Uninsured MotoristBy Alabama statute, automobile insurance companies are required to provide uninsured motorist coverage unless this uninsured motorist automobile insurance is rejected in writing by the insured.
Uninsured motorist insurance also means an underinsured motorist. What this means is that if someone is injured by an at-fault driver who does not have any insurance or does not have enough insurance(underinsured) this uninsured motorist coverage pays for bodily injury over and above what the at-fault driver has for your personal injury.
McCutcheon and Hamner have been handling uninsured motorist cases for more than 20 years and personal injury attorneys read the car wreck cases where other personal injury lawyers got it wrong. Uninsured motorist is a somewhat difficult area of the law where attorneys basically have to follow a pre-set formula to make certain that their personal injury clients are able to collect all of the benefits that are available to them in the event of serious personal injury.
The Alabama Supreme Court has held that failure to give notice of claim to the uninsured motorist insurance company voided this coverage. In this case the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in an unanimous decision that the failure to notify the uninsured motorist insurance company invalidated the coverage bought and paid for by the insured.
If someone is injured by an uninsured/underinsured driver they must promptly notify their uninsured motorist insurance company. The insurance card or insurance coverage declaration sheet will say UM/UIM which indicates that you have this type of coverage. Alabama state law allows the stacking of three policies if you have three cars but typically not more than three.
Not only must notice be given to the insurance company of the claim, the company must be given an opportunity to evaluate the claim before settlement with the at-fault driver’sinsurance company. If that is not done, according to this recent Alabama Supreme Court decision, benefits will not be paid for insurance that you paid for. When settlement is reached with the at-fault driver's insurance company they must not be given a general release of all claims but give a special release prepared by a lawyer who is familiar with these claims. The law requires only a "pro tanto" release which allows a person to pursue their UM/UIM benefits. Even if you dont have UM coverage, but the car you were riding in does, you may be able to make a claim for that coverage.