While most states require drivers to carry some form of auto insurance, including Washington, D.C., not all drivers abide by the law. In fact, recent statistics show that nearly 13% of all motorists in the U.S. are operating without adequate coverage. Fortunately, if you are ever involved in a car crash or bicycle accident with an uninsured driver, you can seek compensation from your own insurance company through an uninsured motorist (UM) claim. Read on and contact a dedicated Washington, D.C. car accident lawyer to learn more about uninsured motorist claims and how our firm can help you through the process.
In Washington DC, drivers must have the following:
Although drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of coverage, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage ensure that your medical bills can still be paid if the other driver does not have insurance, or enough insurance to cover the cost of your injuries and property damage. You may also be able to file an uninsured motorist claim if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident and the other driver was not identified.
If you have underinsured motorist coverage, you may recover money from your own insurer to cover the amount of your damages that exceed the other driver’s insurance coverage. For example, if you have $50,000 in underinsured motorist coverage and you are struck by someone with $25,000 in coverage, once you exhaust the other driver’s insurance, you may be entitled to an additional $25,000 more in coverage from your insurance company.
If you are seeking to recover compensation from your own insurance company, you will not be dealing with your agent, but rather with an adjuster who will seek to pay as little as possible on your claim – even though it’s your own insurance company. We are frequently forced to sue our clients’ own insurance companies because they fail to make fair offers in uninsured motorist claims or simply try to avoid their contractual obligations altogether.
Once you make a claim, your insurance company is looking out for itself and its bottom line, even with a policyholder (like you) making a claim.
As you may know, it is not always easy to work out a fair settlement with your own insurance company, even if you are contractually entitled to these benefits. For this reason, it would be in your best interest to consult a lawyer at Simeone & Miller if you have been involved in a serious accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.