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What to Do When Drivers are Uninsured or Underinsured

Our knowledgeable Sioux Falls car accident attorneys can help

By law, drivers in South Dakota are required to purchase liability coverage. But some drivers manage to slip under the radar without purchasing insurance. When an auto accident occurs with an at-fault driver who is uninsured or underinsured, crash victims often are forced to obtain compensation from their own insurance companies.

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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.

Sioux Falls

4301 W. 57th Street, Suite 121
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

Phone: 605-306-4100
Fax: 605-306-6278
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