What To Do If You’re In An Accident With Someone Who Has No Insurance Or Is Underinsured
Car accidents happen every day. In most cases, No-Fault insurance is your primary resource for medical expenses and lost wages. With a personal injury attorney representing you, you may also be able to recover for the pain and suffering and any medical bills and lost wages not covered by No-Fault. Unfortunately, in some cases, the at-fault party may not have insurance or have inadequate insurance. On average, 1 in every 8 drivers is uninsured. And many simply don’t have an insurance policy that is large enough to cover your damages. A serious injury in this case can leave your financial status in shambles. But there are ways to recover additional compensation.
Recovering Damages From Your Own Supplemental Underinsured Motorist/Uninsured Coverage (UM/UIM Coverage)
We’ve discussed how important UM/UIM coverage is in a previous article. If the at-fault driver in your accident has no insurance or has an insurance policy that will not fully cover your damages, you can then make a claim against your own insurance company for compensation through your UM/UIM coverage (Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage). By New York State law, it is required that all auto insurance policies have a minimum Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage of $25,000. Many insurance brokers may not discuss how important additional UM/UIM coverage is because they don’t want to lose commission on a sale. They may feel that their clients simply don’t understand what UM/UIM coverage is, and so they don’t want to explain why they should factor in more than the state’s required minimum into their premium. But in reality, your monthly premium won’t become that much higher. And it will protect you and/or your family should you ever find yourself in either of these scenarios. It’s worth it to consider purchasing additional UM/UIM for extra protection. However, you will likely require a personal injury attorney to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to from your UM/UIM coverage.
Why You Need A Personal Injury Attorney
Your insurance company will try to downplay your injury or place liability on your end in order to pay out less compensation. Just because they are your insurance company, and you pay them for UM/UIM coverage, does not mean they’re on your side. In the instance that you must recover from your UM/UIM coverage, an insurance adjuster will likely call or approach you to ask you questions regarding both your injuries and your accident. They’re trained to elicit information that may be damaging to your case. They may then use these answers against you in order to downplay your claim. It’s better you don’t answer any questions and simply refer them directly to your personal injury attorney.
Your insurance carrier will essentially act as a defendant in this type of scenario, attempting to abate or fully deny the compensation you’re entitled to. Your personal injury attorney will protect your claim and resolve this dispute in arbitration. This is why it’s so crucial to retain a personal injury attorney if you’re ever in an accident with an individual who is uninsured or underinsured.