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How to Handle the Headache of an Uninsured Motorist

Don’t try to shake them down on your own

Thankfully, most drivers in the United States carry auto insurance. By law, such policies must cover certain costs that arise as a result of a car, truck, motorcycle or similar motor vehicle accident, including property repairs and medical bills for all drivers involved. Despite strict laws that mandate minimum coverages, one in six U.S. drivers lacks suitable auto insurance policies. For law-abiding drivers who get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, this can cause some unwanted headaches.

Can Insurance Protect You Against Uninsured Motorists?

Most insurance policies come with uninsured motorist coverage that theoretically protects you in the event of an accident involving motorists without adequate coverage. There are two different types of this coverage:

• Uninsured motorist coverage: This protects you against costs incurred after an accident that’s deemed to be the fault of a driver who completely lacks auto insurance.

• Underinsured motorist coverage: This provides coverage in serious accidents deemed to be the fault of a driver who lacks sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for all damages incurred in your car crash or accident.

It’s important to note that any damages awarded as a result of your uninsured or underinsured motorist policy must be less than or equal to its coverage limits. If your damages exceed those limits, your options for recovering full damages from your insurance company may be limited. It’s also important to note that your underinsured coverage may be reduced dollar for dollar by the amount you can recover from the individual responsible for the crash or accident. Injured victims are often shocked at the reduction of their underinsured motorist coverage, which is why it’s so crucial to speak with an attorney about coverage and limits.

You can call us, obtain more information from our website, or view our personal injury video tips for more information on how to protect yourself.

Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

Since uninsured drivers tend not to have large reserves of assets, uninsured and underinsured motorist claims can bypass them completely. Instead of suing the at-fault driver, you’ll file a claim directly with your insurance company and work out a mutually agreeable settlement that covers your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage costs, and other items. However, an insurance company may try to force you to sue the uninsured driver as a condition to suing the company, so it is important to have an attorney review your uninsured motorist policy.

Depending on your insurance company’s policy, you may need to present information about such a claim in as little as 30 days, but Wisconsin has laws that can affect the deadlines. For this reason, it’s critical to contact an experienced attorney to ensure that your case is as strong and timely as possible. It’s also important to note that you could be put in a situation where you would need to sue your own insurance company or be forced into arbitration to recover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. It’s important to hire experienced attorneys like Hammett, Bellin & Oswald to help you with the legal complexities that arise in such situations and to guide you through the various laws that affect the interpretation and application of insurance coverage in Wisconsin.

Work With an Experienced Uninsured Accident Law Firm in Neenah and Appleton, WI

If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you’ll need to deal with a range of legal issues that other accident victims might not encounter. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether you need assistance with a current claim or wish to weigh your options in the event of an accident down the road, we stand ready to make your experience as smooth as possible. For more information, visit our website or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. Hammett, Bellin & Oswald can assist you with your claim and help you file forms with the State of Wisconsin that could help you recover funds from the other driver and/or your own insurance company. For links to helpful forms, review our Resources page, with helpful information for Outagamie County, Winnebago County, Brown County, Waupaca County, Calumet County, Shawano County, and more throughout the Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin.  Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC has offices in Appleton and Neenah, but practice throughout Wisconsin. You can also get valuable tips for handling personal injury claims by watching the videos on our website.