Typically, when handling a bodily injury claim for personal injuries sustained in an automobile collision or premises liability claim, there is more than one avenue for recovery. Liability insurance is the insurance coverage afforded by the other driver; the driver that caused the collision (i.e. “third party”). Underinsured/Uninsured motorist coverage is insurance coverage afforded by your insurance (i.e. “first party”). In a collision where injuries are sustained, the liability insurance is initially responsible for injuries sustained in the collision.
In an example, Jack and Jill get into a car collision. Jill caused the collision by rear-ending Jack. Jack gets rushed to the hospital by ambulance, gets treated in the emergency room, and needs treatment from an orthopedic specialist. Jack incurred medical bills in the amount of $35,750.00 for all of the treatment he received for injuries related to the collision. Jack contacts Jill’s insurance company. Jill’s insurance looks at the medical bills incurred by Jack and decides to offer “Policy Limits.” Policy Limit is a term used when an insurance company offers the total amount insured under the policy. In Texas, the minimum amount of any policy for bodily injury coverage on an automobile policy is $30,000 per Person and $60,000 per occurrence.
In our scenario, Jack receives a release for $30,000.00 from Jill’s insurance. Jack still has bills that have not been accounted for. Luckily, Jack has paid a premium for “Underinsured Motorist Coverage” his insurance policy. Underinsured motorist coverage is an automobile insurance policy provision that extends coverage to include property and bodily damage caused by a motorist with insufficient insurance. Under Texas Law, Jack is entitled to recovery from the underinsured motorist portion of his policy since Jill did not have enough insurance to pay for Jack’s injuries.
There are very important steps that must be taken to properly file an Underinsured Motorist claim. The claimant must:
- Get the “consent to settle” document(s) from the Underinsured Motorist Carrier;
- Get a copy of the declarations page of the Liability Insurance Company (The Declarations Page is the portion of an insurance policy that shows the amount of coverage afforded under the policy.);
- Send the declarations page and the release to the Underinsured Motorist Carrier;
- Sign the release from the Liability Insurance Company;
- Send medical bills and records to Underinsured Motorist Carrier.
If all of these steps are taken properly and followed with caution, the claim will go without a hitch. It is always important to consult an attorney when handling this type of claim. Herrman and Herrman, P.L.L.C., takes all of the appropriate measures to guarantee great results for our clients. Click here for more information on Personal Injury law. Call Herrman and Herrman today at (361) 792-3669.