What to Do If You Are Hit by an Uninsured Driver
Being in any car accident can be traumatic, scary, and frustrating. But when you discover that the driver who hit you had no insurance, the situation can become even more of a nightmare. You may wonder if you will be able to recover any compensation at all to help pay for medical bills, property damage, and other losses you suffered in the crash.
If you live in South Carolina, there may be an avenue to recover at least some compensation if you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver. State law requires that all drivers purchase both liability insurance and uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Unfortunately, navigating the UM claims process can be a nightmare of its own. Even though you are dealing with “your own” insurance company, you may have to fight just as hard as if it were the other driver’s company. An experienced car accident lawyer can help make this process easier and increase your chances of getting the compensation you need to move on after the accident.
How UM Coverage Works
An UM claim starts much in the same way as any other insurance claim. After calling the authorities to the scene and seeking medical attention, you should report the accident to your insurance company and inform them that the other driver was uninsured. Your insurance company will investigate the accident, with the help of the police report and any witness reports and determine who was at fault. If it decides the other driver was at fault, you will have to file an UM claim against your own insurer for up to the maximum amount of coverage you’ve purchased.
In South Carolina, UM coverage is held to the same minimum requirements as liability insurance. This means that you will be able to seek at least:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to each person in your car
- $50,000 total for all persons injured
- $25,000 for property damage
The actual numbers will depend on the specifics of your insurance policy, but by law, your coverage will include at least this much. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to recover the full amount that you need.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Recover Proper UM Compensation (Even Though It’s ‘Your’ Insurer)
In theory, your insurer should be looking out for your own best interests. When the company is fighting against another driver’s insurance company, this may be true, as its interests align with yours. In a UM case, however, your insurer’s interest in protecting its bottom line does not line up with your interest in getting fair compensation. The insurance company will often try to minimize the amount it has to pay you in order to save money.
If the insurance adjuster tries to deny or diminish your claim, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you seek the fair amount that you are owed. Whereas the average person has probably never dealt with a claim like this before, an experienced personal injury attorney knows how to gather and present the facts, which receipts to save and show, and every consideration to take to increase your chances of getting the most out of your claim.
Contact an Uninsured Motorist Lawyer in South Carolina Today
If an uninsured driver has hit you in South Carolina, Schiller & Hamilton can help. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers have years of experience handling uninsured motorist claims and fighting for insurance companies to honor their commitment to their policyholders. For more information on how we can help you, call us or contact us online now for a free consultation.