Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is insurance coverage that may provide benefits to you if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Most states require such coverages and another handful are creating insurance verification systems to track or identify uninsured drivers. Unfortunately, a law passed under Governor Walker removed the statutory requirement in Wisconsin for driver's to carry UIM coverage. UM coverage is still mandatory, but the required limits were reduced in 2011 to $25, 000/$50, 000.
In 1992 it was estimated that 15.6 percent of drivers were uninsured. In 2012, that percentage had dropped to just 12.6 percent. Wisconsin is in the top half of U.S. states with a low percentage of drivers who carry no insurance. In fact, as of 2012, Wisconsin had only 11.7 percent of drivers who were considered uninsured or underinsured.
Numbers in Wisconsin
Wisconsin's low percentage of uninsured drivers may be attributed to its current auto insurance laws. In Wisconsin, drivers are required to have bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and uninsured motorist coverage. The required mandatory insurance minimums for liability coverage are as follows: $25, 000 in coverage per individual hurt in an accident; $50, 000 in total coverage for all individuals hurt in a single accident; and $10, 000 for property damage from a single accident.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has also created an incentive system for drivers to carry insurance that would cover incidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists. Under the current law, if you do not carry such insurance you will have your license, vehicle registration, or driving privileges suspended. This applies even when you are not driving your car but your car is involved in an accident.
If you are involved in an accident, the DMV will check for insurance coverage on all drivers involved. If you have insurance, then no action is taken; but if you are found to be at fault, the DMV calculates the damages and estimates the court costs. The DMV will then send you a notice of suspension. You must, in turn, provide proof of insurance and certain other requirements before your driving privileges are restricted or revoked. The safety responsibility suspension remains in effect until you show that you meet all the state-required safety requirements (i.e. insurance).
Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
Being involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can result in catastrophic damages. This is where an experienced lawyer is helpful, as more often than not, these uninsured or underinsured drivers may not have a lot of assets. A lawyer familiar with Wisconsin accident law will be able to help you seek redress in court and make sure the insurance company properly compensates you for any injury or property damage you may have incurred.
Consult a Knowledgeable Wisconsin Auto Accident Attorney
Please contact an experienced Green Bay auto accident attorney or Appleton auto accident attorney at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. if an uninsured or underinsured driver has hurt you. With offices located in Appleton, Green Bay, and Oshkosh, we are well versed in Wisconsin accident laws and can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.