What if I’m Injured in an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Motorist?

What if I’m Injured in an Accident Caused by an Uninsured Motorist?

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Determining the next steps after an auto accident can be difficult, especially when the at-fault party lacks insurance. In these cases, victims often find themselves asking, “What options do I have?” Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated Stamford, Connecticut auto accident lawyer from Casper & de Toledo to learn more about how our legal team can help if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist.

What Should I Do Immediately after the Accident?

First, ensure everyone’s safety and call for medical help if needed. Documenting the scene thoroughly is crucial; take pictures and gather witness statements if possible. Even if the other driver is uninsured, obtaining their contact information is vital. If you’re injured and unable to use your smartphone to take photographs, request anyone else in the area to photograph the scene and your injuries if visible.

In any significant crash or if you or others appear to be injured, it is wise to request that police come to the scene. While police presence will generally provide a competent investigation, there is no harm in documenting the scene and witnesses on your own if able to do so.

How Can Uninsured Motorist Coverage Help Me?

Connecticut mandates that all auto insurance policies include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This coverage is your primary source of compensation in accidents with uninsured drivers, and it can supplement the responsible driver’s insurance coverage in case the value of your injuries exceed limited coverage of the other party. Be aware, however, that your UM/UIM coverage effectively means that your claims involving bodily injury will be made in whole or in part against your own insurance company.

To understand the extent of your coverage, reviewing your policy’s declarations page is beneficial. Connecticut law requires that automobile insurance be issued with UM/UIM limits equal to your liability limits unless you request a lower amount in writing. Reducing your UM/UIM limits is nearly always a bad idea. In fact, we urge you to elect your “double” limits and “convergence” options to improve protection for yourself and family members.

Can I Sue the Uninsured Motorist?

Claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorist actions can evolve in different ways. Lack of insurance or limited coverage can be uncovered as a result of a police investigation; as a result of information by the drivers at the scene of a collision; in an exchange of paperwork by involved parties, including insurance companies and lawyers after the crash; or in formal exchange of information after suit against the responsible driver. However, generally, a driver who lacks insurance coverage or who has a limited insurance policy (in Connecticut – minimum limits are only $25,000 per person), is unlikely to be successful in terms of recovery.

Most uninsured drivers lack the financial resources to pay out of pocket, making this option less viable for satisfactory relief. Many claims for injuries in a motor vehicle collision have reasonable value in excess of even typical lower coverage limits such as $25,000, $50,000, and $100,000. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer will give you a clearer picture of the potential outcomes and advisability of this course of action.

What Are the Statutory Requirements in Connecticut?

Connecticut’s insurance laws, specifically under Connecticut General Statutes Section 38a-336, require UM/UIM coverage. This statute ensures that victims of accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists have a financial safety net.

As noted above, the minimum coverage required by law is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, though many drivers choose higher limits.

Is There a Deadline for Filing Claims or Lawsuits?

Yes, Connecticut imposes strict deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, on filing injury claims and lawsuits. For personal injury claims, you have two years from the accident date to initiate legal action. Failing to adhere to this timeline can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.

If you have further questions or require the assistance of a competent attorney, simply contact Casper & de Toledo today.