Kentucky requires all motorists to carry auto insurance that includes liability, meaning the company will pay for injuries and damage done by its customer.

But a disturbing number of Kentuckians break the law by driving without any insurance, or without liability insurance, or with policies that often don’t cover enough. What happens if you’re involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist?

Legally insured can still mean underinsured

If a motorist doesn’t buy insurance, not only is there no insurance company to pay for your injuries or damages, the motorist almost certainly doesn’t have enough money to pay you out of pocket.

Even if they do have the required insurance, it may not be enough. Kentucky law sets minimum requirements for car insurance. A plan must have a maximum payout of at least $25,000 for each person their customer hurts in the accident, up to $50,000 for all the injuries they cause. The law also requires a maximum payout of at least $10,000 for all property damage as a result of the accident.

But medical bills of much more than $25,000 are common for car accident injuries. With two or three passengers along with you, a total coverage of $50,000 can seem like next to nothing.

Luckily, insurance companies in Kentucky must include uninsured motorist coverage in your car insurance, so that you’re covered even if you’re hit by someone breaking the law by not having insurance. However, you’re given the choice of waiving uninsured motorist insurance, and many people take the waiver to save money on their monthly bill.

You have options, even in a bad situation

When you’re dealing with state law and large insurance companies, it’s tempting to feel the outcome is fixed from the start. But you do have options.

First, notify your insurer as soon as possible after an accident. But remember they have a motive to deny or low-ball their cost for your accident, regardless of what coverage you have or don’t have. When you think you’ve found yourself in this trap, seriously consider seeking advice from a qualified attorney.

Legal counsel can consider the details of your case, determine what facts are missing and how to get them, help you determine the true value of your damages and injuries, and map out a strategy for getting what you’re owed.