Uninsured Motorist Claim: Know Your Options
There are many reasons that insurance companies will make a lowball insurance settlement offer. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Normally, the injured party is dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company adjuster, but in an uninsured motorist claim, that isn’t the case. In an uninsured motorist claim, the injured party is actually negotiating with their own insurer to get a settlement based on their own uninsured motorist policy coverage.
If your insurance company has made you a settlement offer, you should always run it by an experienced personal injury lawyer – even if you think it is reasonable. A qualified car accident lawyer can evaluate your case and determine the true value of your claim. If you decide to work together, the accident attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to fight for a full and fair settlement.
Know Your Options When Your Insurer Makes a Lowball Offer on Your Uninsured Motorist Claim
When dealing with a lowball offer from your insurance company for an uninsured motorist claim, it’s important to know your rights and options to ensure you receive fair compensation. Here are some things to do and consider:
Understand your policy
Familiarize yourself with the terms of your insurance policy, specifically the uninsured motorist coverage section. This will help you understand what you’re entitled to and the process for making a claim.
Review the offer for an uninsured motorist claim
Carefully review the offer provided by your insurer. Compare it to the damages you’ve suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Keep a record of all communications with your insurer, including emails, letters, and phone calls. This documentation can be useful if the situation escalates.
Get a second opinion
If the offer seems inadequate after your review, the best thing to do is seek a second opinion from a trusted professional, such as a local car accident attorney or an independent adjuster. They can assess your situation and provide an unbiased opinion on the fairness of the offer based on the true value of your claim and your policy limits.
The following steps will be handled by your attorney should you choose to begin working on an uninsured motorist claim:
Gather evidence in the event of an uninsured motorist claim
Collect evidence that supports your claim. This might include photos of the accident scene, medical records, repair estimates, witness statements, and any police reports.
Engage in negotiations with your insurance company. Present the evidence you’ve gathered and explain why you believe the offer is too low. Be prepared to provide documentation that backs up your claims.
File a Complaint
If you believe your insurer is acting unfairly, you can file a complaint with Washington State’s insurance regulatory agency. They can investigate the matter and potentially intervene on your behalf.
Mediation or arbitration
Both mediation and arbitration are alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods that can be used to settle uninsured motorist cases. Many insurance policies include clauses that require arbitration for uninsured motorist disputes. These provisions are often designed to streamline the resolution process and avoid the costs and delays associated with traditional litigation.
Consider legal action
If all else fails and you believe you’re being treated unfairly, you may need to consider legal action. There may be an option to sue your insurance company for “Bad Faith.” Consult with your attorney to discuss the feasibility of filing a lawsuit against your insurer.
Remember, dealing with insurance claims can be complex and stressful, especially if you’re already dealing with the aftermath of an accident. It’s often a good idea to seek professional advice from a personal injury lawyer who has experience with car accident claims to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!