If you were in a car accident and the at-fault driver has inadequate insurance to cover all your damages, you might feel stuck and like you must cover the costs. Know that you have options. Uninsured motorist insurance is an excellent tool in these situations, but you can still file a claim to receive compensation if you don't have it.
You can file a claim with your own insurance company. It is crucial to note that insurance companies can't raise your premiums as it's against the law in case of an accident where an uninsured driver is at fault. You could also potentially file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Uninsured motorist insurance is a type of insurance that protects you when hit by an uninsured motorist. Uninsured motorist coverage can be included in auto insurance policies. It does not automatically grant protection from every uninsured driver.
Your state's laws determine which types of vehicles are considered uninsured. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your injuries caused by these uninsured motorists. It also protects against lawsuits filed against you by the owners of these uninsured vehicles.
How does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?
The purpose of uninsured motorist coverage is to provide compensation for bodily injury or death suffered by the insured when driving on public roads.
Uninsured motorist coverage also covers family members of the insured while riding in a car driven by the insured. Again, your insurance company will pay for your damages up to the policy's limits.
The basic premise behind this type of insurance is that the person responsible for causing the accident should compensate the insured for their losses. To qualify for uninsured motorist benefits, you must meet specific requirements:
- Be legally entitled to recover damages from the other driver.
- Have valid proof of ownership of your car.
- Not own the car that caused the accident.
- Be in your vehicle at the time of the accident.
- Be using the car within the permission granted by the owner with uninsured motorist insurance.
What Are Some Legal Challenges With Underinsured Motorist Cases?
Dealing with underinsured motorists after an accident is complex. Many legal challenges can arise during the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
You've got to prove the other driver didn't have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for your damages. It is important to note that there's a difference between the liability limit of the other driver's insurance policy and the total amount of injuries sustained by the victim.
The former is the minimum amount required by law to cover the other driver's property damage. The latter is the amount of money needed to pay for damages.
If the other driver has adequate insurance but only enough to cover the minimum amount required by the law, you may be able to sue them to receive more than the minimum amount.
Additionally, if the other driver was found negligent in causing the accident, they could be held liable for any additional damages incurred by the victim. It is important to remember that uninsured motorist coverage also caters to underinsured motorists. Therefore, as long as you meet all of the above criteria, you can receive compensation for your injuries caused by the uninsured or underinsured driver.
What If I Still Can't Get Enough to Cover My Damages?
In cases where the at-fault driver's insurance policy isn't sufficient to cover damages, you might get additional compensation. It is possible, especially if the underinsured driver is at fault. Under-insurance means that the driver has not paid enough money into the insurance policy to cover their responsibility if an accident happens.
If this is the situation, it is crucial to understand that the at-fault driver will pay less than the total amount of your claim. It's because they can't afford to pay out the entire amount.
In some cases, the at-fault driver's insurance company may refuse to pay out the total amount of your claim. Instead, they may offer you less than what you deserve because they think you were partially responsible for the accident. In such situations, it can be good to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in dealing with underinsured motorist claims.
Contact Dolman Law Group Today
Our team at Dolman Law Group is available to help you understand your rights. We can help you with your legal journey and fight your case for you. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let's get started.