RI Personal Injury Lawyer: Stacking RI Insurance When the At Fault Party Does Not Have Enough Insurance
March 11th, 2015
Were you injured a RI car accident, and then learned that the at fault party – the person who caused the accident – had insurance, but not enough to cover your losses? You may still have recourse with underinsured motorist coverage.
RI Car Insurance Requirements
By law, when driving in Rhode Island you must have valid insurance. RI law requires that you carry a minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident bodily injury coverage and $25,000 property damage coverage. Many RI auto policies also offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage though these are not legally required. Uninsured motorist coverage kicks in to help cover your losses when the at-fault party in your accident has no insurance whatsoever, or if you are the victim of a hit and run accident. Underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when the at-fault party has some insurance but not enough to cover your losses.
The unfortunate reality is that many RI drivers do not have valid insurance policies. Or drivers may purchase the minimum required by law, and in more serious accidents their coverage will not be enough to pay for your losses.
RI Law on Stacking Insurance Policies
Rhode Island law uniquely helps the victims of accidents caused by underinsured drivers with a system called “stacking.”
Let’s say you are in an accident caused by a driver who has the minimum $25,000 per person bodily injury and $25,000 property damage coverage. Your bodily injury claim after the accident totals $60,000, so it exceeds the amount you can get from the at fault party. If you have uninsured motorist coverage with $35,000 limits, you can recover the at fault party’s $25,000, then “stack” your $35,000 policy on top of that, to get $60,000 in total recovery.
As you can see this system is complex and requires a careful understanding of RI accident insurance law. If you were the victim of another driver’s negligence in a car accident, contact our experienced auto accident lawyers today. The team at Bottaro Law will help you value your case, and then carefully analyze the at fault party’s insurance policy, along with your insurance policy, to understand the maximum amount that you may be able to recover and get your life back on track.