An accident of any kind, even with no physical damages at minimum can put a dent in your day. Auto accidents are extremely common and can have a large impact on your life, your vehicle, and your finances! We habitually go about our day not thinking about auto accidents or the impact they can have on our life until we are directly impacted by their force.
The topic of today’s post is what happens when you find yourself on the receiving end of an auto accident where the other party (the at fault party) does not have insurance or enough coverage to cover the cost of damages. According to a study done by the Insurance Research Council, nearly 1 in 8 U.S. drivers are on the road without insurance. We will discuss what you can do in this situation, some ways to avoid the hassle of it in the future as well as the big question: Do you need a personal injury attorney to submit an uninsured motorist claim on your behalf? Let’s dive in.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
At its simplest, uninsured motorist coverage is additional insurance you can carry to protect yourself in the event the other, at fault, driver is uninsured to cover damages from the accident. This also includes the unfortunate “hit and run”. There are two main categories of Uninsured motorist coverage options in Louisiana: Bodily Injury, referred to as UMBI and property damage, referred to as UMPD. These policies can be built directly into your auto policy.
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)
This type of coverage is meant to assist with any bodily damages associated with the accident including medical treatment, pain and suffering, medical expenses, etc.
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD)
This area of coverage is for repairs made to your vehicle in the accident. In Louisiana, there are limitations on when you qualify for this type of coverage as well as a loss up to a maximum amount per accident. Be sure to get all the information from your insurance provider up front before requesting it be added to your policy.
What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage? UIM
UIM stands for underinsured motorist. This type of policy is something you can have built into your auto policy that will kick in when your claim is more than the cost of damages. So if you are in an accident where the at fault party has insurance, but does not have enough to cover the cost of your claim, you do not get stuck paying out of pocket to get back on the road. For example, if your claim is $20,000 but the other party only has a $15,000 policy, if you have a UIM policy, you can recover the additional $5000 from your insurance to cover the difference, eliminating the need to come out of pocket on any expenses.
Do you need a Personal Injury Attorney for a UM/UIM claim?
When you get into an auto accident, you are likely not thinking about a personal injury attorney on the forefront. You assume that because you have insurance, and hopefully after reading this post the additional coverage necessary in the event the at fault party does not have coverage or enough coverage, that it’s as simple as filing a typical claim with your insurance company. Unfortunately, insurance companies are known to deny even legitimate claims at times. Insurance companies may argue that you were partially at fault, or that injuries were preexisting or not really what you say they are. This is where a personal injury attorney would come into play. A personal injury attorney can assist you with gathering and submitting all the proper documentation necessary to fight for proper compensation. In the event an insurance company denies your claim, it can be very difficult to receive compensation on your own.
At Liriano Law Firm, we encourage you to document each and every part of your accident from the very beginning and keep all receipts and a proper timeline if possible. Accidents can be a traumatic event and notating things as they happen is much easier than having to dig things up and remember them down the line. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side is very important in any insurance case. Contact Carmen Liriano today for a free consultation today – we are ready to fight for you.
Contact Liriano Law Firm with any questions you may have. We are ready to fight for you.
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