Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Oklahoma
Oklahoma drivers involved in car accidents that are not their fault have a right to pursue compensation through the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance. Unfortunately, Oklahoma is regularly among the worst in the nation for the number of uninsured drivers on its roads.
If you are injured in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to seek compensation through your own insurance company. The dedicated car accident lawyers of Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons have helped countless crash victims navigate their own uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to recover the compensation they need to cover medical bills and other expenses.
Unfortunately, even an insurance company that you regularly pay premiums to will not usually make a full claim payout without a fight. In fact, many people misunderstand UM/UIM coverage, and your insurer will certainly not make payments you do not know you deserve.
Our knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorneys understand how insurance companies work, and we make them live up to their legal obligations to crash victims.
Schedule a free consultation with our team today to discuss your options if you have been hurt by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Our law firm does not charge legal fees upfront to investigate and file car accident claims, and we only seek payment if we recover compensation for you.
How UM/UIM Coverage Works in Oklahoma
About one out of every eight U.S. drivers do not have an auto insurance policy, even though coverage is required to drive legally in every state but New Hampshire, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC).
Oklahoma law requires drivers to carry liability insurance with minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of any one individual
- $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more individuals
- $25,000 for property damage caused to other vehicles or property
When insurance carriers sell an auto insurance policy in Oklahoma, they must also offer UM/UIM coverage equal to the minimum liability coverage the purchaser has bought. Car owners must sign a waiver if they decline to buy UM/UIM coverage or opt to buy UM/UIM that is less than their liability coverage.
Because UM/UIM coverage is included in most insurance packages, many motorists do not realize they have it when they need it. An uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist policy covers the policyholder when:
- The driver who causes an accident has no auto liability coverage.
- The driver who causes an accident cannot be identified, such as in a hit-and-run accident. UM/UIM coverage can be triggered in a hit-and-run even if the vehicle owner can be identified, but the driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident remains unknown.
- Liability coverage held by an at-fault driver does not provide enough money to cover all of the policyholder’s losses.
- The at-fault driver’s liability insurance carrier is insolvent.
Policyholders in Oklahoma may also “stack” UM/UIM coverage limits if the policyholder pays separate premiums for UM/UIM coverage on multiple vehicles within a household. In “stacked” policies, the coverage bought for multiple vehicles may be combined when a claim is made. For example, if you have $25,000 bodily injury UM/UIM coverage from the same carrier on three vehicles, you could claim up to $75,000 in bodily injury losses in a single accident.
Most car owners who buy auto liability insurance purchase the minimum amount of coverage required. Therefore, in a serious motor vehicle accident, it is easy for the cost of an individual’s medical treatment to exceed the coverage provided. Underinsured motorist coverage is meant to make up the difference, up to the limits of the UM/UIM policy.
For example, if you incur $50,000 in medical expenses in an accident, you should be able to pursue $25,000 from the at-fault driver’s legally required minimum liability coverage, plus $25,000 through your own UM/UIM coverage. If the at-fault driver has no insurance, you still should be able to obtain $25,000 if you have minimal UM/UIM coverage, or more up to the maximum provided by the policy.
What You Need to Know About Pursuing a UM/UIM Claim in Oklahoma
If you have been hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver and file a claim under your UM/UIM coverage, you may run into the typical problem with auto insurance claims — the insurer would prefer not to pay you. Here’s what you should expect:
- For-profit insurance companies stay in business by paying out less for claims than they take in through premiums. Particularly if you have serious injuries and extensive medical costs from a car accident, your insurer may balk at making a proper payout to you.
- Our dedicated auto accident attorneys will fully investigate your crash, as we would any car accident case, to determine the full amount of compensation you are owed.
- We will review your insurance policy to determine the extent of your UM/UIM coverage, particularly if you have stacked coverage for several vehicles and thus have increased the value of coverage available to you.
- Once we determine how much you can pursue through the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, we will demand the difference from your UM/UIM carrier. If the other driver has no insurance, we will advise your UM/UIM carrier of the full amount you are due.
- As experienced litigators and aggressive negotiators, we will back up your UM/UIM claim with solid evidence. If necessary, we will be ready to follow through with a car accident lawsuit.
Our objective is always full and fair compensation for our clients. We believe in holding insurance companies accountable for the coverage you have paid for, and we won’t back down from a fight.
Talk to Our Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers About a UM/UIM Claim
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact our Oklahoma City personal injury law firm now. Our experienced auto accident attorneys can review your car insurance policy, including your uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, and aggressively pursue all payments you are due.
Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons offers decades of experience in fighting to protect accident victims and their families from insurance companies that would take advantage of them. Schedule a free consultation with our team today to talk about your options for pursing a car accident claim. We can meet with you at your convenience, whether in our OKC law offices, at your home, or in the hospital.Get Started