If the careless driver who hit you does not have insurance (“uninsured motorist”), or has insurance but it is not enough to pay for all of your damages (“underinsured motorist”), then you will have to seek recovery under your own uninsured/underinsured motorists provisions of your own insurance policy. Uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage is not mandatory. You are free to reject this insurance coverage, however, if you get into an accident that is not your fault and the driver of the other vehicle does not have any insurance, or his or her insurance is not adequate to pay for all of your injuries, losses, and damages, your insurance policy will not cover any of these costs and expenses if you did not elect to get uninsured motorist coverage.
For this reason, it would be wise to consider purchasing the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage through your auto insurance company.
If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, then you can collect from your own insurance company as if the uninsured driver had insurance. Many people think that since the uninsured motorist coverage is part of their own insurance policy, it will not be necessary to hire a lawyer to represent them in negotiations and a potential lawsuit against the insurance company if they refuse to fully compensate you to the limits of your policy for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, damage to your car, and so forth. This unfortunately is not the case.
If your injuries are not severe, you do not lose many days off of work, and the insurance company agrees to fix your car (or pay you the fair value of the vehicle if it costs more to fix the car than it is worth), you may be able to negotiate a fair settlement yourself. However, if you and/or your passengers suffer catastrophic injuries and the insurance company refuses to pay the full value of your and your passenger(s)’ damages, you will need to be represented by an attorney to represent you and your passengers to get everything you and your passengers are entitled to.
If the uninsured driver was driving another person’s vehicle at the time, the owner of the vehicle may be wholly or partially responsible for the damages. For instance, if the car was owned by a company that employed the driver, it may be possible to sue the driver’s employer for all of your and your passengers’ injuries and other damages.
If you have been in a serious accident caused by an uninsured driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to represent you in your efforts to get maximum recovery from your own insurance policy under your uninsured policy. We at the Torkzadeh Law Firm are experienced in handling uninsured/underinsured motorist claims and will aggressively pursue your claim to ensure that you get maximum recovery for your and your passengers’ injuries and other damages.