If you get in an auto accident, it is likely that the accident is not your fault. It is probably also the case, however, that the other driver may not have automobile insurance, or not have enough insurance. What do you do in that situation?
If you have uninsured motorist automobile insurance coverage, or underinsured motorist coverage, your own auto carrier is obligated to not only pay for your medical bills and lost wages, but also for your pain and suffering damages that you incur. Your auto carrier steps in to the role of the responsible driver’s insurance carrier, just as if he had insurance.
This applies if the other driver had no insurance (uninsured motorist coverage) or not enough insurance (underinsured motorist coverage). If the other driver had no insurance, you must make an uninsured motorist claim with your auto carrier. The proceeding has limited discovery of information, then goes to a binding arbitration. Your attorney and the attorney for your auto insurance carrier will agree upon the arbitrator, who will preside over your case and render a ruling of how much your auto carrier owes you. The entire process is far quicker than filing a law suit.
If the other driver has insurance but not enough, your attorney will make a claim for underinsured motorist benefits under your policy. With evidence of your injuries and medical expenses exceeding the insurance policy limits of the driver that caused the accident, your auto insurance carrier is obligated to step in again, paying you for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages.
Your claim against your own carrier for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits is limited by what coverage you purchased. It is important to know how much insurance you have and to ensure that you have enough uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.