New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Making an Insurance Claim for Accidents Caused by Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Posted on Oct 27, 2014 in Car Accidents
Here is what you need to know about using the uninsured and under-insured driver insurance coverage in your automobile insurance policy when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Uninsured Driver Coverage
If you are hit by a driver who has no car insurance, and if the accident is the driver’s fault, you can use your uninsured motorist coverage. You might not bother with trying to sue the uninsured driver for a personal injury. Instead of suing the driver, who probably has no money of their own to compensate you, would need to make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limit of your uninsured driver coverage.
Underinsured Driver Coverage
If you are hit by a driver who does not have sufficient car insurance and the accident is the driver’s fault, you are liable for underinsured driver coverage. When the negligent has insufficient insurance, it means that he does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. In such as case, you would be required to make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limit of your underinsured motorist coverage, but only if the negligent driver’s policy limits is less than your underinsured driver coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured driver coverage cannot exceed the amount of your primary coverage. Compared to regular liability coverage, uninsured, and underinsured coverage is very cheap. That is why insurers don’t want their insurers to purchase only the minimum liability coverage and then avail of uninsured and underinsured coverage.
How Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Claims Work
If you suspect that the driver who has injured you is uninsured, you should immediately give your insurer a head’s up, so that they are aware that you intend to file an uninsured claim. When it comes to notification of potential uninsured claims, there are some car insurance policies that place strict deadlines on their insureds. That is why it is important not to delay. There are times when the deadline might be as less as 30 days.
If the other driver refuses to give you any insurance information, and you fail to attain the insurance information from other sources, or says that they don’t have car insurance, your insurer should be immediately informed that you plan to file an uninsured claim against them.
It usually takes a bit longer for an underinsured driver claim to develop. Usually, you and your personal injury lawyer will only attain a clear understanding of the value of your car accident case until your medical treatment progresses. Until then, you won’t know that you may have an underinsured driver’s claim.
But as soon as your lawyer recognizes your case as being worth more than the defendant’s liability coverage, your insurer must be immediately informed that you intend to make an underinsured driver claim against them.
It is important in such an ambiguous case, that you have the qualified and experienced guidance of a personal injury lawyer.