Virginia Uninsured/Underinsured Car Accident Lawyers
What happens if you get hurt in a car accident, and the at-fault driver doesn’t carry insurance, or their coverage doesn’t adequately satisfy your expenses?
You’re dealing with injuries requiring extensive medical treatment, likely impacting your ability to work, while facing costs you might not be able to afford. Without a proper insurance settlement, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.
CHASENBOSCOLO has the experience and resources to handle situations like this.
Our Virginia car accident lawyers know the financial strain a car wreck can cause. You should not be the one to pay your medical bills when someone else’s negligence led to your injuries. We will work diligently to review your case and determine the best legal options for pursuing compensation. We will hold the other driver accountable for their actions and fight for the justice you deserve. To find out more about how CHASENBOSCOLO can help, call (703) 538-1138 to schedule a free consultation.
Pursuing Compensation from a UM Insurance Claim
Car accidents are traumatic experiences for everyone involved. Under Virginia’s fault system, the negligent driver should be financially responsible for the victim’s injuries, property damage, and other associated costs. Typically, their liability insurance company provides a settlement that can cover all your losses. Unfortunately, when the at-fault party doesn’t have auto insurance, you will have to find another way to recover a monetary award.
Uninsured motorist (UM) is a form of coverage provided to all policyholders. Unless you signed a document opting out, you should have coverage through your insurance policy. If your accident led to injuries or property damage and you can’t afford the expenses, you might be able to file a claim with your auto insurance company.
The limit available on a UM insurance policy will depend on the liability coverage you purchased. Most insurance companies provide the minimum state-required limits unless you choose higher coverage. For example, if your policy has the required minimum limit of $25,000 for liability insurance, you would also have $25,000 in UM.
When you file a UM claim, you can seek compensation for various damages. Damages refer to the total expenses and losses suffered from an accident. The available damages include:
• Medical bills
• Pain and suffering
• Lost wages
• Property damage
• Out-of-pocket expenses
Underinsured motorist (UM) is another optional form of coverage that’s available if the driver that caused your car crash has liability insurance, but their limits aren’t high enough to compensate for your total damages. The coverage is combined with your uninsured motorist limit. As mentioned earlier, if your liability coverage is the minimum $25,000 limit, you will have $25,000 from your underinsured motorist policy.
If the at-fault driver carries liability insurance, you must file a claim with their insurance company first. Through a liability claim, you can pursue the following damages:
• Medical bills
• Lost wages
• Pain and suffering
• Out-of-pocket expenses
• Property damage
• Mental anguish
• Disability or disfigurement
• Loss of consortium
If your damages exceed the available liability coverage, you can then turn to your underinsured motorist policy for the difference between the two limits. To clarify, let’s say the other driver has $25,000 in liability, and you have $75,000 in UM. You would be entitled to a maximum of $50,000 in compensation through your insurance company to satisfy any remaining damages. However, just because you have a certain amount of coverage does not mean you will receive all of it in a settlement.
Pursuing Compensation from a Civil Lawsuit
If the insurance company refuses to settle for the maximum available coverage, denies your claim, or the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance, you can proceed with a civil lawsuit. There’s a strict deadline known as a statute of limitations you must comply with to recover monetary damages. The statute of limitations in Virginia is two years. You will only have two years from the accident date to sue. Otherwise, you will lose your right.
Besides seeking the damages available in an insurance claim, you also might be able to pursue punitive damages. Instead of compensating the injured victim for their losses, it’s a form of punishment against the at-fault party. A jury will only award punitive damages if you can prove that the other motorist acted with malice or wanton disregard of any consequences. Virginia statute 8.01-38.1 also places a cap on the total amount you can win. If a jury enters a judgment that exceeds the limit, a judge will reduce the award to a maximum of $350,000.
What Should I Do After an Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver?
After sustaining injuries in a car crash, there are multiple steps you should take if you want to pursue a legal case. The sooner you start, the easier it will be to prove someone else was responsible. Over time, evidence gets lost, and witnesses forget about the events of an accident. If you allow too much time to pass, you might not be able to find all the evidence you need. Here are some steps to get started:
- Call law enforcement — Report the accident to the police and wait for someone to arrive at the scene. They will investigate and write a traffic crash report detailing their findings. You can request a copy when it becomes available.
- Exchange auto insurance information — Ask all drivers involved for their name, phone number, and auto insurance details. If more than one person caused the crash, you might be entitled to a settlement from multiple insurance carriers.
- Talk to bystanders — If anyone saw what happened, get their names, and contact information. They can provide a statement to the investigating officer and insurance company if you file a claim. They could also give testimony in court if you decide to file a lawsuit.
- Collect evidence — Gather as much evidence as possible from the accident scene, such as pictures of all vehicles involved, damage to personal property, and your visible injuries.
- Seek medical treatment — Go to a hospital for an evaluation of your injuries. Discuss every symptom you have so the doctor can provide a proper diagnosis. If they ask you to follow up with other medical providers, follow their advice. Continue attending appointments until you recover.
- Car repairs — Bring your vehicle to a repair shop for a damage estimate.
- Hire a lawyer — Hire a Virginia uninsured/underinsured accident lawyer to assist you. You should call us immediately after your car crash so we can begin the process. While you’re treating your injuries, we will focus on the legal aspects of your case. You won’t have to worry about dealing with the insurance company or figuring out where to look for relevant evidence. We will take care of all of that for you.
Seeking Legal Representation Helps Your Case
Proper legal representation can make all the difference in cases like this. Our experienced attorneys understand the intricacies of car accident cases. Without knowing state laws and proper procedures, it’s easy to make an error that prevents you from collecting compensation. CHASENBOSCOLO has more than three decades of experience with cases like yours.
When you hire us, we will handle every step of the process, so you don’t have to lift a finger. Your only concern should be to see your doctors so you can recover from your injuries. Let us take care of the rest. We will investigate the accident, collect evidence, and file an insurance claim. If we can’t negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, we will file a lawsuit and argue your case in court.
Our Virginia uninsured/underinsured accident lawyers know the uphill battle you’re facing. It can feel overwhelming when the person who caused your injuries lacks the means to compensate you for all your damages. You can depend on us to figure out how to cover your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs you incurred.
Some victims of car accidents proceed without legal representation because they worry about the expense of paying their attorneys. Many law firms charge by the hour and require an expensive retainer before working on the case. At CHASENBOSCOLO, we don’t want to add to the stress you’re already experiencing. That’s why we work on contingency. You won’t have to pay us upfront. We don’t expect payment of our legal fees and costs unless we win compensation.
Injured by an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver? Call CHASENBOSCOLO Today
We know the burden you must feel since your accident. You’re out of work, spending a lot of time in doctor’s offices, and wondering how you’re going to afford all those bills. On top of that, you have a family to care for, but your physical limitations make that difficult.
We are ready to help you fight for justice. We will hold the other driver liable for the harm they caused and find a way to cover your damages.
If you or a loved one was the victim of a car crash and want to find out more about our legal services, call (703) 538-1138 to speak with one of our Virginia uninsured/underinsured accident lawyers.