After any car accident, it can help to get advice from an experienced car accident attorney. One type of claim that many people don’t realize an attorney can help with is an uninsured motorist (UM) claim. These types of accidents are incredibly common and can leave you with major injuries and property damages. Therefore, it’s important to do what you can to get maximum compensation for your case. Hiring an attorney can help you fight for fair compensation after you’re hit by an uninsured driver. In this article, we’ll go over why you should consider hiring a car accident attorney for a UM case.
Why Hire a Car Accident Attorney for an Uninsured Motorist Insurance Claim?
In a car accident, usually you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. However, if that person doesn’t have auto insurance coverage, then you might have to file an uninsured motorist claim. This is a type of insurance claim you file with your own insurance company if you have that type of coverage in your policy.
This might seem like a much easier process than fighting against the at-fault driver’s insurance. After all, they’re your insurance company, so they’re there to help you, right? Well, unfortunately the answer is not necessarily. No matter whose insurance it is, it’s still a for-profit business. Therefore, their main goal is typically to keep claim payouts low so that they can keep profits high. As such, you might find the adjuster from your own insurance company using a lot of the same tactics you’d expect from another person’s insurance after an accident. For instance, offering low settlement amounts, delaying the process, or even trying to poke holes in your case.
Therefore, in some cases, you might need a car accident attorney for a claim with your own insurance company, like with an uninsured motorist claim. Your attorney can help fight for fair compensation from your claim and call out many of the seedy tactics an insurance adjuster might try to use against you.
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of coverage offered by auto insurance companies. In Texas, insurance companies are required to offer it, though you can decline coverage if you wish. However, it provides additional coverage where normal policies might not, like if you have an accident with a driver that doesn’t carry auto insurance or during a hit and run accident. It’s a type of coverage from your own insurance policy, so that means you’ll work with your insurance company to settle a claim instead of with someone else’s, so long as you have the coverage when the accident occurs.
What to Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
The steps you take after an accident with an uninsured driver are generally the same as the ones you should take after any car accident. Here are some things to do if you’re able after an accident:
- Make sure everyone is okay. If not, call 911 for medical help.
- Contact the police to investigate and create a police report.
- Get information from the driver. Even if they don’t have insurance information to provide you, still get their name, contact information, and vehicle information.
- Take pictures of the accident scene.
- Talk to witnesses and get their contact information.
- Take note of any nearby security cameras in case they caught video of your accident.
- Get medical attention if you’re hurt. It may be a good idea to get a checkup even if you don’t think you’re injured.
- Alert your insurance company of the accident. This isn’t the same as filing a claim.
- Talk to a car accident attorney about your case.
- File an uninsured motorist claim within the deadline.
How to File a UM Claim
Filing an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance is similar to filing any other insurance claim. There’s usually a form you need to complete with details about the accident. Nowadays, a lot of insurance companies offer this online. From there, you will also likely need to submit evidence for your case. This includes evidence that the other driver was at fault for the crash and that you have injuries and property damage from the accident. Your Houston personal injury lawyer can help you get all of this together and assist you with filing a claim.
Ways Your Car Accident Attorney Helps with Your Uninsured Motorist Claim
There are several ways that an auto accident lawyer can help you with your UM claim. Here are some services your lawyer can provide for your case:
Your Car Accident Attorney Helps You Submit Necessary Evidence for Your Claim
Gathering evidence and submitting the right kind of evidence with an insurance claim is critical for your case. It can also be pretty difficult. The average driver doesn’t have a lot of experience with insurance claims or what insurance companies need for a claim. Therefore, it can be hard to know what kinds of evidence to send their way. Your car accident attorney can help you find good evidence and send it to your adjuster to help you get compensation for your UM claim.
Your Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Determine a Fair Value for Your Case
Another important thing that your lawyer can do for your case is help you determine a fair value. This involves considering many different types of damages for your case. For instance, totalling costs for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages is a good start. However, you might also have other types of damage like pain and suffering. Your attorney can help you consider all the potential damages involved in your case and value them appropriately based on personal injury laws. Knowing this figure helps you know what a fair settlement range would look like.
Your Houston Personal Injury Lawyer Can Look at the Specifics of Your Policy
Your car accident attorney can also look at the details of your policy to help you understand what is and isn’t covered and what to expect. One key thing to understand is what policy limits exist for your uninsured motorist coverage. This will depend a lot on the policy you choose. However, usually there’s a maximum limit for UM coverage that is the same as your liability coverage. So, for example, if your liability coverage limits are the minimum $60,000 in bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage per accident, usually you can’t recover any more than that amount through your uninsured motorist coverage. Your attorney can read your policy to help you understand what limits apply for your case.
When Needed, Your Auto Accident Lawyer Can Negotiate with Your Insurance Adjuster
As we mentioned, even your own insurance company may try to get you to take a low settlement offer. In these cases, it may help to have your car accident attorney negotiate with the adjuster for you. As seasoned negotiators, they may be able to get you a better settlement offer.
Top Car Accident Attorneys at Maida Law Firm
After a car accident, call our seasoned legal team at Maida Law Firm. We offer experienced legal counsel and representation for car accident victims. Our lawyers are here to help you fight for maximum compensation for your damages and injuries. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation with our team!