When drivers use the roadways without insurance, they put others at immediate risk. Yes, there are always careful drivers as well as reckless drivers. However, driving without insurance means that you could become involved in an accident at any time and risk the other driver having to pay for their own damages. This is why there are penalties for those who drive without insurance, such as having your license suspended, receiving a high traffic ticket, and increased future premiums for car insurance.
Legal penalties are something to worry about, this much is true. However, there are other costs you may have to worry about as well. If you cause damage or injury to yourself, you run the risk of having to pay for everything out of pocket. This is a scary thought because medical bills and property bills can rack up a lot of money. The other driver could choose to sue you for damages, which could also put you in the hole. And say you don’t have the money to cover these costs – this means that your assets could be taken, including your home. This is why it is always in your best interest to take a look at your current situation and choose the legal route of driving with insurance coverage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Driver Coverage
If you happen to be somebody who is hit by a driver who doesn’t carry insurance, then you will use your uninsured motorist coverage. In these situations, you will not typically choose to sue due to the fact that the driver probably doesn’t have much in means of compensating you anyway. In these situations, you will make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limit of your uninsured driver coverage.
However, you may choose to go the option of underinsured driver coverage. This is for when you are hit by a driver and the accident is deemed to be the driver’s fault even though they do not carry sufficient car insurance. When this happens, you make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limit of your underinsured motorist coverage, but only if your coverage is greater than the negligent driver’s policy limits. You should note, however, that uninsured and underinsured coverages cannot exceed the amount of your primary coverage. These types of insurances are very cheap in comparison to regular liability coverage, so insurers do not want you to “load up on it” so to say.
How Do Claims Work That Involve Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers?
You should file a claim as soon as possible when you have been hit by a driver without insurance. The deadline is about 30 days, so you should act as quickly as possible. For this part of the process, you will want to get sufficient medical treatment if it is needed, as well as speak to a trusted attorney. When you or your lawyer believes that your case is worth more than the defendant’s coverage (if they have any), you must inform your insurer so that they can make a claim. This will consist of a pretrial investigation, disclosure of your medical records, and depositions of witnesses. You must always keep in min that, if you and your insurer cannot agree on a settlement figure, then you will not be able to file a lawsuit against your insurer.
You will need to then submit your claim to binding arbitration. This is a more informal procedure than a court trial. It consists of a hearing in front of an arbitrator, and they will then decide who wins the trial. The losing side in an arbitration meeting has very limited rights of appeal, so you should make sure you have all the evidence you need against the uninsured driver.
As mentioned previously, you should always have a trusted attorney on your side when dealing with anything even remotely legal-related. When it comes to uninsured drivers, a lawyer can be there for you since day one. Call Welebir | Tierney today to talk to a lawyer that will understand your case and answer all your questions. Find out more today.
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