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Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Blog

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What Do You Do If You Are Hit by an Uninsured Motorist

In 2015, an estimated 13% of drivers on U.S. roads were uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That means that as many as 1 in every 10 drivers you see on roads across the country do not have insurance to provide coverage for your injuries should you be involved in a car crash with them. This is a scary thought. Know your options for seeking compensation for your injuries in the event you are hit by an uninsured driver.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and the other driver does not have insurance company, the best case scenario is that you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM policies exists for this particular type of accident scenario. Your UM coverage will help you pay for expenses resulting from bodily injury, including emergency room treatment and follow-up medical care.

UM coverage is something that you pay your insurance company for to protect yourself from uninsured drivers. Unfortunately, it can still be a fight to get those benefits paid out should you ever need them. An insurance company will find any kind of loophole to not pay out on your UM claim or to undercut the value of your claim so they only have to pay out a minimum. To help you in pursuing a UM claim with your insurance carrier, take the following precautions:

  • Obtain a copy of the crash report and check that it accurately reflects what actually happened in the accident.
  • Seek immediate and consistent medical treatment. Follow doctor recommendation regarding follow-up care. Maintain copies of all crash-related medical records. This is the evidence of your injuries that will prove your insurance claim.
  • Immediately contact your insurance company to notify them of the crash. Do not speculate on the crash and especially not on your injuries. If they ask about your injuries, you can simply respond by saying you do not know the extent of your injuries and are currently seeking medical treatment.
  • Talk to a personal injury attorney. Personal injury attorneys have the experience with these types of claims and with insurance companies to help insure that an insurance company does not take advantage of you when you are in times of need.

If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, you will be limited to your own insurance coverage. Many states require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is “no fault” coverage that will pay for your medical expenses, up to your policy limit, regardless of who was at fault for an accident. Some states have auto medical payments (AMP) coverage which is first-party, “no fault” coverage. Regardless of what state you may be from, check your insurance policy to see what type of first party benefits you have to cover your expenses after an accident.

Getting into a car accident is overwhelming. Being injured in a car accident can leave you in pain and in distress at the thought of missed days of work, missed income, and mounting medical bills. Know your options. Review your insurance policy for the type of coverage that may be available to you.


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Richard F. Silber is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. From his office in Georgetown, he and his legal team assist clients throughout the Washington metropolitan area.



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