A nightmare scenario for anyone who finds themselves in a car accident; the other driver is at fault and is either uninsured or woefully underinsured. Now what do you do? In the state of California statics indicate that the chances of encountering this kind of non-insured motorist is fairly high; roughly 1 out of every 6 drivers on the road today is uninsured.
How to protect yourself from uninsured motorists
The best time to learn about a clause the insurance industry refers to as an ‘insurance policy rider’ is before you actually need it. The “Uninsured Motorist Coverage” or Rider is offered to provide coverage in accidents where the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. This coverage helps to pay for:
- Car repairs
- A replacement vehicle while the car is in the shop
- Incidental pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages
Like most insurance entitlements uninsured motorist claims can be complex, so it is important to work with an experienced attorney to help with the process. Once insured, the highlights of coverage generally include;
- Coverage can be added to a current policy
- It only covers you in an accident if you are not at fault
- You can also be covered for injuries by an uninsured motorist when incurred while walking or riding a bike
- A police report is required if the person driving the vehicle has fled (hit and run)
- A valid claim must be filed with your insurance company within two years
Attending to the Claims process
Even when a responsible driver is insured with an uninsured motorist coverage that doesn’t always mean that getting the necessary funds to cover repairs or medical expenses following an accident will happen swiftly. The insurance company’s claims process can drag out and become overwhelming, particularly if you’re waiting for a settlement to pay medical bills and to get a damaged car back on the road.
Negotiating with an insurance company is difficult for anyone who doesn’t have negotiating experience. As a matter of course, claims adjusters are specifically trained to minimize accident claims as a way of keeping the insurance company’s payout to a minimum. All too often a reported claim will only pay a fraction of what the injured party rightfully deserves, unless the claimant is adept at navigating the insurance claims process.
How to get the insurance company to honor a claim
By far the best way to ensure that medical and repair bills are met in a timely matter is to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney. By taking advantage of the free initial consultation payment for legal services is deferred until the case is settled. A personal injury attorney understands what is required when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies and claims adjusters and he knows what is needed from medical professionals to validate injury claims.
The art of negotiating a fair settlement after an accident is more often than not better left with a personal injury attorney. Knowing exactly how much an insurance company should pay for an injured party’s present and future damages can be difficult for most anyone else to determine. Negotiating a fair settlement with a claims adjuster requires legal knowledge and tactical skill.
About the Law Offices of Bill Kuziara
At the Law Offices of Bill T. Kuziara we support our clients with the resources they need to obtain a complete recovery with a serious personal injury claim, taking into account current and future losses. The health of our clients is a top priority and we are there through every process; from the best specialists and doctors to therapy, injury law and finally the terms of settlement. We handle healthcare, auto, medical pay and disability insurance at no cost to our clients. We only take cases on a contingency fee basis and you pay a fee only if we are successful.