When The At Fault Driver Is Uninsured
June 10, 2021
BY: Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O'Cathain & O'Cathain
No matter how things change, the most important and most anticipated part of any car accident case is the settlement of the case. That is after your lawyer and the opposing parties’ insurance company has their argument with each other, they’ll usually come to an agreement with an amount that satisfies both sides and that amount will be your settlement.
As implied, the award money comes from the insurance company, but happens if the opposing party just so happens to not have insurance or the amount you think you deserve is higher than the opposing party’s policy limits? You can find this out below.
No Coverage: In the case that you’re in a car accident and the driver at fault doesn’t not have any insurance. Then you’ll use your uninsured motorist coverage. Most insurance packages will include this as an add on when you purchase your policy and you’ll want to use this because in most cases, there’s little to no benefit to suing an individual who has no insurance unless they have some kind of unknown, luxurious asset. Many people think “it’s not justice” if you’re not suing the opposing party but the thing is that you can’t make a claim on money that doesn’t exist. As the majority of people who are uninsured have that status because they can’t afford a policy.
Not Enough Coverage: Should you receive a “final” offer representing the opposing party’s policy limits, but your outstanding bill remains uncovered with the offered amount then you’ll want to consider making a claim for your underinsured driver coverage which is different from the above coverage. The condition here is that you can go ahead and make the claim if your coverage is not greater than the policy of the opposing party. So the process is that you’ll first make the claim maxing out the opposing party’s policy then make the claim just for the amount remaining to cover your outstanding bills from the underinsured driver’s coverage.
Laid out like this, a claim against your own insurer seems like an easy and simple thing to do, but you’d be wrong. While going about this, the important thing in all this is that if you believe or come into knowledge that the opposing party is uninsured or has no insurance then notify your insurance company without delay as policies have deadlines for notifications on these types of claims. Cases for these claims take a little longer, but going through the proper procedures will ensure that you’ll receive the amount you deserve.