate with your insurance company to help you receive the compensation you deserve. A detailed police report and medical evaluation can help build a strong claim.
Contact our law firm today for a free consultation to find out how we can help you. You can also call our Sioux Falls office at 605-306-4100.