I’m told the other side has limited or no insurance but I have a serious injury, what else can be done to help me?
Being in a situation where you have been injured, and the other party does not have insurance, can be a very tricky situation. This is a situation that happens with some frequency in automobile personal injuries. Too many drivers are under insured or uninsured, and yet they have little sympathy when they cause serious personal injury to another motorist.
When that happens, the injustice suffered by the negligence of another motorist is magnified as they are unable to meet their financial obligations they have created. Whether you were a pedestrian, or in another car, being injured by an uninsured person makes getting compensation difficult, but not impossible. Here are some steps you can follow to get justice and compensation.
How to Handle Uninsured Accident
Step 1: Call the Police
If you have been in an accident, or any type of altercation, where an injury has taken place, it is best to call the police as soon as possible. This should be done regardless, but it is even more critical if you are worried the other party may be uninsured.
It does not take long to find out the other party is uninsured. The first thing individuals do in the event of an accident, or any personal injury situation, is get each other’s insurance information. If the other party is hesitating, this likely means they do not have insurance. Have a police report made, detailing the accident/incident and how you suffered injuries. This is important because any insurance company that looks at the injuries will rely heavily on the police report to determine what happened. If there is no report, this bodes negatively on the situation.
Step 2: Contact Your Insurer
Speak with your insurance company and see what can be done about this situation. If you suffered personal injury during a car/motorcycle accident, and you have uninsured motorist coverage, then you are in luck. Remember to give full details about your injuries, the impact of those injuries, and any medical costs/lost time at work that the injuries caused.
Step 3: Speak to a Lawyer
Speaking to a lawyer early on and up front is among the most important things you can do, even ahead of speaking with any insurance company. Interestingly, the insurance companies employ quite a few tricks to to minimize their financial exposure in injury cases. They do this to their own insured’s believe it or not. They reason for this is every time they have to pay out money, they are losing money and they are not in the business of losing money; they are in the business of making money. Thus, in a UM/UIM case just as in a regular injury case, locate and speak with a lawyer first and then speak with insurance second. Do not do it the other way around because you could easily hurt your case.
Step 4: Settlement or Court
Many personal injury cases are resolved outside of court, with court being a last resort. If the other party has no insurance, chances are they will want to settle for inadequate money, in this case you contact your own carrier for full coverage of the situation. There are technical loop holes which must be followed in this situation or you could seriously harm your case.
Even when dealing with your own insurance company, they are still a for profit company and despite you being a premium paying client they will attempt to take advantage of the situation. In that light, it is good to find an aggressive lawyer that is eager to file suit on your behalf and to go to court. Many attorneys do not like to file suits or go to court, preferring quick settlement instead, so it becomes important to choose counsel wisely.
At Robinson & Associates, we have as little contact as possible with the insurance adjusters realizing that they and the companies they work for are a complete waste of time. Instead we file suit for our client on nearly every case that comes in the door and prepare to go to court. That is the only way to get the insurance companies full time attention on your matter which can then lead to a full and fair settlement of your case.