When you get into an accident with another driver and the accident was their fault, you normally file a claim for compensation against their insurance company. However, if they do not have auto insurance or if their auto insurance is not sufficient enough to cover your losses, you can file a claim against your own insurer for compensation if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Read a bit more about how uninsured motorist coverage works. And if you have been in a car accident with an uninsured motorist and need legal assistance, contact a local Chattanooga car accident lawyer at McMahan Law Firm.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is an aspect of your vehicle insurance that provides coverage for you in the event that you get into an accident with another driver who does not have car insurance and who was at fault for the accident.
If an uninsured driver causes your accident and you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sue the negligent driver since they probably don’t have the funds to compensate you. Therefore, you’re left to cover the cost of your car’s repairs and your medical bills.
What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist coverage is another facet of your vehicle insurance that provides you coverage if you get into an accident with a driver whose insurance isn’t sufficient to cover your losses. Again, the other driver needs to have been the faulty party in the accident in order for this to apply. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can make a claim against your own insurance company for the remaining amount of compensation not covered by the other driver’s insurance.
The amount of compensation that you receive from your underinsured motorist coverage does have limitations. You can only file a claim against your own insurer if your underinsured motorist coverage exceeds the policy limits of the negligent driver, and you’ll only receive a maximum of the difference between your policy and theirs, up to your policy limit. Additionally, the amount of your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage cannot be more than the amount of your primary coverage.
How to File an Uninsured Motorist Claim
When you get into a car accident with another driver that you suspect may not have insurance, notify your insurance company as soon as possible that you may need to file an uninsured motorist claim. Underinsured claims don’t progress as immediately since it may take some time for you to find out whether your vehicle repairs and medical expenses exceed the other driver’s insurance limitations.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist claims generally proceed the same way that other vehicle insurance claims do, but rather than filing a claim against another driver’s insurance, you’re filing a claim against your own. However, after the witness depositions, investigation and medical record disclosure, if you and your insurer cannot settle on a payout amount, you cannot sue them like you could with another driver’s insurer. Rather, you’ll need to submit the claim to binding arbitration. This involves a hearing with one or a few arbitrators who settle the disagreement for you.
Contact a Chattanooga Car Accident Lawyer
McMahan Law Firm has proudly served car accident victims in the Chattanooga, TN area with legal representation, and our expert lawyers are here for you too. Contact a Chattanooga car accident lawyer today if you need legal assistance.