As the title suggest, this is for the most part, never a good thing. However, with the right amount of planning and knowledge, you may still be able to recover for the injuries that you have suffered.
I’ve Just Been in a Car Accident and the Person At Fault May Not have Insurance or Sufficient Insurance
The first thing you need to do is seek medical treatment if you are hurt. Nothing is more important than that. Once you’ve been seen by a medical professional, you can begin to figure out what to do next. The first step would be to start looking for a qualified car accident attorney as it is almost never recommended to go up against the insurance companies alone. The next thing you’ll want to do is find your own insurance information, specifically your declaration page, which states what coverage(s) you have been paying for every month. What you will be looking for is whether you’ve been paying for Uninsured Motorist Coverage and/or Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?
Let’s assume that the person who crashed into you doesn’t have any insurance at all. Assuming you’ve been paying for Uninsured Motorist Coverage, you’ll be able to make a claim against your own insurance up to the limits that you have previously agreed to pay for. This can be as low as $15,000 and up to $1 million or more. No, this should not affect your insurance premium and you shouldn’t hesitate to proceed this way since that is exactly why you’ve been paying your monthly premium for. Depending on the severity of your injuries, this can make the world of a difference between you not being able to be compensated at all for your injuries, to having you be fully compensated, assuming you have sufficient coverage. While even your own insurance will fight you (preferably you and your attorney) every step of the way in order to pay you the least amount possible, it is important to have and pay for such coverage. No they are not on your side, not good neighbors and you’re certainly not in good hands. If you have the means, at a minimum you should carry $100,000 in coverage. This can sometimes be as low as $7 a month depending on the insurance company.
How Does Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?
Now let’s assume that the person that crashed into you only carries the minimum state legal limits of $15,000. Let’s further assume that you’ve accumulated $40,000 in medical bills and have had to endure hand surgery to fix your wrist that you broke on your steering wheel during the crash. Getting $15,000 from the other person’s insurance is in no way shape or form going to make up for what they’ve taken from you. Here is where Underinsured Motorist Coverage comes in. Hopefully you’ve planned ahead and elected and have been paying for at least $100,000 in Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Once your attorney is able to recover the $15,000 from the at-fault insurance company, your attorney will then be able to attempt to recover for you as much of the difference between $15,000 (which you have already recovered) and $100,000 (or whatever limits you’ve been paying for). Here that would $85,000 to attempt to make you whole again. As you can see, there are options for you out there, so its important to keep calm and seek out the appropriate help.
There are many pitfalls along the way and intricacies which can limit and at times prevent you from being able to recover from your own insurance despite paying for the coverage if the right steps are not taken. As such, you should seek an experienced attorney to assist you.
If you need help or have questions with regard to your recent car accident, the attorneys at Ray Padilla Law, APC will be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free. Call (619) 431-1187.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Ray Padilla Law, APC harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information.