Have You Had a Run In With An Uninsured Motorist?
Anyone who owns or operates a vehicle knows how important insurance is, and is probably familiar with the requirements that mandate certain amounts of coverage in their particular state. These rules were put into effect to help protect innocent victims from experiencing devastating financial losses should they become affected by a person who does not have proper insurance coverage. While good in theory, insurance laws still have a number of loopholes that people are able to utilize, which results in serious consequences for many people on a yearly basis.
Today, even with strict insurance laws in place, it is estimated that more than sixty million people in the United States are still either underinsured or completely uninsured. While many people are blaming not having adequate coverage, and the minimum amount of coverage required by law on the economy and monetary reasons, the truth is, this issue is one that has been around for years. That being said, the down turn in the economy in recent years has only perpetuated this issue, and has led to higher numbers of motorists taking the gamble of not being caught by dropping their coverage.
An uninsured or underinsured motorist can make things quite difficult should you find yourself in an accident. Whether the accident involves a personal car, truck, or other type of motor vehicle, if you find yourself involved with a person without adequate coverage you are the one left holding the bag for all of your damages, including medical expenses. This is the case even when the accident is not your fault. The result can be extremely expensive and lead to big problems that can be devastating.
One way to help protect yourself is to purchase extra insurance yourself, which is commonly referred to as uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. The laws surrounding this type of coverage do vary a bit from state to state, but essentially it allows you to purchase a particular level of protection from your own insurance company for any damages or medical expenses that may be in excess of the amount that you can recover from the motorist who is uninsured or underinsured.
Should you find yourself in the position of needing to execute this line of coverage, a claim against your own insurance company is filed, using your own policy, for the precise type of damage you would needed to recover. This is done much the same way it would be done if you were to seek compensation from the other motorist’s insurance policy, and covers damages such as property damages, medical bills, and lost wages.
Because insurance companies are notorious for making processes difficult and drawn out, utilizing this coverage is not as easy as you may think. Even if a claim is eventually paid, insurance companies may choose to cancel your policy which can make getting insurance in the future quite difficult. This only adds insult to injury should the accident not be your fault in the first place. In any case that damage has been done because of an accident, especially one that involves an uninsured or underinsured motorist and will require the use of your own insurance policy; it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she is quite skilled with dealing with insurance companies and can walk you through every step of the process.
If you decide to take the risk yourself and not purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your personal policy, you are taking a gamble that can be truly devastating should you have an accident. Many people believe they can waive this option as long as they drive in a very cautious manner. They believe that saving this small amount yearly on their personal policy is more important than the extra level of protection this coverage provides. Unfortunately, even if you drive more carefully and do everything right on your end, you still cannot control outside forces and you cannot protect yourself from reckless or negligent driving by others that are on the roads with you on a daily basis.
If you or someone you know has been injured in any type of accident that involves an underinsured or uninsured motorist, you should not delay in contacting a personal injury attorney. The laws surrounding these types of cases do vary somewhat from state to state, and some states do not allow these claims to be settled in a court of law. Instead, they are to be dealt with through mandatory arbitration and must be settled based upon policy provisions. Since there are also statutes of limitations that are enforced, as well as precise filing guidelines, it is never wise to try to handle these cases on your own.
A personal injury attorney who specializes in the area of uninsured and underinsured motorists can help you to find the best possible means of recovery, and can handle your claim on your behalf so that you will receive the best possible payout. These cases are often handled separately from the actual accident claim, and vary from standard accident cases. It is not uncommon for multiple petitions to be filed, one for insurance, one for injuries, and one for property damages. It may also require civil litigation and/or criminal litigation depending on the precise circumstances involved.
Personal injury attorneys often work on a contingency basis, which means that you do not have to pay anything upfront to get your claim started. This will allow you to focus on the details of your case, as well as your personal recovery without the added worry of how to pay your legal bills. This can go a long way toward making the process flow smoothly on all sides.
Insurance companies have teams of attorneys working hard on their side to protect their interests and to pay out as little as possible. Do not take the chance of becoming a victim twice. A personal injury attorney will work hard for you in order to protect your future, and get you the compensation you truly deserve.