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I’m afraid this article might be rather bleak, but I still need to write it. Right now, I’m working with a survivor of a drunk driving accident – she was the victim – and her situation is very difficult. The accident clearly wasn’t her fault, and the bad guy was caught and jailed. Given these facts, you might think it would be easy for her to get the money she needs from the criminal so that she could heal and move forward.
But, sadly, that is not going to happen for her. And her story is so common that I feel compelled to share it because I want everyone out there to protect themselves from this situation.
The drunk driver who hit my client didn’t have any insurance. And he doesn’t have a job or own a home or anything else of value. Even if she “sued him for all he had,” as the cliché goes, she would get nothing.
As this news settled in, my client was devastated. She said, “But that’s not fair!”
She’s right. It’s not fair at all. I can tell you that most victims of drunk driving accidents feel anger at the lack of justice.
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you have got to purchase Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. Yes, you have to buy insurance so that you can pay for your own medical bills after a drunk driver hits you. Take a deep breath. It isn’t fair. It’s just not. But you also don’t want to be in my client’s situation.
The good news is that you need UIM anyway. As I’ve said in many articles, you should have UIM on every auto policy you buy because UIM covers a lot more than you might expect. It is not just for victims of drunk driving accidents. You can access your UIM coverage for myriad reasons, which is why I tell everyone I know to get it.
So, even if the drunk driver hits you and then drives away, you are covered.
Too often, victims expect the bad guys to “make things right.” If the bad guy is insured well and doesn’t flee the scene, then you are one of the lucky ones.
So, what do survivors of drunk driving crashes want you to know? They want you to protect yourself and buy Underinsured Motorist coverage.
Sadly, you need to assume that the guy who hit you has not done anything right by anybody in his life. Take care of you and your own and get UIM coverage.