Waterbury Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney
Under Connecticut law, all drivers must carry car insurance. Additionally, Connecticut requires that all drivers carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Connecticut has these requirements in order to protect both victims of car accidents and individuals who cause accidents, as well as auto loan underwriters. Despite these requirements, 1 out of 12 Connecticut drivers does not carry insurance.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist in Connecticut, contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome today to speak with a Waterbury uninsured motorist accident lawyer.
Why Choose Us for Your Waterbury Uninsured Motorist Accident Case
- We offer a personalized legal experience, with a team experienced in personal injury litigation that is with you and your family every step of the way.
- Our law office in Waterbury is equipped with the personnel, resources and knowledge you need for a strong claim to damages. We can go to trial, if necessary.
- Our intention is to help you win your case so that you and your family have what you need to move forward after an accident. We have a track record of success.
What are the Penalties for Not Carrying Car Insurance in Waterbury?
The consequences of not having car insurance can be severe. Those found guilty of not carrying insurance can be subject to a fine of $500, imprisonment of up to 3 months, or both. It is a misdemeanor offense for a driver to fail to be covered by automobile insurance. Additionally, the driver’s registration may be suspended, and if they don’t provide the DMV with proof of insurance and pay them a $200 fine, they may have their license suspended as well.
If law enforcement sees an uninsured vehicle with a suspended registration either being driven on a public highway or parked on a public lot, the officer is permitted to confiscate the license plates and impound the vehicle. If the owner of the vehicle does not provide proof of auto insurance and a valid registration within 45 days, the vehicle can then be turned over to the state permanently.
What is the Purpose of Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Purchasing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects an individual when they are in an accident caused by an at-fault motorist who does not have sufficient insurance coverage. Connecticut requires that drivers purchase a policy that includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – a minimum limit of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
An individual’s uninsured motorist coverage provides them compensation in instances where an at-fault driver does not carry car insurance, an individual is in a hit-and-run accident, or if the at-fault driver’s insurance company is unwilling to provide coverage.
An individual’s underinsured motorist coverage provides coverage in instances where the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits do not cover the injuries that occurred as a result of the accident. If an individual’s underinsured motorist coverage includes conversion coverage, then both their underinsured motorist coverage and the at-fault driver’s liability coverage can provide compensation.
What Should You Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist in Waterbury?
Assuming a person has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, the best course of action is to file a claim with their insurance company. An individual could file a lawsuit against the uninsured or underinsured motorist, but it is unlikely they will receive appropriate compensation. Often, uninsured or underinsured motorists do not have a significant amount of money or assets, which is why they do not carry auto insurance in the first place.
Instead, it may be beneficial for an individual to file a claim with their own insurance company if they have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
What is the Process for Filing a Claim in Waterbury?
The process of filing a claim for an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist follows the same procedures as any other accident claim.
However, it is important to bear in mind that some insurance companies only allow an individual 30 days from the date of the accident in which to file a claim. Connecticut also has a 3-year statute of limitations for a claim involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Additionally, the insurance company may deny the claim on a variety of grounds. The insurance company may claim that the car crash does not fall under the scope of the individual’s policy, or they may offer less compensation than an individual needs. The insurance company could also claim that one has not provided proper medical documentation. The insurer may also not provide coverage for long-term consequences from an accident, such as physical therapy, long-term disability, or compensation for lost income.
What Should an Individual Do if a Claim is Denied?
If the insurance company denies a claim or an individual is having trouble with the claim negotiation process, they may instead choose to work with an attorney to file an uninsured car accident claim against the individual’s insurance company.
It may be beneficial to file a claim if a person’s medical bills also exceed the limits of liability coverage or uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. According to Healthcare Finance News, the average cost of hospitalization for a car accident victim is $57,000, which surpasses the minimum required coverage amount per person of $20,000 in Connecticut. Many individuals require more compensation than their insurance will provide.
In situations where a claim is denied or the individual is unsatisfied with the result of a claim, they may pursue binding arbitration with their insurance company.
Why Pursue Binding Arbitration?
Binding arbitration can be a quicker and less expensive way to pursue legal action. Non-binding arbitration exists, where both parties have the option of rejecting the decision of the arbitrator if they are not pleased with the decision, and then they can file a lawsuit. Often, insurance companies mandate binding arbitration in their auto policies.
Binding arbitration involves the submission of a dispute to a third party who hears the case and makes a determination. It is less formal than filing a lawsuit. In binding arbitration, an individual can avoid the court process and a trial before a judge or jury. Arbitration also does not have monetary limits like small claims court does, so a person may be able to receive the full compensation they are seeking. The individual may also include pain and suffering in their demand. The individual also has a say in the arbitrator that is chosen. One possible drawback to this process, however, is that you are not allowed to file a lawsuit after the final decision has been made.
Arbitration hearings typically include opening statements, case presentations, and closing arguments. They are less formal than a formal court proceeding, such as a trial, though they follow the same basic format.
Should an individual choose to pursue binding arbitration after a car accident, it is important to work with an experienced attorney. Contact us for assistance as soon as possible. Working with the best and most experienced Waterbury uninsured motorist accident attorney will ensure that you receive a successful resolution for your claim.
Contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist, contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. Our Waterbury accident attorneys can help you every step of the way. Call (203) 753-7300 today!