Hurt By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist?
If you were hit by another driver in a car accident and that driver did not have an insurance card to hand you, call a lawyer immediately. Chances are high that the driver was uninsured. If so, it is important for you to understand your rights under your own insurance policy. You need to know how to protect your right to damages in an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim.
At the Law Offices of Michael J. Schneider, we represent people who have been injured in car accidents, car-truck collisions, motorcycle crashes, and pedestrian and bike accidents in Anchorage and throughout Alaska. With more than 45 years of experience and a track record of success – including verdicts and settlements totaling millions of dollars in auto accident claims – we know how to get results in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Your Right To Coverage
Under Alaska law, you have the right to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage of up to $1 million per person or $2 million per occurrence, even if you carry only $50,000 in liability insurance.
Many families don’t realize how inexpensive UM/UIM coverage can be and the tremendous protection it can provide if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Medical payment coverage can pay your medical bills regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
How Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage Works
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, any money you collect for your damages and injuries will typically be through your own uninsured motorist coverage. You will need to make a claim against your policy, which will reimburse you for your losses up to the limits of that policy.
If the driver who hurt you does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries and losses, you may have an “underinsured motorist” claim. If you are in an accident with an underinsured driver, any damages you collect will be paid by the other insurance company up to the limits of that policy. If your medical bills and damages were more than that amount, you could collect the balance from your own policy, up to the policy limits.
The Benefits Of UM/UIM In Pedestrian, Bike And Hit-And-Run Accidents
Your UM/UIM policy also covers you if you are hit by an unknown driver because even if the driver had insurance, you do not have enough information to collect from it. It also covers you if you are hit by a vehicle while walking on a sidewalk, riding a horse or riding a bike.
You do not need to be in a vehicle at the time of the accident. In fact, you don’t need to own a vehicle. If you live with a relative who owns a vehicle and carries UM/UIM coverage, you may be able to bring a claim under that policy. However, you must report your accident to the police or other authorities within 24 hours.
Do You Need To Bring An Uninsured/Underinsured Claim To Court?
In Alaska, if you dispute the amount your insurance company is willing to pay, many insurance companies require you to file suit within two years of a crash. If you and the insurer do not agree about the value of the claim, they force you to take it to a jury trial.
Allstate policyholders go to arbitration before a three-person panel, which is typically less expensive for the policyholder. The Law Offices of Michael J. Schneider is currently challenging the legality of forcing injured people into litigation rather than arbitration.
Helping You Get Fair Compensation After A Motor Vehicle Accident
Contact Anchorage personal injury firm Law Offices of Michael J. Schneider to schedule a free initial consultation. Or, complete and submit our personal injury intake form.
It costs you nothing to speak with a highly qualified lawyer. If you become a client of our firm, you will owe nothing unless and until we collect compensation for you.