If you are involved in an uninsured or underinsured car accident, it’s essential to know your options. The best option is to find an excellent car accident attorney who has experience with these types of cases. Contact the Vermont Car Accident Attorney for legal assistance or representation in the claim.
What is an Underinsured or Uninsured Car Accident?
If you are injured by another driver who does not have insurance on their car, the car is “uninsured” and you cannot get compensation from a liability insurance company. You still have options, though: you can file a claim against your own insurance or a lawsuit and award from the other driver directly.
If you have insurance on your own car, you can still sue the other driver and your own insurance will have to pay compensation to you. In Vermont, every car insurance company is required to offer you as much benefit from insurance as you pay for the benefit of other people if you cause an accident.
Similarly, if the other driver has less insurance than you do (and in Vermont, that can be as little as $25,000), you have an “underinsured” claim. Again, your own insurance company will have to make up the difference to you between the insurance you pay for and the insurance the other driver pays for.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible
The longer you wait to pursue legal action, the less likely your case will be successful. Get in touch with a lawyer who has experience dealing with cases like this. In some cases, you may be able to get compensation from the person at fault if their insurance won’t cover it all or any of your expenses, or you can recover from your own insurance.
In any case, where the other driver does not have insurance or has less insurance than you do, you will likely need an uninsured car accident lawyer to help. These are not simple cases.
Contact the Police Department
In any case, where there are injuries, local or state police departments need to be alerted. They will help you determine whether or not it is necessary to file a report. They may also assist with getting your accident scene cleaned up as soon as possible, which can reduce stress in addition to helping prevent further damage from occurring due to delays.
Take Pictures and Videos
If you can, take photos and video of the accident scene (or have a friend or family member do so). This will help prove that you were not responsible for the crash, which is often a point that comes up when dealing with insurance companies.
If possible, write down everything that happened in your own words, as soon after the accident as you can. It’s amazing how easy it is to lose details of your memory after even a few days. Write down everything you remember anyone said, and details of how the crash happened. It will also help when dealing with insurance companies later on if they ask any questions.
Keep any piece of evidence related to the accident. This includes:
- Medical expenses
- Car repairs or replacement costs
- Anything related to the crash
It helps you later when it comes time for your case to go before a judge if all of these receipts are organized in an easy-to-read folder or binder with all the necessary paperwork.
Don’t Take Any Settlement Offer
Do not accept any settlement offers made without first speaking with your lawyer.
When you have an attorney, they will be able to advise you on what is best for your unique situation and help ensure that you get the most money possible out of it so that you can pay all related expenses moving forward.
Seek Medical Attention
This should be done immediately after the accident occurs, even if the injuries are minor and do not seem life-threatening. Keep track of all medical expenses related to the accident, including doctor visits and any medication required to take. This will help ensure that your case is successful when it comes time for legal proceedings if everything has been captured through documentation or receipts.
Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw what happened. If they are willing, ask them to write down their version of events for you as well. It will be beneficial if anyone ever tries to say that you or your insurance company lies about what occurred during the accident.
Contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. They can help you determine what your best option is, gather any documentation that might be beneficial, and advise you on how to proceed from there.