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September 4, 2019
It is bad enough to get into an automobile accident that is not your fault, and then you find out that the other at-fault driver had no valid automobile liability insurance. Unfortunately, uninsured drivers are more common than you would think as over the years the percentage of uninsured drivers has varied from ten to fifteen percent of all drivers on the road. When you consider the total number of people driving around the United States, and specifically North Carolina and South Carolina, the number of uninsured drivers nationwide is in the millions. North Carolina and South Carolina both require that automobile owners have liability automobile insurance. Unfortunately, some people just get liability insurance for the express purpose of getting their vehicle legally registered, and then either cancel the policy, or stop paying the premiums, which also invalidates the policy. If the economy is not doing well, and people are stressed for money, not paying expensive car insurance is one of the first things people will do to keep the lights on and a roof over their heads.
If you are hit by an uninsured driver, your uninsured motorist steps into the place of the absent liability insurance company of the at-fault driver. You might think that your insurance company is going to bend over backwards to help you navigate your uninsured claim. But, as has been discussed previously, your insurance company is in the business of making money. How much money they make is simply the difference between the amount of premiums they collect, and the amount of claims that they pay out on. And, that includes your uninsured claim!
It is normal to think that because you are dealing with your own insurance company that they will treat you fairly, or even better than any other claimant. But in actuality, your uninsured motorist claim is treated by your insurance company just like any other claim. You have to prove your case to your uninsured automobile insurance company just like you would if you were dealing with the at-fault drivers’ automobile liability insurance company.
What Should You Do If You Are Hit By An Uninsured Driver?
Call the police immediately so an accident report is generated, showing the other driver was at fault. Just because you are dealing with your own insurance company, doesn’t mean they are just going to take your word for it. They are going to investigate it, and determine fault on their own.
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Often insurance companies do not move at the speed that people would like them to move, so the earlier the process is started the better.
Make sure you see a doctor, or other medical professional, immediately. Again, the longer you delay seeking medical treatment, the more your insurance company will hold that against you in assessing your damages. The other danger in delaying medical treatment is that the longer the gap is between seeing the doctor, and the date of the accident, sometimes the less able, or less likely, your medical professional is to relate what is going on with you to the motor vehicle accident in question.
Get a property damage estimate as soon as possible, so that you know the amount your insurance company is going to have to pay to get your car fixed. If your car is going to be deemed a total loss, know the value of your car before speaking to your insurance company about the total loss payment.
Tippens & Zurosky has represented people involved in uninsured auto accidents and hurt on the job, in North Carolina and South Carolina for over twenty years. Let us help you deal with the unexpected, and get your life back on track. Call us toll free at (877) 372-3580, or 704-343-0018 to schedule a consultation so that we may assist you.