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What to Do if You Are Hit by an Underinsured Motorist

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What to Do if You Are Hit by an Underinsured Motorist

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Car accidents are stressful enough on their own, and can be especially so if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UIM). The best way to protect yourself and your family in the event of a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist is to make sure you have added UIM coverage to your car insurance policy. UIM insurance is similar to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which is required in many states, though policyholders may waive this coverage if they wish, although this is not recommended. In fact, most car accident attorneys recommend car owners purchase as much PIP and/or UIM coverage as possible so they are financially protected in the event of a bad collision. Unfortunately, if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist and you do not have UIM protection, the chance of receiving enough compensation to cover your damages decreases significantly.

One of the biggest and most immediate expenses after a collision comes in the form of medical bills.

The first thing to do after a collision is to seek immediate medical care. Many injuries sustained in a car wreck may not be felt for days or even weeks after a wreck occurs, so it’s important to see a doctor right away, especially if you decide to file a claim down the road and could use the support of your medical records. Your healthcare provider should bill your insurance for these medical costs. This is part of what makes PIP and UIM coverage so essential; in these cases, you would file a claim against your own insurance company to receive compensation rather than going through a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Under UIM coverage, your insurance company may choose to go after the at-fault party to recoup the compensation they paid out to you.

This means that instead of you having to file a claim against the at-fault party and dealing with the headache of pursuing a lawsuit, your insurance company will do so on your behalf. This also provides you a means of financial support much sooner than would otherwise be collected from a lawsuit. While you may still be able to file a claim against an uninsured or underinsured driver, to do so presents unnecessary complications and a time-consuming headache. Not to mention that many drivers who cannot afford insurance do not have many assets that could be seized in a lawsuit in order to pay your compensation.

Say as little as possible when you are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company.

When you receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company, it is important that you say as little as possible to the representative you’re speaking with; simply ask for their contact information and let them know that you or your attorney will be in touch. If you have already brought a lawyer on to handle your case, you can give the insurance company your lawyer’s information and let them handle all communications with them in the future.

Do not sign or agree to anything before seeking counsel.

It’s imperative that you do not verbally agree to or sign anything offered to you from the other driver’s insurance company, or even the other driver at the scene of a collision. It is important to not admit to or agree to anything regarding the accident until you have sought professional counsel.

Do not admit fault.

Even if you are partially at fault for the collision, you may still be eligible for compensation depending on the state. However, it’s important to refrain from admitting fault early in the process as this admission can easily be used against you to prevent the insurance company from having to pay out your claim. In fact, even a blanket apology at the scene of the accident could be taken as an admission of guilt in court. It’s wise to avoid speaking about the accident to anybody, including over social media. You should save whatever pictures, videos, witness information, and other evidence from the scene of the collision in a safe place or with your legal representation, but do not share with outside parties.

The best-case scenario in an accident with an underinsured motorist includes UIM coverage on the part of the victim.

The best way to protect yourself and your family in the event of a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist is to call your insurance company and add UIM coverage to your policy if you don’t already have it. Car accident attorneys recommend purchasing as much of this coverage as you can afford, to make certain all of your damages can be compensated in the case of such an accident.

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