As I’ve written before, a critical hurdle for families of South Carolina fatal accident victims in wrongful death cases is finding a settlement source. It’s almost always insurance.
In a typical car or motorcycle accident case, many victims’ families confront the harsh fact most at-fault drivers don’t carry enough insurance. For semi-truck accidents, federal law requires much more insurance—which naturally gives those insurance companies more reason to fight you for it.
But what if the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough liability insurance or assets to cover a wrongful death settlement? There may be hope for more coverage from the victim’s own policy if it has the right coverage. If it does, you can potentially get a much higher settlement—but it won’t be easy.
To find out what coverage applies to your case, or to get your questions answered about your case, call the Spartanburg, South Carolina wrongful death attorneys here at 888-230-1841.
A Brief Primer on How South Carolina Insurance Works in a Typical Car or Motorcycle Accident
These are the harsh facts of South Carolina car insurance law, making it so critical for victims to protect themselves before a crash ever occurs:
- South Carolina law only requires drivers to have a minimum of $25,000 in liability insurance. That’s the insurance that covers innocent victims who get hurt or killed in a car accident.
- Virtually all at-fault drivers don’t have the assets to pay for the enormous amount of harm and loss caused by a fatal accident.
- That leaves the families of innocent victims holding the bag.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. To discourage victims from pursuing proper settlements, insurance companies complicate the settlement process for even a “simple” car accident case with non-fatal injuries.
There can be some good news. Keep reading.
Hope Can Spring From the Victim’s Own Policy in a South Carolina Fatal Accident Case
The coverage you need is called underinsurance, or UIM. Before the accident occurred, if the victim made wise choices or had a skilled insurance agent who was truly devoted to the victim’s best interest, the victim purchased this critical coverage. UIM can help the family obtain a much higher settlement that might be desperately needed to replace a lifetime of lost income and compensate for the agony of grief, shock, and loss.
It can get better—and more complicated. In certain situations, the family can actually get settlements from other vehicles in the victim’s household using a legal tactic called “stacking.” And it doesn’t matter what type of vehicle it is, as long as it has UIM on it. It can be a motorcycle, a car, or a truck.
Don’t risk overlooking coverage that can really help your family. Get an experienced South Carolina wrongful death attorney to answer your questions and, most importantly, review all potential insurance coverage that can apply.
How UIM Can Make a Huge Difference in a South Carolina Car or Motorcycle Accident Case
Here are just a couple examples of how this coverage made a huge impact on a wrongful death settlement:
- UIM increases wrongful death settlement amount almost 10 times
- UIM dramatically increases fatal motorcycle accident settlement when the at-fault driver only had minimum limits
Don’t miss this: South Carolina law recognizes UIM as critical protection for drivers by requiring all insurance agents to offer it a specific way. If they don’t, the insurance policy can be “reformed” to include the coverage. So even if the victim’s policy didn’t have the coverage, the family might still qualify for it. But obtaining coverage this way involves a legal firefight against a greedy insurance company dead set on avoiding coverage, even if it’s legally required.
That brings me to one last point about how getting a wrongful death settlement from UIM actually works.
The Biggest Shock for Many Fatal Accident Victims’ Families Who Qualify for UIM
When you make a UIM claim, the victim’s own insurance company turns against you.
All that money spent in premiums over the years as a loyal customer means absolutely nothing, and the insurance company certainly won’t honor their customer’s memory by voluntarily extending coverage.
Here’s what that looks like, which can be hard to stomach: the victim’s insurance company defends the at-fault driver who killed him or her as if the at-fault driver was one of its own. And the insurance company can turn against you ruthlessly to deny your claim, as evidenced by this real case.
Many families find the sense of wrong caused by this simply creates too much emotion to deal with it.
The Stakes Are High. Don’t Battle an Insurance Company Alone.
There are many reasons to hire an attorney in a fatal accident case, the major one being to protect you from insurance companies with billions of dollars and legions of professionals whose daily strategy is cheating emotional, grief-stricken victims like you.
Figuring out how much to ask for in a South Carolina wrongful death case involves developing evidence to prove several key factors. This is your one chance to protect your family’s financial stability and get some justice for your unjustified loss and suffering. This is just not the time for you to go it alone without professional help. Currently, you’re the only amateur in the room, and you’re already overwhelmed with dealing with all the loss and fallout from a loved one’s unnecessary death.
As Spartanburg, South Carolina fatal accident attorneys, we’re here to answer your questions and protect your rights. Do it the easiest way for you: You can call toll-free at 888-230-1841, fill out a Get Help Now form, or contact us with a live chat. Schedule a FREE, EASY strategy session where we won’t pressure you to hire us.