If you were hurt in a crash caused by an uninsured driver, you still have options to pursue compensation. You might be able to file a claim based on your own uninsured driver coverage or cover your medical care costs with your health insurance coverage, for example.
Working with a Tacoma car accident lawyer could make it easier to uncover the options available to you and navigate the claims process to recover compensation. Most provide free initial case consultations so you can learn more without spending anything.
What Are My Options If the Driver Who Hit Me Was Uninsured?
If you were hurt by a driver with no auto liability coverage, your best option is often to file a claim with your own uninsured motorist coverage, according to the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner. While some states require drivers to have this type of coverage, most consider it optional. Our lawyers always recommend it, because of situations like these.
When you have uninsured motorist coverage, your own insurance company will pay the fault-based claim when an uninsured motorist causes your crash. This also applies in hit-and-run collisions when you do not know the identity of the at-fault motorist.
Without the option to file an uninsured motorist claim, your options are limited. They could include:
- Suing the at-fault driver if there is reason to believe they have the assets to cover your costs
- Relying on your health insurance coverage to cover those bills
- Identifying additional liable parties and seeking a partial payout from them
Should I Work With an Attorney to File an Uninsured Motorist Claim?
When you are weighing your options or believe it is time to file an uninsured motorist claim, we recommend talking to a personal injury lawyer. An attorney will ensure you know all the available options and help you navigate your claim.
Even though an uninsured motorist claim is filed with your own insurance company, it is a fault-based claim. This is not always an easy process. You must have evidence to show:
- The other driver caused the crash
- You endured expenses and losses
- You can document the estimated value of those costs
Investigating a crash and gathering evidence can be difficult if you do not handle this type of thing regularly. This is especially true if you have serious injuries that require long-term treatment, rehabilitation, and monitoring.
When you choose to hire a lawyer to manage your car accident case, they will:
- Obtain key documents
- Seek video of the crash
- Identify and interview eyewitnesses
- Work with experts
- Gather documents to show damages
- Estimate a fair settlement range for your case
- Manage all communication with the insurance company
- Negotiate for a fair settlement
- Provide you with regular case updates throughout this process
This process allows them to approach your insurance carrier, present a compelling case to show fault and damages, and demand a fair payout. They will work with your insurance adjuster so long as they continue to work for you. If necessary, they will aggressively fight for the payout you deserve up to the policy limits.
What Expenses and Losses Will My Uninsured Driver Coverage Pay?
Uninsured motorist insurance coverage pays for the same expenses and losses an at-fault driver’s auto liability coverage would pay after a crash. This includes:
- Current and future medical treatment and care
- Income losses
- Diminished ability to work and earn
- Car repairs
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Pain and suffering
Your attorney will present documentation of your damages and ask the insurance carrier to pay them up to the policy limits. This is generally the best way to get most or all of your expenses and losses covered after an uninsured driver causes an injury crash.
When a party passes away, their uninsured motorist coverage acts like a wrongful death case and pursues the compensation allowed under state law when an immediate family member or the party’s personal representative files a claim. This could include:
- Funeral and burial or cremation costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of services
- Medical bills related to the crash
- Other non-economic losses, depending on the state
When do I Need to Think About Hiring a Car Accident Attorney After Being Hit By an Uninsured Driver?
Our attorneys like to go to work on car accident cases as soon as possible after they occur. We understand it takes some time to stabilize your injuries and be ready to discuss what happened. However, we encourage you not to delay making the call too long.
While there are deadlines to sue the at-fault driver that could come into play in most crash cases, these are not as important when the at-fault driver does not have insurance. Instead, you need to know the details in your car insurance policy that dictate how long you have to notify them of your crash and file an uninsured motorist claim. You may have less time than you think.
There are other reasons to act quickly. When we begin investigating a crash within a few days or weeks, we can sometimes uncover evidence that we would not find if we got a later start. This could include key evidence such as video of the crash, additional eyewitnesses, and more. The earlier we learn about your collision, the stronger the case we may be able to build to support your claim.
Let Our Attorneys Help You Manage Your Uninsured Motorist Claim or Other Car Accident Case
Jackman Law Firm provides free case consultations to car accident victims hurt in the areas we serve. You can discuss your case with our team and learn more about your legal options. Our team charges nothing for these case assessments, and our clients pay nothing up front, either. We have a no-fee unless we win policy.
Contact us online or via telephone to get started with your complimentary case review with our team.