Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists
A shockingly high number of drivers on the road are skirting the law by failing to get the proper insurance coverage for their vehicles. Any car accident attorney will tell you that many of their clients are unfortunate victims of uninsured or underinsured motorists.
When these irresponsible drivers get into car accidents, they are far more likely to flee to avoid paying for the crime. But leaving the scene of an accident, no matter how minor it seems, is illegal.
Though it may still be difficult to identify a hit-and-run driver, victims of motorists who fled the scene may have options with a qualified car accident attorney. If the driver is caught, s/he could face criminal charges that may be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the car accident. They may also be subject to civil action by victims who have hired a hit-and-run accident lawyer known for getting favorable results.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE IN A CAR ACCIDENT WITH AN UNINSURED DRIVER
In other cases, uninsured or underinsured motorists may stay at the scene but will attempt to resolve the situation in one of two risky ways:
- They may be carrying a forged or expired insurance policy to make it seem like they are covered, but in reality they have no policy that will cover the costs of the property damage and injuries. Make sure to take note of all details of any insurance policy you are shown at the scene of an accident, including the expiration date on the card.
- They may try to convince the victim to settle the costs outside of legal or law enforcement system. If a driver tries to offer you payment on the condition that you don’t contact the insurance company or police, it’s a huge warning sign! Don’t agree to any backroom deals; instead of getting reimbursed, you are likely to find the driver has disappeared without a trace once the bill arrives.
If you are facing financial burdens in the wake of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you need a car accident attorney who will exhaust all possible options when it comes to your recovery. Don’t get saddled with expensive car repairs or costly medical bills. By hiring an attorney with experience going after uninsured or underinsured motorist, you’ll have a much better chance of getting a favorable settlement and avoiding financial risk.
There are ways to protect yourself from ever getting into a car accident with an uninsured driver. One thing careful drivers might consider is adding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to your insurance policy – the small increase in your monthly premiums may be worth your peace of mind.
These types of policies will typically reimburse victims for their medical costs, missed time and work and repair bills. Most insurance providers offer policies that can also be adjusted for income levels – in other words, people in the family with high-paying jobs may get a higher payout if they have to lose out on time at work.
Another way to protect yourself is to always be vigilant and to carry a camera, smartphone or pad and pencil each time you drive. Why? You can use these tools if you get hit to immediately record the license plate of the other vehicle to prevent your chances of being in a hit-and-run. This is a good first step to take after any type of car accident, if you are not too incapacitated to do so.
But unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can still happen with devastating results. In these cases, you’re going to need a qualified car accident attorney who knows how to explore other options when insurance coverage isn’t enough for your recovery.
If the driver at fault has no insurance policy or an inadequate insurance policy that won’t cover the victim’s cost, other avenues for recovery must be examined. This could include determining if the owner of the car should be held responsible, if the driver has personal assets that could be used to pay for the victim’s costs and more.
A car accident attorney experienced in casework with uninsured or underinsured motorists can help victims review their options when they need to locate a hit-and-run driver, find a source for recovery or other resources. By tracking down witnesses, reviewing medical records and working with police, a qualified car accident attorney can help victims from having to pay enormous costs after crashes caused by irresponsible drivers.