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The answer depends on the circumstances of your accident and the personal injury lawyer you choose to help you navigate the process.
What is an Uninsured Motorist?
An uninsured motorist is usually defined as the at-fault driver who lacks sufficient auto insurance. In some cases, this means they are not covered at all. Despite there being a penalty for driving without insurance and registration in every state, it is still fairly common to find uninsured motorists on the road. The most recent data from the Insurance Research Center showed that one in eight drivers do not have insurance.
If you find yourself up against an uninsured motorist after an accident, you will want to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you proceed.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
One of the most important things to know about car insurance is the option to buy uninsured motorist coverage. This additional coverage that you can purchase offers a source of financial recovery in the event you’re involved in an accident with someone without any liability insurance or not enough coverage to cover the costs of damages.
There are two primary types of uninsured motorist coverage:
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI). This will cover any medical bills linked to the accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD). This will cover or go toward costs for any car damage.
This should be all the protection you need against uninsured drivers, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple. With uninsured motorist coverage, you are making a claim against your own insurance company. These companies will often do anything possible to minimize their payout.
Similar to a rental car accident without insurance, filing a claim against your own insurance company is tricky. It requires the knowledge of a lawyer who specializes in uninsured motorist claims to ensure you reach a proper settlement.
What Determines an Uninsured Motorist Settlement?
Every accident is different. The unique circumstances of your accident will determine the amount of recovery paid, or if any will be paid out at all.
The determining factors for this include:
- Who is at fault? To make a claim on your policy, you cannot be found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident. That means that if fault is legally shared between you and another driver, it will impact your ability to receive funds because your insurance company may work to prove you are actually more liable than they are.
- Who was involved in the accident? It is critical to look at the fine print of your policy. It should specify what drivers are covered and when under your state’s specific insurance laws. For example, some policies will only cover you, no matter if you gave permission to someone else to drive your vehicle. That means that if you let your roommate borrow your car and they are in an accident with an uninsured motorist, your insurance might use this as a technicality to not cover the damage or their injuries.
- Do you have other coverages? If you have other insurance policies that cover similar damages, such as personal injury protection (PIP), that will impact the payout from your uninsured motorist claim. In cases like this, the insurance company will deduct the amount of coverage you received under other policies first.
Should You Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident if the Other Driver is Uninsured?
If you’re in an accident caused by another driver, you have the right to be compensated for any physical, emotional or financial damages you incur–even if the other person behind the wheel doesn’t have insurance. You want to rely on the expertise of a personal injury lawyer to make sure you receive the car accident settlement you deserve.
Look no further than Avrek Law. With more than 50 years of combined experience resolving cases in favor of clients who were wrongfully injured, we can help find the answer to all of your questions, including: “How much can I get from an uninsured motorist claim?” Avrek Law has recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for injury victims in more than 45,000 cases. Contact us for your free consultation to learn more!