How to Recover Compensation When Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?
A car accident is a traumatic experience that can lead to serious injuries. If you have been hit by another driver, you may be able to seek compensatory damages for your injuries. These damages are usually recovered from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Your attorney will file a compensation claim and then negotiate with the other driver’s insurer to reach a suitable amount. Unfortunately, there’s a chance you’ll get into an accident with an uninsured motorist. In Alabama, 18.4% drivers had no insurance in 2015. This number has only slightly decreased in recent years.
When the other driver has no insurance, your compensation claim process can become complicated. If the at-fault driver has no insurance, it is not possible for you to seek any damages from that driver. You may think that you have no way to cover damage to your vehicle and the steep healthcare costs associated with your injury. The good news is that you still have some options.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Make sure to check with your auto insurance agent to see if you are covered by UM coverage. Alabama Code Section 32-7-23 states that you are required to purchase UM coverage unless you reject it in writing. The minimum limits for UIM coverage in Alabama is $50,000 for each accident and $25,000 per person for bodily injuries.
If you have UM coverage, you can simply notify your own insurer about the accident. You must then prepare a claim for the damages caused to you and your vehicle by the uninsured motorist. Your insurance company will assess the evidence and the claim. Once the claim is accepted, you may receive compensatory damages.
While UM coverage certainly helps, it is often not sufficient to cover the full range of your damages. Worse still, if you don’t have UM coverage, your accident is not covered by insurance.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
In a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused your injury. This involves a four-step approach:
- Duty of care: You must show that the other driver owed you a duty of care.
- Breach: In the second step, you must prove that the driver breached the duty of care.
- Causation: You must be able to demonstrate that the breach of the driver and your injury were directly linked. In other words, the driver’s breach and negligence was the main cause of your injury.
- Injury and Damage: You must have actually sustained damage to your property or harm to your person in order to seek damages.
When pursuing a lawsuit, you can seek compensation for all the expenses and losses incurred due to the accident. These include medical costs of consulting a doctor, hospitalization, prescription medicine, tests and overall treatment.
Other damages you can seek in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Lost wages: If the injury has left you unable to resume work, you can seek damages in lieu of lost wages.
- Property damage: The at-fault driver is liable to cover damage caused to your property, such as your car.
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of earning potential
How Can a Birmingham Accident Attorney Help You?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you deserve suitable compensation. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can get this compensation from your insurer. However, the insurance company may not be very willing to pay a fair amount. If you don’t have UIM and choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you will need an attorney. At Hare, Wynn, Newell, & Newton, we have personal injury attorneys who specialize in UIM coverage claims. We also handle personal injury lawsuits and help you recover compensation directly from the at-fault party. Contact us today for a FREE consultation with our Birmingham injury lawyers.