If you’ve been hit by a driver who does not have car insurance, you still have options for receiving compensation for your injuries. In many cases, consulting a car accident lawyer can make this process easier and can increase your chances of receiving compensation. Let’s take a look at what to do when you’re involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist and how a car accident lawyer can help.
When to Make an Uninsured Driver Claim
If you’ve been in an accident with another driver who is at fault but doesn’t have car insurance, you should file a claim against your own insurance company. You can use your uninsured motorist coverage up to the limits of your policy. Suing the uninsured driver for your damages can be tricky, so keep in mind that it’s always best to consult a car accident lawyer to ensure your claim is filed properly.
Filing Your Insurance Claim
You should notify your insurance company as soon as possible that you may need to make an uninsured motorist claim if you are hit by a driver who you suspect does not have car insurance. Insurance companies often have strict deadlines when it comes to these types of claims that can be as little as thirty days after the incident. You should notify your own insurer immediately just in case you need to make a claim against them whether you think the driver at fault does not have insurance, if they will not provide you with their insurance information, or if you cannot reach their insurer.
When you do make your claim, it proceeds the same way other car accident claims do. Your insurance company will launch an investigation into the circumstances of your accident, interview witnesses and request all relevant medical records. It’s important to your claim that you cooperate amicably with your insurer.
However, if you and your insurer cannot reach an agreeable settlement amount, you cannot file a lawsuit against them like you could with someone else’s insurer. Rather than filing a lawsuit against them, you will need to submit your claim to a more informal procedure than a court case known as binding arbitration. You and your insurer will present your cases at a hearing in front of one or a panel of arbitrators, and the arbitrators will decide who wins the case. While losing a court case still leaves you open for an appeal, losing an arbitration leaves you will little to no options for an appeal.
Consult a Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident by an uninsured driver, a car accident lawyer can help you determine what legal options you have. While you may be able to handle negotiations with your own insurer, a car accident lawyer can provide essential advice to you during this process, particularly if your case goes to binding arbitration. McMahan Law Firm has been serving the Chattanooga, TN area for over 20 years, and we’re here to help you through this confusing and difficult time.