Insurance is something that we all (hopefully) have, but seldom use or understand. Drivers with registered vehicles in the state of South Carolina are required to carry auto insurance. South Carolina requires three categories of coverage. The first two, bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance, are both required by law in most states. The third category of insurance, uninsured motorist coverage, is seldom required by law. South Carolina is one of few states with this requirement, although it can and will protect you in the event you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Understanding Your Personal Auto Insurance Coverage
You are required to carry auto insurance to ensure that there is at least some money to cover medical expenses, personal injury, and property damage to others if you cause an accident. This money will be paid out in accordance with the upper limits of your policy. For example, if you have personal injury protection of $25,000 for bodily injury, your insurance company will pay out up to $25,000 per injured person for injuries sustained in the accident. For anything above and beyond that you may become personally liable, which is why it is always a good idea to have coverage beyond that which is minimally required by law.
Your insurance will pay out when you injure, catastrophically injure, or kill someone when driving and will also generally protect your passengers as well.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The other driver’s insurance coverage may be your main concern in an accident. What happens if the driver who hits you does not have auto insurance? The typical recourse is that you (or your insurance company) sue the driver to recover at least some of the money you had to pay out of pocket, but it is unlikely that someone not carrying insurance will have the requisite monetary funds to pay out for hefty medical or auto repair bills.
In this case, an uninsured motorist policy may help provide you with compensation for the damages you sustained. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage helps cover expenses for uninsured or underinsured drivers, that is, drivers that have insurance coverage that is not sufficient to cover the expenses associated with the accident, or those who have no insurance coverage at all.
South Carolina Auto Accident Injury Attorneys
Failure to carry minimum insurance policies in South Carolina will, at best, cost you a fee or a 30-day jail sentence. At worst, it will financially destroy you. Understanding how insurance works is the first step in protecting yourself. Furthermore, it is important that you understand not only what it can do for you if you cause an accident, but how it affects you when you are the victim. The presence or lack of insurance coverage by either party can complicate litigation and delay settlement payouts. Hiring a knowledgeable auto accident litigation attorney will ensure that you can go through the process as seamlessly as possible. At Solomon Law Group, our team of professionals understands how to navigate complex auto accident litigation claims, negotiate with insurance companies and other attorneys, and make sure you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to by law. To learn more about your rights after an auto accident, contact our Columbia office today.