A driver calling for legal assistance on his phone after an accident with an uninsured driver.Being in a car accident is already an overwhelming and painful situation. It can involve many different parties and vehicles, inflicting significant injury and property damage to all involved.

These events become even more complicated when one of the drivers has little or no insurance coverage at all.

Car accidents involving an at fault driver who is uninsured are handled differently than other claims. Usually, when you file a claim with another insurance company, they have liability insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses.

But when no policy is available, an injury victim must seek compensation from their own insurance provider to offset any damages. This is typically covered through an uninsured motorist policy.

However, even when someone adds uninsured motorist coverage to their policy, seeking benefits can become more complicated than one would expect β€” especially when handling a claim alone. For many, working with a personal injury lawyer is vital to reaching a settlement that can pay for all damages they have suffered.

If you have been hit by an uninsured driver, let the legal team at Bert McDowell be your advocate during this difficult time. Call Bert McDowell Injury Law, and let us review your claim when you schedule your initial consultation.

Call (203) 590-9169 or submit our online form to schedule a free case review today.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage bridges the gap created when the negligent party has little to no insurance coverage. Often referred to as UM or UMBI benefits by different insurance providers, uninsured motorist coverage is an additional benefit to compensate the policyholder for medical expenses if they are injured by:

  • An uninsured driver
  • A hit and run accident
  • A driver whose insurance refuses to cover your claim
  • An insurance company that goes out of business before your claim is settled.

Uninsured motorist coverage may be optional in some states, but in much of Connecticut, it is mandatory as of 2023. Connecticut insurance companies must offer this type of coverage when you purchase car insurance.

Policyholders must reject uninsured motor coverage in writing if they choose not to purchase this additional coverage.

What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay for?

Victims of car accidents are exposed to the brute force of the crash, leading to severe injuries and catastrophic property damage. If the other party had little to no insurance, the uninsured motorist policy would step in to provide coverage for any injuries.

Benefits from uninsured motorist coverage will pay for:

  • Medical bills and other treatment-related expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Once the limits of an uninsured motorist policy are exhausted, policyholders must typically seek compensation from their general health insurance for compensation. In addition, Connecticut residents can add higher limits for more coverage and a property damage component to request compensation for damages to their car and other personal effects.

Does Connecticut Have Minimums to Uninsured Motorist Policies?

Connecticut has minimums in place for uninsured motorist policies, but policyholders can request more considerable amounts of coverage if they want to. The minimums for uninsured motorist policies are 25/50, which translates to:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident

What Is the Difference Between an Uninsured and an Underinsured Driver in Connecticut?

It is the law in most of the US to have auto insurance if you drive a car. Car accidents and medical bills are expensive, and most people cannot afford to pay for another’s injuries and damages out of pocket.

Sadly, some drivers still get behind the wheel, knowing they have little to no insurance, and the results can be catastrophic to the injured party, as they must find other forms of compensation to pay their medical bills.

An uninsured driver is someone who enters the roadway without any auto liability coverage. The reasons why people do this vary, but it absolutely has serious adverse effects on affected parties.

Uninsured drivers may choose to drive without insurance when:

  • They can’t afford it
  • Are inexperienced drivers
  • It is cheaper to pay a fine and face license suspension
  • They know that the other driver’s insurance will pay for any damages

Underinsured drivers have insurance but likely only the minimum requirements by law. Usually, this decision comes down to similar reasons: affordability and knowing that the other party’s insurance will cover any losses.

Victims can take uninsured and underinsured drivers to court, but the results may not prove worth the time, money and effort, as these parties usually have limited funds to cover their liabilities.

Can You Take an Uninsured Motorist Claim to Court?

You can take an uninsured or underinsured driver to court to compensate for your losses. However, their lack of insurance may also foreshadow their financial situation and strains.

If they do not have the means to pay for insurance, they will likely not have the means to pay you for your losses.

Additionally, although you can request compensation from your uninsured motorist policy, it does not mean that your insurance company is willing to pay for your injuries. In fact, insurance companies are known to offer less than you request if they offer to pay anything at all.

Although most cases settle out of the courts, some do end before a judge or jury. Bert McDowell is ready to present your case before either, if it comes to that.

How Does a Connecticut Car Accident Attorney Help?

If you seek compensation for your losses from your uninsured motorist policy, having your claim reviewed and put together by someone with the knowledge of the law is ideal. They will know what and when to submit and how to handle responses from your insurance company.

Even with proper documentation, insurance companies may refuse to pay your claim. Having an attorney by your side to navigate these negotiations is key to working toward a satisfying settlement.

An uninsured driver car accident lawyer knows the ins and outs of Connecticut law, meaning they will know your rights and what compensation is available through your insurer.

How to Seek Compensation from Your Insurance Provider

Whether the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, your uninsured motorist protects you when you are in an accident with someone without enough coverage. Insurance claims can be filed online or through a mobile app.

But before submitting a claim, the victim must ensure they have the details of the accident, like a police report and any other supporting documentation that links their injuries to the accident (like a medical diagnosis). These documents are reviewed by your insurer and used to justify any requested amounts.

How Much Compensation Can I Receive From My Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

The total amounts received from your insurance company depend on the total amount of damages you have in your claim and the maximum amount allowed with your policy.

In Connecticut, the minimum limits are $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident. This means that each incident can request up to $50,000 if the minimum limit is purchased in a policy.

It is common for victims of a car accident to suffer broken bones, cuts, bruises, head injuries, organ damage, and more. Victims will need compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and related damages should be filed against your health insurance.

Still, it’s possible that uninsured motorist coverage is not enough to offset these losses, and in cases where this happens, victims must seek compensation from their general health insurance policies or other sources of compensation available.

What to Do if You Were in an Uninsured Motorist Car Accident

Realizing that the guilty driver has no insurance after an accident β€” or has even fled the scene β€” will be both horrifying and frustrating. The shock of the situation may leave you unsure of what to do.

However, there are steps you can take to gather the information you need to file for compensation.

If an uninsured driver hits you, you should immediately call 911 and request police and paramedics if there are injuries.

Do not let anyone talk you out of calling the police. Leaving the scene without a police report makes recovering compensation for your losses much harder, if not completely impossible.

Documenting the incident is needed before you report the accident to your insurance company. The police will complete their investigation to determine the fault of the crash, but in the meantime, victims should take pictures and video and gather witness statements confirming what happened.

They should also exchange information with the negligent party, even if they say they do not have insurance.

All accident victims should seek medical evaluation and treatment for their injuries. Medical staff will perform different evaluations to diagnose injuries.

While visible injuries are easy to detect, dangerous medical conditions like organ damage, hematomas, and TBIs are not possible to diagnose without imaging. These assessments may include different scans like MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays.

Once they come to a diagnosis, they will be able to provide the documentation needed for your claim.

Work With Bert McDowell Injury Law, a Proven Personal Injury Law Firm in Connecticut

Car accident claims can become complicated. You are already dealing with so much, and learning that you must find your own source of compensation because the negligent driver is uninsured makes the situation much more frustrating.

Uninsured motorist coverage is meant to step in when these events happen. But even with the best intentions, victims face resistance and, at times, reluctance to pay their claim.

If this happens to you, know that you are not alone.

With the help of Bert McDowell Injury Law, we can work together to find fair compensation for your losses. Car accidents are painful and costly, but the expenses do not have to come from your pocket. Let our seasoned Connecticut car accident law firm help you with your uninsured motorist claim today.

Call (203) 590-9169 to schedule your free initial case review, or connect with us online to get started.