A Guide to Negotiating Your Uninsured Motorist Claim
How to effectively negotiate your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your insurance company
Accidents happen sometimes – that is why we have auto insurance! Unfortunately, not everyone has an insurance policy, or their insurance coverage is insufficient to cover your medical bills or property damage after an accident. In these cases, your insurance policy may have underinsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist coverage.
What is uninsured or underinsured coverage?
This coverage provides additional protection if you are in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. If a driver has no liability insurance, or if they flee the scene of a crash, you will usually have an “uninsured motorist” claim. When an at-fault party’s insurance policy isn’t sufficient to cover your losses, you may have an “underinsured motorist claim” through your own policy. As a car accident victim, you can use this protection to cover the difference between what your claim is worth and what the other driver’s insurance can pay (if they have coverage at all). This type of coverage can also apply during a hit-and-run accident because you are unsure who the driver was that caused damage to your vehicle or caused bodily injury to you or your passengers.
You can check out the Insurance Information Institute’s article Protect Yourself Against Uninsured Motorists for more information about this type of coverage.
Wouldn’t my insurance company just pay my claim?
In a perfect world, your insurance company would simply pay the difference between the value of your claim and what the other insurance company pays. Unfortunately, insurance companies generally look to protect their bottom lines rather than paying you what you deserve. Often when you ask your insurance company to help pay for an injury or property damage claim using this extra coverage, they may try to pay as little as possible because they want to minimize what they have to pay. In some cases, they do this through offering a lowball settlement offer as a lump sum for below what your claim is actually worth; in other cases, insurance adjusters may resist paying for medical bills or other damages that they claim are unnecessary or unrelated to an insurance claim even if they a result of your accident.
How do I make a UM or UIM claim?
Depending on the jurisdiction of where the collision occurred and/or where your auto policy was written, you may have specific notice requirements or obligations to gain access to your UM/UIM policy. These requirements can be extremely technical. Therefore, to preserve your rights, you should not accept any sort of offer or resolution from the “third party” (at-fault) insurance company without consulting with an attorney to ensure your rights under your UM/UIM policy are protected.
How do I get fairly compensated for my personal injury claim from my insurance company?
If you are filing a claim for underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage with your insurance carrier, it is important that you take steps to ensure you are paid what you are owed! Take note of your medical bills, damage to your vehicle, lost wages from work, and other expenses incurred due to medical treatment and the accident. Once you ascertain what the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier owes you, you should be entitled to the full amount of that difference, and you are under no obligation to accept a settlement offer that you do not think is fair.
Speak with us for a free consultation
If you have a sizable claim, your insurance company is denying you fair compensation, or you are involved in an accident with an entirely uninsured driver, you should speak with a law firm or personal injury attorney that knows how to represent drivers seeking compensation after an auto accident because they can protect your interests. At Dross Berman, we work hard to give you the best legal advice to navigate your claim by reviewing your damages, medical records, and bills and understanding your policy limits and the intricacies of all applicable auto insurance policies. Then we get to work on getting you a fair settlement! Contact us today for a free consultation on your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.