Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Every driver must be insured. In most states, driving an uninsured vehicle is a crime. The rationale for this legal requirement is to prevent financial devastation of victims of uninsured reckless drivers. When an uninsured driver T-bones another motorist, the injury victim can experience an enormous monetary loss. No one should have to pay for damages they suffered through no fault of their own. To combat this potential unfairness, many states require insurance companies to offer or provide uninsured motorist coverage to policyholders. Thus, if a person who is injured by a motorist who is uninsured, the injured party’s insurance company would cover key financial losses, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering damages. It is not as simple as it sounds, which is why you need an experienced car accident attorney. A personal injury attorney on your side, who is experienced in handling uninsured motorist claims, is essential. Kenneth J. Annis & Associates have the experience and skill you need to receive just compensation for your injuries.
The uninsured motorist provision of an insurance contract comes into play in limited circumstances. The first instance is when the at-fault driver does not have an active insurance policy to cover the claim. The second instance occurs when the other driver flees the scene of the crash and cannot be identified. Additionally, the insurance provision applies if the driver is known and refuses to cooperate with his or her insurance company, or the driver’s insurance company denies coverage for any other reason. To preserve an uninsured claim for an unknown driver, the injured party must immediately call the police to notify law enforcement of the accident. If the injury victim is unable to do so, then he or she must notify the local law enforcement officials as soon as practicable under the circumstances.
The amount of money an insurance company will pay for an uninsured claim is a vexing question. Insurance companies make money based on selling policies to customers. Insurance companies turn a profit when they bring in more money in insurance premiums than they spend by paying claims. Insurance companies are often difficult to deal with because they are so concerned about the bottom line, despite marketing slogans that suggest otherwise. You need a determined, confident attorney on your side to fight for the full measure of uninsured motorist benefits you are entitled to receive.
Frequently, the amount of money available for an uninsured claim is insufficient to cover the injuries suffered in the crash. The question then becomes whether policies can be “stacked”, which means the uninsured policy limits from another policy are added to the policy covering the vehicle involved in the accident. Most insurance companies will decline to stack insurance policies because stacking creates greater exposure to loss by paying additional claims.
Frequently, resolving these conflicts requires filing a lawsuit. Your attorney can file an action seeking payment from your insurance company or other companies that insure you or another vehicle. The question whether you can stack an insurance policy typically comes down to the language in the insurance contracts. If the contract language clearly and unambiguously states that stacking is not permitted, generally, the language will control. However, if the language is ambiguous, courts will order insurance companies to pay uninsured claims that are stacked.
Proven and experienced personal injury attorneys should handle uninsured motorist claims. The attorneys at Kenneth J. Annis & Associates have a proven track record of success for their clients injured by uninsured drivers in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Call them today at 202-785-2244 to schedule your free consultation today.