Hit By an Uninsured Driver? You Have More Options Than You Think
Lewis and Tompkins is an injury law firm based in Washington, D.C. We offer legal help for those in the District, Northern Virginia and Maryland who have been injured in accidents due to no fault of their own. We have proudly and successfully represented victims of car accidents, bicyclists and pedestrians who have been hit by cars or buses, victims who have fallen due to negligence of property owners, and victims of medical malpractice. Quite often, victims of accidents often receive much less than what they should from the insurance companies when they get injured. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, having legal representation to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf can significantly increase the compensation that you receive. If you have been injured in an accident in DC, Northern Virginia or Southern Maryland, contact Lewis and Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.
The idea of insurance is so ingrained in our society that we almost can’t imagine anything worse than being hit by someone without car insurance. It’s one of our worst fears; that something awful will happen to us due to no fault of our own and there will be no financial recourse available.
Drivers in Virginia in particular know the fear better than any other drivers in the country. Virginia is one of the few states that allow drivers to pay an uninsured drivers fee and to simply go without insurance. But believe it or not, people that get hit by uninsured drivers do have options. And, more importantly, they have more options than the insurance companies would have you believe.
Most states require insurers to have an uninsured and/or underinsured clause in their policies. The point of it is to make sure that you are covered for damages in the event that you get hit by someone who either has no insurance or doesn’t have any insurance at all.
If you get hit by an uninsured driver, your insurance company will be a model of sympathy. The insurers will probably send someone to the hospital within days, if not hours. They will tell you how fortunate you are that you had uninsured drivers coverage, and they will offer you a check.
If you take the check, you are basically accepting what they give you. And what they are giving you will be, if you are lucky, enough to cover the medical bills and maybe the property damage. This is a settlement offer, and while it might come very quickly, it certainly isn’t a fair settlement offer.
Uninsured motorist policies often cover much more than what the insurance company offers. Aside from medical bills and property damage, uninsured motorist coverage is also supposed to handle things like:
Lost Wages: Most people can’t go to work when they are laid up in the hospital. Most uninsured driver accident clauses contain a provision to reimburse you for wages that you lost while you were getting well.
Pain and Suffering: A long recuperation from a serious accident is guaranteed to be a long and painful process. Compensation for the pain that you go through because of the accident is not a “favor” that the insurance company grants you. It falls under the category of real damages.
Emotional Distress: A car accident where an injury is the result can be an emotionally traumatic experience. Damages don’t exist to make people rich. They exist to cover the costs of the victim’s recovery, and also to compensate them for any suffering that they went through. The emotional trauma of a car accident definitely falls under that category.
Remember, there is almost always a big difference between what the insurance company offers you and what you actually deserve. If you or a loved one has been hit by an uninsured driver in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, contact Lewis and Tompkins for a free legal consultation today.