Suppose you get into a car accident that another driver caused, and they don't have enough insurance to cover damages. In that case, you may need to file a claim through your car insurance policy's uninsured or underinsured motorist provisions.
As a personal injury attorney who has been working on car accident victims for more than 10 years, in this article, I will explain what these coverage options are and how they can help you if the other driver involved in the auto accident doesn't have enough insurance to cover all of your damages.
- You can claim compensation from your own insurance policy through the uninsured and underinsured motorist provisions if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.
- Uninsured motorist coverage provides financial protection for drivers in a crash with uninsured drivers.
- If an uninsured driver hits you, you should contact your auto insurance company, see a doctor, report the accident to the police, gather evidence, and consider hiring an attorney to manage your case.
What If The Other Driver Is Underinsured Or Uninsured?
If the other driver is underinsured or uninsured, you may be able to claim compensation from your own car insurance policy through the uninsured and underinsured motorist provisions.
If you are dealing with an uninsured motorist, auto insurance coverage can compensate for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering resulting from a collision with an uninsured driver.
In contrast, underinsured motorist coverage is designed to supplement the other driver's insurance when it doesn't cover all your damages.
Certain states provide uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is an insurance policy that will compensate for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering resulting from a collision with an uninsured driver .
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to provide financial protection in a crash with a driver who is at fault and does not have insurance.
This coverage can help you get compensated for your losses related to the accident, including injuries.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist coverage is an insurance policy that compensates for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering from a collision with an underinsured driver .
This coverage is designed to protect drivers in case of an accident with someone who doesn't have sufficient liability protection.
Underinsured motorist coverage works similarly to uninsured motorist coverage.
Still, it provides additional protection if the at-fault driver has some insurance coverage but not enough to pay for all your losses.
This coverage will kick in when the at-fault party's liability limit is exceeded and provide compensation up to the policyholder's underinsured motorist coverage limits.
Underinsured motorist collision coverage exists to cover the difference between the money you owe for bodily injury-related losses in a car accident and the maximum amount that the at-fault driver's liability coverage can offer.
If you are in a car accident and your medical bills and other bodily injury-related losses amount to $30,000, the at-fault driver's liability insurance policy only covers up to $20,000.
The at-fault driver is considered underinsured in your claim.
In this case, you would need to file an underinsured motorist claim using your auto insurance policy.
Related Article: How То Get More Than Policy Limits?
"The good thing is that injured individuals might still be able to recover damages in case they carry Uninsured Motorists' insurance. This type of insurance that is regularly cheap can pay medical bills and property damage in the event of a hit-and-run accident."
- Sean M. Cleary, Personal Injury Lawyer at The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary.
What Should I Do If an Uninsured Driver hits me?
If an uninsured driver hits you, you should contact your insurance company. Depending on your state, they may offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UMC) that provides compensation if you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Other steps you can do include:
- See a Doctor: It's important to promptly seek medical attention for your injuries. Visiting a doctor can help prevent complications and ensure your injuries receive proper treatment.
- Report the Accident: You should immediately call the police to report the accident. They will dispatch an officer to investigate and create a report. If the driver involved is uninsured, they may try to run away to evade the police, so it is essential to call them.
- Gather Evidence: To strengthen your case, capture images of your property damage and injuries, record your recollections of the accident, and gather pertinent information.
- File Personal Injury Lawsuit: If the compensation you receive from your insurance policy or the police is insufficient to cover all your expenses, you may consider legal action unless you have uninsured motorist coverage by filing out a personal injury lawsuit.
How Do I Start the Insurance Claim?
To start the insurance claim, you must report the accident to your own insurance company.
First, you need to gather some basic information about the accident, such as the other driver's insurance status.
If you must use your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company can guide you through the available options.
Filing an uninsured motorist claim after a car accident is a simple process.
The responsible driver either has insurance or not.
Your insurance company will start the claim, investigate the accident, gather and review your medical records and other evidence, and try to determine the monetary value of your claim.
The duration of your recovery depends on the extent of your injuries, ranging from a few weeks to six months or more.
As mentioned earlier, to file for an underinsured motorist claim, you must assess all the losses related to your car accident injury and compare it with the at-fault driver's coverage.
Additionally, you need to obtain the maximum collision coverage from the driver's liability insurance before your own insurance considers your UIM claim .
This can be done through a settlement with car accident insurance.
- Accident With Someone Else’s Car
- Is Hitting Road Debris an At-Fault Accident?
- What If Someone Else Is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident?
If you have been affected by any of these matters, feel free to contact a personal defense attorney that can help.
What To Do If You Don't Have Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
If you don't have underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage and are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be responsible for paying for your damages and injuries by yourself.
What Happens If An Underinsured Driver Hits Me?
If an underinsured driver hits you, their insurance may not cover the full extent of your damages and injuries. In such a case, you can file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
What To Do If An Uninsured Driver Hits You?
If an uninsured driver hits you, it is recommended to contact the police and exchange information with the driver. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Additionally, remember to take photos of the accident scene and collect any witness statements.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney Today
Being involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can be a financially and emotionally draining experience. However, by taking the appropriate steps and seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can protect your rights and interests and secure the compensation you deserve.
At Schmidt & Clark, LLP our team of skilled personal injury lawyers has the expertise and knowledge to handle cases involving uninsured and underinsured drivers. We understand the complexities of these cases and work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve.