Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage is a type of add-on insurance that can really come in handy and help you in a Wichita Falls car accident. It not only will help you when the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance, but it will help you when the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all your damages. Another great feature of UM coverage is that it follows you, not your vehicle. So, if you are a passenger in another person’s vehicle and you are injured, you may be able to use your UM coverage. Our Wichita Falls car accident lawyer assists clients with UM claims all the time.
How to File Uninsured Motorist Claims in Wichita Falls Car Accidents
Of course, the person who caused the accident’s insurance company should pay for your costs associated with the accident, but when they don’t, or when they don’t have any insurance or enough insurance to cover the full extent of your damages, that’s when UM kicks in. Uninsured motorist claims are claims you make to your own insurance company, and they will pay for many of the costs associated with your Wichita Falls car accident up to your policy limits.
You should treat the beginning steps of a Wichita Falls car accident involving an uninsured driver just like you would any other accident, which includes taking the following steps:
- Call the police to investigate. Getting the police to come to the accident scene and investigate is a critical step for all car accidents, even small ones. By taking this step, you are getting the accident on the record and creating a critical piece of evidence that can be used to help you later (that is, as long as the police make record that it was the other person’s fault).
- Collect evidence. Take photos of the accident scene, take photos of the vehicles, get the other driver’s information, get witness’s information, save bills, invoices, or any other costs associated with the accident, etc. Collecting and preserving this evidence is critical in proving your case to the insurance company later on.
- Seek medical treatment. If you or anyone else was hurt, you should seek medical treatment right away. This is most important for your own health and well-being.
- Contact your insurance company. Call your insurance company and inform them of the accident and explain to them that the other driver didn’t have insurance. Note: Anything you say to insurance companies (yes, even your own) can be used against you to either deny or minimize your claim, so use caution and be very careful with what you say to them. We typically advise clients to first get the accident report from the police and try not to offer much more than what the accident says, at least at first.
- Contact a Wichita Falls car accident lawyer. Unfortunately, we see insurance companies give clients trouble all the time, which is surprising to most because they think their own insurance company is going to be on their side. We assist clients in getting the compensation they deserve.
- Demand and negotiate. A demand is essentially a formal letter, which contains a collection of all the evidence and an explanation of why the insurance company owes you and what they should pay you. Once they receive the demand, they will respond and negotiations will ensue.
- Settle or litigate. Basically, either you and your insurance company are going to agree on an amount and settle, or you are going to disagree and it’s going to turn into a lawsuit. A lawsuit requires filing a petition, serving the insurance company, and then going through all the procedural steps involved in the court and litigation process.
Why Your Uninsured Motorist Claim May Get Denied and What You Should Do
Insurance companies may not necessarily have your best interest at heart, and they may deny your claim for a variety of reasons, including their arguments that:
- You failed to give notice on time.
- You fell behind on payments.
- Your injuries are not covered by your policy.
- You don’t have enough evidence of the accident and your injuries.
- You have a gap in treatment.
When they try to argue these things, you shouldn’t just take them at their word. Push back to get the compensation you deserved. If you properly followed the steps listed above, you should be in a good position to be able to do so.
If your uninsured motorist claim for your Wichita Falls car accident gets denied, you should take the following steps:
- Review the denial. The first step is understanding why your claim got denied. Once you understand why, you can then develop the proper course of action.
- Review your insurance policy. Understanding your policy is important. You need to know how much coverage you have and exactly what it covers.
- Prepare a response and appeal. You should use as much evidence as possible in proving your claim. In your response, you should go through the facts and law of the case, summarize the evidence, and explain why you should receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact a Wichita Falls Car Accident Lawyer
If you or anyone you know has been involved in a Wichita Falls car accident, contact our Wichita Falls car accident lawyer at 940-569-4000 or fill out our contact form to set up a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. We will give you a free evaluation of your case and offer you helpful information on how to proceed.