Car insurance is proof of financial responsibility – proof that a driver can pay for the injuries and property damage he or she causes in a car accident. Every driver in West Virginia must carry car insurance. Unfortunately, many drivers break this rule and drive uninsured.
If you get into a car accident with an uninsured motorist in Morgantown, you may not know who to hold responsible for your bills. A car accident lawyer from the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC can help you seek financial compensation if the other driver’s insurance is not an option.
What Are West Virginia’s Insurance Requirements?
To legally operate a motor vehicle in West Virginia, a driver must carry certain types and amounts of car insurance. All drivers must show proof of this insurance upon request. Currently, the minimum required amounts of automobile insurance in West Virginia are:
$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
$25,000 in property damage liability coverage
$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist insurance
$25,000 in property damage liability coverage in an uninsured motorist accident
Driving without car insurance is a moving violation that can result in the suspension of the driver’s license and vehicle registration. If an uninsured motorist causes a car accident, he or she may also be personally liable, meaning he or she will have to pay out of pocket for injuries and damage.
Who Pays for an Uninsured Motorist Accident?
West Virginia is a fault-based state, meaning that after a car crash, you will seek financial compensation from the insurance carrier of the at-fault party. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, all drivers receive compensation from their own providers, regardless of fault.
If you get into a crash with an uninsured motorist, however, a claim with his or her insurance company is not possible. This is when your uninsured motorist insurance comes into play. A first-party uninsured motorist claim will pay for your medical bills and vehicle repairs (or replacement) after a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver in West Virginia. It will also pay for your expenses after a hit-and-run accident.
How Does an Uninsured Motorist Claim Work?
Once you discover that the driver at fault for your car accident does not have insurance, call the police. You must report this law violation. The police can cite the driver for the infraction and create an accident report. Exchange other information with the driver while you wait for the police, such as your name and address, while still at the scene. Take photographs, as well.
After you have been to a hospital in Morgantown for professional medical care, turn your attention to the insurance process. Call your own auto insurance provider to report the car accident. Explain that the other driver does not have insurance and ask whether your uninsured motorist insurance will cover your losses. Cooperate with the insurance investigation and provide the information and evidence requested.
If you have minor injuries or property damage, your insurance company may treat your claim fairly and offer a reasonable settlement. If you suffered severe injuries, however, the odds of an insurance company’s bad faith increase. Your insurance provider may try to devalue your losses to save money on your payout. If you believe your insurance company is handling your uninsured motorist claim in bad faith or not offering as much as you deserve, contact a car accident lawyer for assistance.
Getting into a car accident is distressing enough without also having to deal with an uninsured motorist. Attorney Jeff Robinette got his start as an insurance lawyer. He understands how your auto insurance company will handle an uninsured motorist claim, as well as how to properly negotiate for maximum financial compensation on your behalf.
If you were recently injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver, don’t hesitate to contact us. Request a free consultation in Morgantown, West Virginia now at (304) 594-1800.