July 2023 Change to Virginia's Uninsured and Underinsured Auto Insurance Law: What Norfolk Car Accident Victims Need to Know

No car insuranceYou need to stay informed about changes in the law that may affect your rights and auto insurance coverages to protect yourself if you are injured in a Norfolk or Virginia Beach car accident that was not your fault. In July 2023, Virginia passed a new law that modifies its underinsured auto insurance law, potentially providing a significant advantage to auto crash victims. While this change can help you utilize underinsured coverage if needed, hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to help you negotiate fair settlements with the at-fault drivers and your own insurance companies is still essential. 

What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Auto Insurance?

Uninsured and underinsured auto insurance coverage is crucial if you are hurt in an auto accident involving a driver who either has no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover your damages. In such cases, your insurance policy can provide the necessary coverage up to the policy limits.

Virginia Old Law on Underinsured Auto Insurance

Under our state's previous law, the coverage provided under underinsured auto insurance policies would be offset by the amount of liability coverage carried by the negligent driver. In other words, if the at-fault driver had $50,000 in liability coverage and you had $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, you would only be able to collect up to $50,000 from your underinsured coverage.

How the Law Changed in July 2023

The recent change to Virginia's underinsured auto insurance law significantly benefits car accident victims. When making an underinsured claim, the coverage will be paid without an offset for the negligent motorist's insurance liability coverage unless the insured specifically opts out of this coverage. This means that if you have $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, you can potentially receive $100,000 regardless of the at-fault driver's liability coverage.

How This Revision to Underinsured Auto Insurance Coverage Helps Car Accident Victims

The change to Virginia's underinsured auto insurance law provides crucial protection and assistance to car accident victims in several ways:

  • Full coverage utilization. Car crash victims can now fully utilize their underinsured motorist coverage without it being reduced by the at-fault driver's liability coverage. This ensures they have access to the full extent of their policy limits to cover their damages.
  • Increased compensation. With the removal of the offset requirement, car accident victims may be eligible for higher compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses. This change can make a substantial difference in the overall financial recovery of the victim.
  • Financial security. The enhanced underinsured motorist coverage provides an added layer of financial security to auto collision victims. It helps ensure they have the necessary resources to cover their expenses and recover from the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the crash.
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