It can be physically debilitating, emotionally stressful, and financially draining to sustain an injury due to another driver’s negligence. Even determining with absolute clarity who caused the accident might be difficult, but it’s essential to making a financial recovery from your losses stemming from an accident that occurred due to the negligence of another. The sooner you contact an auto accident attorney, even if you never need to file a lawsuit, the sooner you can discover your legal options. In addition, knowing your rights will enable you to defend yourself against your own insurance company and make the process of recovering from an accident that wasn’t your fault as easy as possible.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) can protect you in the event you are involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured. In fact, in Missouri, uninsured motorist coverage is required by law. Part of the extra coverage you are provided is to safeguard you if a driver hits you with insufficient or no insurance. If you are hurt in a crash by someone with no liability insurance or insufficient coverage to pay for your damages, UIM can give you a means of financial recovery for your property loss and medical expenses. In Missouri, you will require UM Bodily Injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Although they are sometimes combined, uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance is separate. When a negligent driver without insurance causes an accident, uninsured motorist coverage pays up. Underinsured motorist coverage steps in when a careless driver has some insurance but not enough to pay all costs. If you or anyone in your automobile is injured, the costs of the injuries are covered by UMBI, (Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage.) Thanks to UMPD (Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Property Damage), your property will be repaired or replaced.
After the accident, you should contact your insurance provider to file an uninsured driver claim. You must report being hit. A lawyer can help you decide if filing an uninsured motorist claim is your best option for recovery. You should contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as you start to believe the other driver is not carrying insurance following your accident. Send a copy of your UIM policy to your attorney as soon as feasible so they may analyze any fine print. You don’t need to worry about looking into the case yourself or being assured of the level of coverage — if any — any at-fault drivers have because some UIM policies have stringent filing deadlines. Considering that your insurance company is responsible for your UIM claim, this can spur them to pursue the other carrier or driver.
Your UIM claim will be handled the same way as any other. They will examine the incident, question witnesses, review the medical files, and make a settlement offer. You and your attorney will file a lawsuit for fair compensation if the insurance company does not offer a fair amount.
The specifics of your collision will influence how much compensation is awarded in an uninsured driver claim, if any compensation is available, and how much. Your claim will be evaluated using the following questions:
● Who is to blame? You cannot file a claim under your UIM policy if you are more than 50% responsible for the collision. Your insurance company may attempt to show that you are actually more responsible than you are if the fault is legally shared, which will affect your capacity to collect insurance benefits.
● Who took part in the incident? Your policy will outline which drivers and when state insurance rules protect them. As long as they are not excluded, under some policies, that may be just you or you and your family. In addition, some insurance will provide coverage for any authorized user of your insured car. This means that your insurance may not pay for the damage or their injuries if your roommate borrowed your car without your knowledge – whether or not you would have objected.
● Was the coverage refused correctly? According to Missouri courts, you can obtain compensation under these coverages if your insurance carrier has not submitted correct documentation reflecting your clear rejection of UIM.
● Do you have additional insurance? Some injured drivers have alternative insurance coverage, such as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, that may provide coverage for the same types of losses as UIM policies. In these situations, your UIM will be reduced by the amount of coverage you obtained under other policies, which the insurance provider will subtract first.
How well-prepared you are will determine your chances of successfully maximizing your reimbursement through a UIM claim. Insurance companies are aware of the high expenses of medical care associated with significant injuries, but that does not mean they are in the business of making huge payouts. On the contrary, insurance companies will make every effort to reduce their payout because that is how they turn a profit.
Uninsured motorist coverage awards that are unsuccessful or insufficient may put some injured drivers in a challenging situation. Before taking any action, you should be aware of the unique restrictions regarding UIM claims:
● Without first consulting your lawyer, avoid reaching a settlement with the at-fault driver.
● Remember that if you accept the lowball settlement offer from your insurance provider, your legal alternatives may be restricted.
● You should always consult a lawyer before submitting a claim due to the difficulties in recovering damages in any accident case, particularly with UIM.
● You should never provide your insurance company with a recorded statement without understanding your legal choices.
● You shouldn’t turn to UIM as a quick means to acquire appropriate compensation for the extent of your damages because it is not intended to enhance at-fault drivers’ payout to you when your damages exceed their policy maximum.
If another driver hits you, uninsured motorist auto insurance might be a useful tool. Whether you choose to have Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, represent you, our goal is to inform the St. Louis community on liability, fault, and insurance issues. We want you to be aware of your options following an injury and the best ways to safeguard yourself going forward. Get in touch with us for a free case consultation and details on your legal options following a car accident. Call (314) 888-1000 today or contact us online.
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