If you are in an accident and the other party is responsible, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance for your losses. However, what happens when the driver who hit you does not have insurance or they do not have enough? You may find yourself suing the underinsured motorist responsible for your losses.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
As a vehicle owner, you may be covered through your car insurance policy. Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage is a policy most drivers purchase through their own insurance carrier. It can prove helpful in a situation like this. If the driver of the responsible vehicle lacks coverage or enough coverage, this type of policy will kick in to provide some financial compensation to you. However, you may not have this type of coverage or it may not provide adequate financial reimbursement.
How Can an Attorney Help You?
In the U.S., 48 states require drivers to maintain minimum car insurance to operate a vehicle. Even still, some policies cover the bare minimum. Most liability insurance policies provide a requirement for drivers to maintain $25,000 worth of coverage. This is not enough to meet your needs when the damage from a car accident is significant. If your policy is not enough, your best course of action is to work with an experienced attorney to learn more about your options.
Settling with Insurance Companies
One option you have is to file a claim through your own underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. If you have enough coverage under this policy to pay what is owed to you, this step is the most direct option. Your insurer will handle the process of pursuing the other party should the value of your claim be worth doing so.
If you are settling, hire an attorney. Doing so helps ensure you have considered all of your losses from the incident. It’s common for drivers to underestimate how much they have lost. Did you miss work? Do you need long-term care and rehabilitation? How much loss have you accumulated from the damage to the vehicle? All of these factors play a role in how much you settle for with the insurer. An attorney is more likely to help you will get the full amount of money that you are owed.
Filing a Lawsuit
Some individuals may find that filing a lawsuit is the best route to take or the only option if they do not have motorist insurance. If you sue an underinsured motorist, do so with the help of a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will represent you, all of your losses, and your goals of financial compensation. They will lay out all of your losses and file against the party.
Hiring an Attorney
Choosing an attorney who has experience going up against big insurance companies such as State Farm is essential. You need to find an attorney that knows the law but is also dedicated to working closely with you to ensure the best possible outcome. There are no guarantees – a lawsuit means you must prove your case. However, a qualified attorney will work with you to ensure every detail and requirement is met and that the case is presented in the best way possible for you.
If you are interested in filing a lawsuit against an underinsured motorist, it all starts with a call to our team. Contact Petersen Johnson for a free evaluation to discuss your personal injury case.