When you suffer injuries in a car accident,the hospital bills may run into millions of dollars in addition to loss of income during the recuperation period. Normally, the insurance company covering the driver at fault meets the compensation costs. However, there are instances when the driver’s insurance cover is insufficient or does not exist at all.
Given that there are millions of such drivers on our roads, how do you ensure you are compensated for your injuries or losses in such an instance?
What Are My Options?
If you have been injured by an uninsured driver, a car accident lawyer will explain your options and which one will ensure maximum compensation. Two options exist:
- A claim can be made under your uninsured motorist coverage.
- You can file a lawsuit against the driver.
Let us have a brief look at the above options.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
An uninsured motorist coverage is a provision in your auto policy that provides insurance cover in a number of instances:
- Injury or loss resulting from a hit and run accident
- Denial of claim by the at fault driver’s insurance company
- Lack of or inadequate insurance coverage by the at fault driver
Depending on your state, your auto insurance cover comes with an uninsured motorist coverage in case you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. It is mandatory in some states while in others, the insurance companies only give drivers that option.
To claim compensation under the uninsured motorist provisions, you have to file a claim with your insurer, and since it is not an automatic coverage, your company can deny your claim based on some circumstances.
It is important to contact your lawyer about whether your policy contains the uninsured motorist coverage. As business entities, insurance companies may look for reasons to minimize your claim. An attorney will guide you on the steps to follow as you go through the claims process, which will likely increase your chances of meaningful compensation. Besides, there might be other forms of coverage available for you in your policy that your lawyer may trigger.
What if My Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is Not Enough?
Sometimes, the claims processed from the cover may be insufficient to settle medical expenses or meet your losses. If your uninsured motorist cover is not enough, it is time to explore the second option. Since it involves litigation, your attorney will come in handy to advise you on the course of legal action you should take.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver.
This is usually the last option on the table since you can’t expect much from an individual without insurance. It is very likely that the uninsured driver doesn’t have the money to fully compensate you, even if your case is successful.
The judge may opt to phase the payments and the periodic amounts might be too meager to make a difference. Your lawyer will advise you if this is a viable course of action.
However, if you think the uninsured driver has the resources to compensate you, your attorney will conduct a credit and asset assessment. When there is proof that he owns some assets, the claim for compensation process will involve freezing the defendant’s accounts to prevent the transfer or hiding of the assets during the lawsuit and compensation may be coming your way.
In conclusion, if you were injured by an uninsured driver, you are entitled to, and should receive compensation. While this depends on a number of factors, a reputable car accident lawyer will ensure you are properly indemnified