If you’ve recently been in a car accident at the fault of another individual, you’re probably relying on their insurance to help you cover the expenses of your injuries and damages. Depending on the severity of the accident and the damages associated with it, you may be thousands and thousands of dollars in debt after the accident.
For most, insurance can help you cover that cost. But what should you do if the insurance policy driver at fault for the accident is unable to provide you with the money that you need?
Unfortunately, many drivers out there are underinsured or without insurance. This guide can give you advice on what to do if you are in an accident with an individual who does not have insurance or does not have adequate insurance.
What to Do If the Driver is Uninsured
If the driver is completely without insurance, you may be tempted to sue them. While suing them may help you get some cash, it is a long and expensive process that will probably result in little change.
Because many individuals without car insurance are without it because they can’t afford it, attempting to sue them for the money you need is unnecessary and unfruitful. Going through the process of a lawsuit will probably cost you more money than you will get and you will waste your own time.
Instead, you will want to begin a claim with your own insurance. Because a portion of most insurance policies will be designated for situations like this, you will be able to receive some insurance money for your damages and expenses. However, your own policy will indicate how much money you will receive.
What to Do if the Driver is Underinsured
If the other driver has insurance but it is not enough to cover the expenses of your damages or injuries, you will need to make multiple insurance claims.
The first insurance claim you should make is on the other driver’s insurance. If the other driver is deemed at fault for the accident, they will be responsible for paying the full amount that their insurance will cover towards your expenses and damages. This means that even if they aren’t able to provide a sufficient amount of money to cover the entire claim, they will be able to cover a portion.
You will then want to take out a claim on your own insurance for the remaining amount of money. If you are seeking a particularly high amount of money, you may need to take out a claim for the full amount of your underinsured driver portion of your policy. If you are only in need of a small chunk of the total amount, you will take out a claim for that amount.
It is important to note that you are only able to take out the exact amount of the expenses that you have. Even if you are covered for more money than you’re seeking, you are not entitled to receive the entire benefit.
How an Underinsured or Uninsured Driver Claim is Different
After you are in an accident, you will want to get the insurance information of the driver immediately after checking that you or your passengers are okay. If the driver does not have insurance, you will want to contact your insurance company immediately to let them know what happened and that you will be pursuing a uninsured driver claim on your policy.
However, if the other driver does have insurance, you will probably not know that they are underinsured until you receive all medical treatment and get estimates about your car repair. However, many policies only give you a 30-day window to make a claim, so you cannot wait too long.
After you know the extent of your expenses, you will want to file a claim first with the insurance provider of the other driver. If they are unable to cover all of your expenses, you will then need to file with your own insurance company for the remainder of the amount. Then both insurance providers will take a look at the details of the accident, your medical bills, and any other information that is deemed necessary.
Underinsured or uninsured driver claims usually take a bit longer for the insurance companies to process, so please keep this in mind when filing your claims.