When one owns or drives a vehicle with no insurance, it is a criminal offense in itself. The situation gets graver if such an accident involves serious injury or vehicle damage. The law allows the cost recovery for the harm caused to the victim. You can raise a claim against the uninsured driver or motorist who has caused you injuries or vehicular damage. It does not matter whether you were on the pedestrian, riding a cycle, or was just a bystander, as long as you have been harmed by a second party in any way. Also, your uninsured driver coverage is applicable for the benefit of other passengers in your car with your permission who are injured as well.
The hit-and-run cases are common in this context. However, the driver has to be identified for the purpose of your vehicular damage in order to be considered as an uninsured driver.
When you are a victim and is baffled as to where to begin your claim, you should contact an experienced attorney who has specialization in this specific kind of claims. You can get a clear idea as to how to secure compensation. Consult with an attorney just after the accident, before discussing your claim with the concerned insurance company or accepting any kind of settlement.
Insurance companies might be concerned only about their company’s profit and so, might try to limit your accountability. They might put up false pretenses of being overly co-operative and friendly. Good personal injury attorneys prioritize the safeguarding of your rights at any cost. They help you receive appropriate compensation for all of your losses such as:
- Medical expenses
- Vehicular damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of wages or earning capacity
- Funeral costs
Tips to follow if You Get Involved in an Uninsured Driver Accident:
- In the case of Hit and Run
Try to keep the memory of the driver’s physical appearance or that of any other passenger in his car, if possible. Take a note of the license plate number, and a to-the-point description of the built of his car that is the make, model and year.
- In case the driver is decent enough to stop
If you are lucky, the driver might stop at the scene. Make sure to get his full name and contact info. Also take a note of the names and whereabouts of the other passengers in his vehicle. Note the car’s license plate number and the car description.
- Click photos of the vehicle
When the car is speeding away, the smartest technique to get info on the car is click several photos of the vehicle. The car’s make and model as well as passengers might be identified through your photo. The higher the resolution of your phone camera, the better. Also take into account the specific weather conditions, damaged poles etc.
- Collect the whereabouts or contact info of possible witnesses
If the accident happens in the market place or at least in the presence of other people, you are damn lucky! You must collect the names and contact info of any witnesses. For any arrest report made by the police officer, ask him or her for the “service number”. Make sure that an additional police report is made about the accident.
- Visit a local emergency room
If your passengers or you or all are too hurt to visit the local emergency room yourselves, seek for the help of the witnesses or others to take you to the local emergency room. In case of certain internal injuries, symptoms might not be apparent for many days or weeks. So do not take any chance by delaying your visit to the medical center.
- Gather records and receipts:
Other than the above pieces of evidence, you might need to gather some supplementary fragments:
1. Receipts or records pertaining to your medical bills
2. Receipts of your other supplementary expenses such as transportation
3. Lost income verification
4. Sub-total of the approximate expenses covering your pain and suffering
In case you are competent enough to gather and accordingly present the evidence, draft a notification letter, and give legal status to a demand letter, you might consider trying to carry out your own settlement. However, it is always better to hire a South Florida personal injury attorney to be on the safer side. Most of these lawyers do not charge any fees for just an office visit to negotiate. It is mandatory to consult an attorney in case you have suffered serious or permanent injuries or any other grave loss.
As per the law, insurance companies must negotiate the claims of their insured as well as of third party claimants in a judicious manner. If they mishandle the law, they might need to pay for the actual damages as well as punitive ones. These punitive damages can range up to hundreds of thousands of dollars or even more. The expenses might turn humongous as compared to the initial worth of the claim. When an insurance company acts in a bad faith, make sure to hire a specialized personal injury attorney.
Why do you need a personal injured attorney?
It is because the insurer may challenge your claim by:
- Putting part of the blame on you
It might be claimed by the insurer that you too had something to do with the causing of the accident that lead to your own injuries! In case you had driven irresponsibly in some manner, your claim might even be denied. An eyewitness’s testimony might save you from the blame.
- Doubting your injuries
Your insurer might go to the extent of denying that your injuries were caused by the accident. Evaluation by a doctor or physician can save you in such a case.