What to Do When You Get in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
In West Virginia, all drivers must carry a minimum level of auto insurance coverage of $25,000 for both liability and property damage. However, many people fail to carry this level of insurance, and some fail to carry any insurance at all. If you get into a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver on the state’s roads, you may need to have your own insurance provider cover your damages, but they can only do that if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. While this type of coverage is not mandatory, it is worth the additional expense in the event you’re injured in an accident caused by a motorist with no insurance or not enough.
It is important to note that most auto insurance providers have strict limits on the amount of time you have to file an uninsured motorist claim — sometimes as little as 30 days after the accident. To that end, policyholders often need to move quickly to ensure their policy covers the injuries and property damage they have sustained. That’s why it’s important to have the assistance of experienced personal injury attorneys in dealing with insurance companies.
Taking legal action
Another option if you’ve been involved in a crash with an uninsured driver is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This comes with some risk, as even if your claim is successful and a court awards you a settlement, the negligent party may not be able to pay you. In general, uninsured or underinsured drivers tend not to have significant assets or money, which may be why they were unable to afford proper insurance coverage in the first place.
Immediately after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, contact your own auto insurance carrier to determine your options. If you need further legal guidance, contact a skilled car accident attorney at Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC.