Uninsured Motorists Are Lurking-Proceed With Caution
Insurance dominates my life. I can’t escape it. I can’t get away from it. It’s involved in everything I do.
I think about insurance when I see a wet floor in a grocery store or a rickety vehicle sputtering down the road. It crosses my mind when I walk through the power tools section at Home Depot or notice a dead tree leaning over a property line. No matter the situation, insurance is always on my mind.
I didn’t always use to be this way. I used to be normal. I was like the average person. I only thought about insurance when I had to sign up for it or painfully pay my bi-annual premiums (which seemed like nothing more than a tax for something I would never use). Then I went to law school, became an attorney and started handling personal injury cases. Now I think about insurance every single day. It is a pervasive theme in my law practice.
This week I worked on a case that involved an uninsured motorist. My client was walking in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Marina when she was hit by an S.U.V. She was seriously injured. The driver that struck my client fled the scene and was later charged with felony hit and run. It turns out, that the driver was uninsured.
It appears that the driver who hit my client does not have any assets. Normally, this would put my client in a precarious position, as she would be left with no source of recovery for her injuries, medical expenses and lost wages. However, my client has uninsured motorist coverage under her automobile insurance policy. Like the name suggests, uninsured motorist coverage applies when you are injured by someone who is driving without insurance. Under the terms of her uninsured motorist policy, she was covered even though she was not in her vehicle at the time of the accident. All uninsured motorist policies differ, but many provide similar coverage.
Now, my client may seek recourse from her own insurance company for her injuries. Of course, that puts her in a direct conflict with her own insurance company as she will be seeking maximum compensation from it. Like all insurance companies, it will be looking to pay her as little as possible to settle her claim. That is why I always tell people not to give any statements to any insurance companies following an accident—even their own. You never know when you will need to assert a claim against your own insurance company and when an innocent statement you gave following an accident may be twisted and used against you.
The attorneys at the Piccuta Law Group, LLP have extensive experience handling injury cases and troubleshooting insurance coverage issues. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident due to the fault of another, contact one of our attorneys today for a free consultation.