Do I Need An Attorney To File An Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim?
Filing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company should be simple. After all, you are paying for the coverage that protects you if you are hit by a person with no insurance. However, many drivers find that dealing with their own insurance companies may be as much of a hassle as dealing with another driver’s company after an accident. In some cases, it pays to consult a personal injury attorney about your uninsured motorist claim, especially if you feel you are being dealt with unfairly by your own insurance company.
What Events Can Lead to an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim?
Although the events surrounding an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim may differ, the basics stay the same. Essentially, something like the following chain of events occurs when a victim is injured by a driver without insurance:
- An accident occurs in which a person other than the victim is at fault. The driver may stay at the scene or flee, depending on the circumstances. If the driver flees, the police may catch him or her or they may not. If the driver is not found, the accident is noted as a hit-and-run.
- If the driver flees or stays at the scene and is unable to produce proof of insurance, he or she is uninsured. At this point, the victim must communicate with his or her own insurance company to handle the matter.
- If the driver produces proof of insurance but it is later found that the coverage is insufficient to meet the expenses of the accident, the victim must also communicate this information to his or her own insurance company.
- The victim’s insurance company examines the claim for damages and decides whether or not to pay.
If the victim’s insurance company denies the claim for any reason, the victim may be faced with a long battle to force the company to pay. Without the help of an experience personal injury lawyer, the victim may never recover the money he or she should receive for the claim.
What Should I Do If My Insurance Company Refuses to Pay?
Even before an insurance company denies a claim, it is a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney. However, it is vital that the victim talk to an attorney if the company does deny the claim.
A personal injury lawyer can represent the victim in collecting money from his or her own insurance company. In some cases, simply retaining an attorney is enough to force the insurance company to pay. In other cases, the attorney may have to negotiate or even file a lawsuit to collect the money that is owed to the victim.
A personal injury attorney will represent the victim in a case against his or her own insurance company, if necessary, and work to recover damages to pay for medical bills, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.