About one in eight drivers on the road in 2015 was uninsured, according to the latest data from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). However, unlike getting in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, it takes time to determine whether you have been in a car accident with an underinsured motorist. Bringing a lawsuit against an underinsured driver for negligence involves several steps, but sooner than later the safe bet is to bring an underinsured claim against your own auto insurance policy. Let’s take a look at what it takes to file an underinsured claim against your own auto insurance policy.
As soon as possible hire an experienced auto accident attorney to get a copy of the traffic crash report. The traffic crash report will list the defendant driver’s auto insurance policy.
Defendant Driver’s Insurance Policy Limits
As soon as possible have your experienced auto accident attorney determine the insurance policy limits of the defendant driver. If your claim for damages exceeds the defendant driver’s policy limits, you will need to explore pursuing an underinsured claim against your auto insurance policy.
Get a Copy of Your Full Auto Insurance Policy
One of the key elements in bringing an underinsured claim against your auto insurance policy is to have your lawyer get a full copy of the auto insurance policy. Once your lawyer has a copy of your auto insurance policy, he/she can fully review the arbitration provision that pertains to your underinsured claim.
Obtain Permission From Your Auto Insurance Company to Settle with the Defendant Driver’s Auto Insurance Company
Underinsured claims against your insurance company only apply to situations where you fully exhaust the defendant driver’s insurance policy limits. Once the defendant driver’s insurance company offers their policy limits to you, your lawyer must ask your auto insurance company for permission to accept the defendant driver’s policy limits tender.
Underinsured Claims Go To Arbitration
The contractual language in your auto insurance policy likely specifies that your claim must go to arbitration. Arbitration can be advantageous to you, but requires that you hire an experienced auto accident attorney that fully understands the nuances of arbitration.
The Next Step
You did everything you were supposed to do when you purchased your auto insurance. Unfortunately, the driver that hit you or a loved one failed to purchase adequate auto insurance. Nonetheless, you still may be entitled to significant compensation. You need to hire an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your claim. The auto accident lawyers at Steigmann Law are here to help you.
For more information on pursuing an underinsured auto lawsuit or if you have any other auto accident questions; please reach out to Steigmann Law. Our experienced team is here to help.