An estimated twenty-two percent of Alabama drivers have no automobile insurance to pay for any injuries or damages they cause from a car accident, despite the fact that it is illegal to drive a vehicle in Alabama without automobile insurance.
As of January 1, 2013,Alabama law enforcement has a new Online Insurance Verification System (OIVS) to help catch these uninsured motorists. The system allows police officers to immediately identify vehicles that do not have active automobile insurance. Police no longer have to pull drivers over to determine whether they have automobile insurance. They can verify insurance coverage immediately by searching the vehicle’s license plate from the comfort of their police cruisers.
While it is nice to see technology helping Alabama law enforcement crack down on uninsured drivers, the best way to protect yourself from an uninsured motorist is by making sure your own automobile insurance policy has uninsured motorist insurance coverage, or “UM” coverage. UM insurance is an optional insurance that many drivers regrettably fail to purchase because it is not required by law. However, while other insurance coverages provide compensation to others for injuries you cause them in an accident, UM insurance is the only automobile insurance coverage available to compensate you or your family members for damages in the unfortunate event you or a member of your family are the victim of an uninsured driver. UM insurance covers you not only for injuries and damages caused by a driver who fails to carry active automobile insurance, but it also helps protect you in the event your injuries and damages caused by a negligent driver exceed the $25,000 in bodily injury insurance usually carried by those drivers who do comply with the minimum automobile insurance requirements of Alabama law.
At the law firm of Michles & Booth, four of our lawyers licensed to practice law in the state of Alabama: Rainey Booth, Chris Janes, Kevin Hausfeld, and Adrian Bridges. If you are the victim of an automobile accident and have questions regarding your legal rights or applicable insurance coverage, call us at (800) 848-6168 for a free consultation. Don’t be a victim twice.