When automobile accidents cause serious injuries, recovery can be physically, emotionally, and financially challenging. You may expect to use the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage to pay for your medical treatments and bills, particularly if you cannot work due to your injuries. However, when the negligent driver has either no insurance or insufficient coverage, you might wonder who will pay for your losses.
Nebraska law requires all motorists to carry a minimum amount of liability car insurance. The injured person will need to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. The minimum liability insurance required in Nebraska is:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
Nebraska also requires all drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you would make an uninsured motorist claim through your own uninsured motorist coverage. If the at-fault driver’s coverage isn’t enough to cover all your damages, you will make a claim against your underinsured motorist coverage.
An Omaha car accident lawyer at Berry Law understands the unique problems posed by uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in Omaha. We will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain the maximum compensation to help you recover from your injuries.
Steps to Take After a Car Collision with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver in Omaha
There are certain steps that you should take following a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver. You should immediately seek medical care, gather and preserve evidence, and speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Seek Medical Care
After the crash, you may be in shock and not able to feel your injury. However, it is crucial that you see a medical professional immediately. A doctor can evaluate your condition and develop a treatment plan. Additionally, you can use the medical records documenting your injuries as evidence in a later court case.
Gather and Preserve Evidence
You or your representative should also obtain the contact information from all of the drivers involved in the crash and the names and contact information of any witnesses. If possible, document the crash scene by taking pictures of the vehicles and of your injuries. Writing down notes on what happened is also helpful, as it is easy to forget what happened in a time of crisis. Keeping a daily journal of your recovery will also help with settlement negotiations or at trial. An additional benefit of keeping a daily journal of your recovery is that studies show journaling after a traumatic event can lessen the likelihood of Post-Traumatic Stress complications later on.
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Contact Your Auto Insurance Company
Even though your first step will be to seek compensation through the at-fault party’s insurance policy, you will also need to report your car accident with your own insurance company soon after it occurred. Failure to do so could result in your insurer canceling your policy.
Meet with an Attorney
It is critical to meet with an Omaha personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a crash. An experienced lawyer will inform you of your legal rights and options and help you navigate complex insurance and liability issues.
Where to Seek Compensation after an Uninsured Motorist Accident
If the at-fault driver has no collision coverage or only carries the state minimum of $25,000 for liability, your attorney will need to look for other sources of compensation, often involving your own insurance coverage. In situations where the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance, and your Underinsured coverage does not fully cover your damages, our skilled legal team will give you a thorough and clear picture of any additional sources of compensation.
Negligent Third Parties
You can pursue financial restitution from the at-fault driver in a personal injury claim. However, most uninsured and underinsured motorists do not carry insurance because they cannot afford the cost of the premiums. Accordingly, they probably would not have sufficient assets to pay damages in a personal injury claim. Depending on the situation, you may be able to file a claim against another party, such as the at-fault driver’s employer or the manufacturer of a defective auto part.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
The next place to look would be your own auto insurer. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim with your own insurance company for all of your losses or the portion not covered by the negligent driver’s policy. These situations are complicated because your insurance is there to protect your interests, but the company also has an incentive to keep their payout to you as low as possible. You need an unyielding attorney with a deep understanding of bad-faith tactics to advocate on your behalf in negotiations, even with your own insurance company.
Let an Omaha Attorney Help with Your Underinsured/Uninsured Car Accident Claim
Insurance companies do not always look out for your best interests. Adjusters differ and are often more concerned with their bottom line than with helping injured people. After an underinsured/uninsured car accident in Omaha, your insurance company may urge you to settle your claim for less than it is worth. They may not tell you that you are entitled to compensation for lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, future medical expenses, or permanency of loss.
Improve your chances of receiving fair compensation by working with an attorney from Berry Law who will fight to protect your interests and rights. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation