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One Dead and 17 Injured in Car Accident: How Underinsured and Uninsured Coverage Can Help

What should have been an enjoyable day of celebrating ended in tragedy when a shuttle bus was struck and overturned killing one and injuring 17 other people.  The group was on the way back from a birthday party when a speeding car swerved into their lane striking their shuttle bus.  The fatal accident occurred on Interstate 95 in Virginia (VA). Sadly the victim who died, David Alberto Sanchez, was only 24-years-old and had much to look forward to in life.  The at-fault driver who was speeding and recklessly struck the shuttle bus fled the scene but was later arrested.

No one was spared from injury in this traumatic car injury.  One passenger was treated for life-threatening injuries and two others were treated for serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The remaining 13 passengers suffered minor injuries. With so many injured the amount of car insurance the at-fault driver carries may not be enough to cover all the injuries.  So what happens if you are hurt in an accident and the at-fault driver is underinsured or not insured at all?

There are two types of coverage that protect you from injuries in cases where the other driver was either underinsured or uninsured. Underinsured motorist coverage pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages when you or your passengers are hurt in an accident caused by a driver with auto insurance coverage too small to pay the bills. Your insurer will make up the difference between the negligent driver’s coverage and the maximum of your own policy.

Uninsured motorist coverage operates the same way, except that instead of making up the difference between the negligent driver’s coverage and your own policy limits, your insurance company will be responsible for all of your bills.  In Virginia and North Carolina, and many other states, uninsured and underinsured car insurance coverage is mandatory but the amounts that you maintain on your policy are optional over the minimal coverage. It is a very important part of your car insurance, because it helps you if the other driver is uninsured, or does not have enough insurance for the magnitude of your injuries. For more on uninsured or underinsured car insurance, read one of our articles on this key UM/UIM insurance.

{Click here to read about UM/UIM insurance}



Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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