Uninsured Motorist Claims: What Happens Next?
Updated January 2021
If you were hurt by an underinsured or uninsured driver, don’t give up hope.
Every year, too many drivers choose to drive on Idaho roads without sufficient insurance — or worse, no insurance at all.
Insurance industry estimates show that as many as 25% of drivers do not carry sufficient insurance in the event they are held liable for catastrophic injuries or death.
Our aggressive approach to looking for every possible source of insurance coverage makes us different from many other injury law firms.
We understand the frustration of trying to file a claim for damages when the other driver failed to have the legal level of coverage.
If you don’t know where to go to get money for your bills, we will help you find a way.
Settling Uninsured Motorist Claims In Idaho
If you were in an accident in Idaho and the other driver was at fault but uninsured, you will need to file an uninsured motorist claim to get compensation for your situation.
Most insurance policies sold in Idaho today include uninsured motorist coverage to provide backup in these scenarios, but you will still need to file a claim with your company to access that coverage.
What Rules Apply In Idaho?
Idaho is a comparative fault state. This means each driver is responsible for the percentage of compensation that is proportional to their fault in the accident. If a driver is found to be more than 50% responsible for an accident, they can receive no compensation from the other party.
Idaho state laws require insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist coverage as part of the basic car insurance package, so most people have this type of insurance on their policy. The only way to not have this policy in Idaho is if you formally reject it when you buy your insurance policy; most would not do this.
If you are in an accident and the other driver is found to be at-fault and without insurance, you can rely on this coverage to deal with your expenses.
We Can Help Deal With Insurance Following An Accident
It doesn’t seem right, but fighting your own insurance company is one of the most frustrating parts of filing a claim after an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Even though you have promptly paid your premiums for years, insurance defense lawyers will use every tactic to delay or avoid payments, hoping you will just go away or take the small amount they offer.
We understand insurance company tactics and we employ effective strategies to help you win maximum compensation.
These tactics become especially complicated once you are dealing with an uninsured motorist claim. We are familiar with the types of policies and tactics companies will use to try to pay as little as possible, and we can help get the insurance to cover what is rightfully owed to you for this UM (uninsured motorist) insurance situation.
In the long run, we can even help you to file a civil claim against the at-fault individual if the insurance will not pay out for the claim or the policy limit is too small in comparison to the damages caused by the accident. From start to finish, we will assist you through this difficult time.
FAQs: Uninsured Motorist Claims
What Do You Do When An Uninsured Motorist Hits You?
If an uninsured motorist hits you in Idaho, you will want to file a claim with your insurance company as you typically would. Since Idaho is a comparative fault state, the fault of the incident will need to be determined before any type of payout occurs.
Should it be determined that the other driver was at-fault, what happens next will depend on what type of insurance coverage you have. If you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of your car insurance plan, your insurance will cover up to a certain amount for damages.
If you do not have this coverage, you would need to file a civil suit against the other driver as an individual to try to recover damages. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we here at Skaug can help you navigate how to proceed with this type of civil case or settlement.
How Do Uninsured Motorist Claims Work?
Let’s say you get into an accident with another driver. The other driver is found to be at fault, but they do not have any car insurance. What happens next?
Here is how the process typically proceeds:
- You file a claim with your provider.
- The provider will contact the other insurance company (in the case of underinsurance) or the individual to confirm there is no insurance policy in place.
- If the other driver doesn’t have satisfactory coverage, your insurance provider will check if you have underinsurance coverage.
- If you do, your insurance will cover up to the limit of your policy.
In these cases, it is usually not possible to make any claims beyond the direct medical and physical damages caused by the accident because the claim is falling on your uninsured motorist policy. Pain and suffering, for instance, are unlikely to be included in your insurance company’s initial settlement offer.
If you disagree with the settlement offer of your insurance provider, you will need to move to arbitration to try to come to an agreement.
How Long Does It Take To Settle An Uninsured Motorist Claim?
The average settlement time for most car insurance claim cases is around three months, but the time can vary greatly. More time may be needed to determine fault, investigate the accident, or gather damage information. It also may take longer when the insurance company refuses a fair settlement and the case goes to trial.
Having a lawyer on your side can help to keep a case moving so a fair decision can be reached more quickly. Insurance companies will often delay payout even after an agreement. A lawyer can apply pressure so the insurance company delivers in a timely manner.
How Much Does An Uninsured Motorist Claim Payout?
The amount that an uninsured motorist claim will payout is determined by the amount your policy covers.
To find out, check your insurance paperwork or ask your insurance provider to let you know what your policy limits are for uninsured motorist coverage. Your insurance will not pay out more than this limit.
What Is Covered Under An Uninsured Motorist?
The exact policy you have will determine what is covered under your uninsured motorist coverage, but most policies include the following:
- Medical expenses from a crash caused by an uninsured driver
- Property damages from a crash caused by an uninsured driver
In Idaho, the state’s laws only require insurance companies to cover coverage for medical expenses related to bodily images; they are not required to offer property damage coverage as part of uninsured motorist coverage.
It’s important to know what type of coverage your policy includes. If your policy does not include property damages, you would need to file suit against the other driver as an individual to get compensation.
What Happens If I Reject Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
If you reject uninsured motorist coverage and are in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will not have the backup of your insurance policy to cover medical or physical damages that are left uncovered at the end of insurance determination. To cover these damages, you would need to file a suit against the at-fault individual.
Get The Maximum Payout
Here at Skaug Law, we have experience with every aspect of car accident claims as well as insurance discrepancies that can cause problems when an uninsured motorist is involved. While the rules that govern fault law and insurance policies can be confusing, we are able to help you navigate through the process in order to get the maximum payout.
Contact us today for a free consultation. No attorney fees are owed until we get a settlement for you, so you can feel comfortable working with us no matter what your situation.