You’ve been in a car accident. The other driver hit you, and you are not at fault. You ask the other driver for his insurance card, and he tells you that he doesn’t have car insurance. What do you do now?

Kentucky law requires all drivers to maintain car insurance. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the law and there are many drivers on Kentucky roads who are not insured. Uninsured motorist coverage (also known as “UM” coverage) applies when you are injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver does not have any insurance.

Uninsured motorist coverage is actually insurance coverage available to you through your own policy of insurance. Unlike a typical car accident, where the at-fault driver’s insurance company covers most of the damages, when an uninsured driver causes an accident, your own insurance company will step in and cover your pain and suffering damages, medical expenses and lost wages resulting from the accident.

You may have UM coverage and not even know it. Under Kentucky law, insurance companies must offer you UM coverage as part of your insurance coverage package. You can reject UM coverage if you don’t want to buy it, but you must make that rejection in writing to your insurance company. If you have not rejected UM coverage in writing, it likely is available to you in the event you are injured by a driver who does not have car insurance. Your UM coverage also is available to any passengers injured in your vehicle, as well as anyone driving your car with your permission, such as a child or spouse.

If you have questions about how uninsured motorist coverage works, or if you were involved in an accident with a driver that did not have insurance, please contact personal injury and auto accident attorney Chris Haden at The Haden Law Office.