Over the years I have had to tell dozens of my personal injury clients that their medical bills far exceed the at-fault drivers' auto insurance policy limits. In those situations, as their attorney I will search for additional coverage, review the tortfeasor's personal assets and if possible, negotiate with the healthcare providers to reduce their costs, but there is a much more simple answer... UIM!
UIM stands for UnderInsured Motorist Coverage and it can protect you from the negligence of others. Why is this important? Suppose you are hit by a drunk driver and spend 2 weeks in the hospital, needing surgery, physical therapy and a course of medication. Your medical bills will easily be tens of thousands of dollars. Todays auto insurance minimum limits in South Carolina are $25K per person/$50K per accident for personal injury. But regardless of how much, or how little, coverage the at-fault driver has, you are still responsible to the Hospital. If the auto coverage is not sufficient, you are still responsible for the rest, and statistics show that a huge percentage of bankruptcies are now caused by healthcare bills.
In addition, Healthcare insurance may not cover this type of claim (check your healthcare policy) and even if it does, your healthcare insurance will most likely provide nothing for property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, bodily impairment and other such claims that are the responsibility of the at fault party in South Carolina.
This is where UIM comes into play. UIM is relatively cheap and pays for the damages which surpass the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver. Although there are certain requirments about the amount of coverage you can obtain, you should consult a trusted insurance agent to maximize this coverage. An additional $100K or even $500K of coverage is often much more affordable than you think and the access to that coverage can make an enormous.
Do not expect the other driver to be looking out for your interests...get UIM coverage today.