What happens when the driver who hits you does not have auto insurance? Thankfully, you have options. Most drivers are covered by something called uninsured motorist coverage (UM coverage). This type of coverage will cover the cost of your losses, both property losses and medical expenses, in the event of a collision caused by an uninsured motorist.
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If you are insured, you pay a monthly premium to your auto insurance company in accordance with the amount of coverage that you’ve chosen. This will differ from policy to policy, depending on the amount you have chosen. If you were involved in this type of accident, a Las Vegas car accident attorney at Shook & Stone may be able to help you.
UM insurance can be purchased in accordance with the state’s minimum but cannot exceed the amount you have chosen for your personal liability coverage. This is the same when it comes to underinsured motorist coverage. Under some circumstances, uninsured motorist accidents can be litigated. For example, the victim of an accident would sue the driver who caused the accident in order to recover money for losses (car and medical). An insurance company can agree to pay the final judgment but only after a court determines that the uninsured motorist was actually at fault for the accident.
This is often an area of contention when it comes to UM claims. Liability might wrongfully be shifted onto you as a partial cause of the accident. If this happens, that it is a case of contributory negligence. Let’s say that the court or your insurance company determined that you were 40 percent at fault for the accident and the uninsured motorist was 60 percent at fault. If the total cost of property damage and medical expenses totaled $5,000, then you would only be able to recover up to $3,000 from the other driver. The rest would have to come from personal liability coverage.
If an accident is caused by a driver who fails to stop at the scene, this is considered a hit and run accident. Since the driver is not around after the accident to exchange insurance information with, this can be treated as an uninsured motorist claim. In many instances, law enforcement is able to track down a hit and run driver so that they can properly be held liable for the accident. When law enforcement is not nearby and the driver gets away, the victim will be left with few options, especially if they do not have UM coverage.
There is also something called Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) which can provide coverage for you if you are a pedestrian and were hit by an uninsured motorist. This type of coverage would not include property damage, since you were not in a car, but would likely cover things like medical expenses and lost wages.
Whatever circumstances caused your car accident, do not hesitate to contact Shook & Stone to glean more information. If you are unsure whether or not you are covered (or fully covered) by UM insurance, our firm can analyze your policy as well as the details of your accident to make an accurate determination. The Las Vegas car accident lawyers at our firm are skilled in dealing with car accident claims and lawsuits, including accidents involving uninsured motorists. If an uninsured driver hit you and you aren’t sure what the next step is, contact our firm and receive a free evaluation of your case.