Month: February 2016

Uninsured Motorist Accidents – When and How to Seek Legal Help

When a car accident occurs, getting as much information as possible from the at-fault driver is essential. This includes contact and vehicle information. Ideally, the at-fault driver will have liability insurance to cover crash-related expenses. However, in some cases, the driver will only have insurance or bare minimum coverage that covers all accident-related costs.

Determine Your Timeline

Getting into a car accident is stressful enough without worrying that the at-fault driver doesn't have the money to cover your damages. Fortunately, there is a solution. An experienced car accident attorney can help you file a UM/UIM claim with your insurance company to get the necessary compensation. This process involves requesting records from your employer and other financial institutions to establish the amount of your total losses. It also includes evaluating medical data to determine the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. When pursuing compensation after an accident with an uninsured motorist, the process is different from a traditional car accident claim. In this case, you must prove certain elements, such as the other driver's duty of care towards you, which they breached, leading to your damages. It's recommended to hire a lawyer to help you gather evidence, such as witness testimony and photos, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They can also fight any attempts to limit your coverage.

Gather Evidence

Although all drivers are legally required to carry minimum liability car insurance, statistics show that many motorists do not have the coverage necessary to cover an accident. As such, many drivers are left in the lurch when hit by uninsured drivers. To protect yourself and your family, talk to a car accident lawyer about obtaining additional coverage through uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM). This proactive coverage usually adds only a tiny cost to an auto policy but can significantly increase your compensation for medical support and property damage. It also allows your insurance company to seek reimbursement from anyone responsible for a covered loss, including an uninsured driver. To file a UM/UIM claim, you will file a supplemental claim with your insurance company—effectively making the company stand in as the at-fault driver's insurer for your losses. To support your claim, you must collect information about the crash, such as the other driver's name, address, and vehicle registration number. You should also gather contact information from eyewitnesses and take photos of any physical evidence at the scene, such as skid marks or a dent in your vehicle.

File a Claim

When an uninsured driver hits you, you file a claim through your insurance company. You must provide documentation of your expenses, including medical bills and lost earnings, and a detailed account of what happened.

Your insurance provider will reimburse you for damages up to your UM/UIM coverage limits. They will also investigate the uninsured driver and their vehicle to see if they have any assets that can be used to pay your claim. No matter how tempting it may seem, you should never accept money from an uninsured driver. If you do, you could give the uninsured driver a reason to sue you for additional damages. Let your insurer know about the accident immediately, as some policies have a 30-day deadline for filing claims. A quick response from your insurance provider will increase your odds of a successful uninsured motorist claim.

Contact an Attorney

If you get into a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it is vital to know your legal options. Contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately. Most drivers must have insurance, but sometimes, people try to save by buying the minimum coverage amounts, especially in financial stress. If a person's negligence causes damage to their car, their insurance company will have to pay for it. In such a situation, having a skilled attorney by one's side can be very helpful in navigating the process. If the other driver only has property damage liability limits of $10,000 and your vehicle and three other parked vehicles are damaged, that amount won't cover your losses. You can file a claim for those damages through your policy under underinsured motorist coverage (UMD) if you have high enough limits. Generally, this covers hit-and-run accidents and other situations where the driver has no insurance, or their policies' limit is too low to cover your losses