Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
Unfortunately, there are many drivers on the roads of Connecticut who have either no insurance or inadequate insurance. According to the United States Department of Transportation there are 2,608,061 licensed drivers in Connecticut. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 6.3% of drivers in Connecticut have no insurance. That means that there are over 164,000 people in Connecticut driving without insurance. As Fairfield Car Accident Lawyers we see the harm that causes.
In addition, the minimum requirement in Connecticut for insurance is $25,000 / $50,000. That means that if a person causes an accident the most that the insurance company will pay to any one person is $25,000.00. Regardless of how many people are hurt in the accident, the company will not pay out more than a total of $50,000.00.
As Fairfield Car Accident Lawyers we know that in situations where there is no insurance, we can bring what is called an uninsured motorist claim. Every insurance policy in Connecticut carries with it uninsured motorist coverage. In an uninsured motorist claim, your insurance company becomes the insurance company for the person that hit you. So, even though they have no insurance you can still recover money for your injuries.
If the person that hit you has only the state minimum of $25,000, that may not be enough to fully compensate you for your losses. In those situations, as Fairfield Car Accident Lawyers, we look to bring an underinsured motorist claim. That too is brought against your own insurance company. But, to be eligible to bring the claim, you must have more insurance than the person who hit you. If you do have more insurance, you can seek additional compensation up to the limits you purchased. However, you cannot bring the underinsured motorist claim until you first collect all of the insurance that was available for the person causing the accident.
During our initial meeting with you we are anticipating the need to bring to bring one of these types of claims so we will ask you for your own car insurance information. We will then write to your insurance company to identify what coverage you have. It is not unusual for people when they first come into our office to have no idea what amount of insurance they have. You have three years, sometimes longer, to bring these types of claims but we want to address it after your first visit to our office.
Sometimes our clients express a reluctance to bring a claim against their own insurance company. You should not feel that way. Every time your policy renews, you are paying the insurance company a separate premium for this coverage. Why would you pay for it and not use it? Other times our clients are concerned about their rates going up. Your rates should not go up. You did nothing wrong and did not cause the accident. And, if they were to go up, it would probably be an incremental amount that is vastly outweighed by your recovery.
We all see the cute commercials on television for the insurance companies. They use characters and mascots to create the impression that they are your friend. They are not your friend. They are in the business of making you money. Every time they pay out on a claim, that is less money for them. So, we find that these claims can be extremely hard fought. Fortunately, we have managed hundreds, if not thousands, of these cases and are well prepared to take on the fight.
If you have any questions about your own insurance policy, give us a call and we will be happy to review it with you and make recommendations for ways you can better protect yourself and your family.