Though Rhode Island requires drivers to carry bodily injury insurance of $25,000 for one person and $50,000 total, along with $25,000 in property damage coverage, some drivers take a gamble and refuse to purchase coverage. A 2015 survey found that over 15% of Rhode Island drivers are on the road uninsured. If you're hit by one, their careless decision can turn into your headache.
Likewise, sometimes drivers are involved in hit-and-run accidents or face catastrophic injuries that exceed the other party's insurance limits. These situations call for professional help, after all, you shouldn't have to pay for someone else's poor choices. Our team at Karns & Kerrison is here to help you seek fair compensation after you've been hit by a driver who can't reimburse you for car accident damages.
Who Pays for Damages the At-Fault Party Can't Cover?
Regardless of the reason, when the at-fault party denies you compensation for damages, you may be stuck with bills you can't afford. This is when your uninsured and underinsured motorist policy kicks in. Though not required in Rhode Island, many drivers opt for this additional coverage precisely because they don't want other drivers' negligence to result in out-of-pocket costs.
How Far Will Your Insurer Go to Help You?
After an accident, insurers will do anything they can to avoid their client taking the majority of the blame. An at-fault party is required to pay for medical expenses and property damage, and if that's you, your insurer might owe big bills.
Though we trust our insurers to protect us should we end up in a bad situation, their main concern is not our safety—it's their bottom line. When you're facing a claim denial or underpayment, their stingy treatment can seem personal. After all, you have given them money for years precisely for this reason. Know that you're not the only one they don't want to pay, and that a lawyer can help you negotiate for a higher payout.
Evidence Is Everything
When dealing with a reticent insurance adjuster, the easiest way to increase your settlement (other than hiring an experienced lawyer to negotiate for you) is to present them with solid evidence the accident happened the way you described it, you were not at fault, and it had tangible costs and effects on your life. If you need to challenge an insurer, having the following documentation on hand can help:
- Your own recollection of the accident, including any information you have about the driver. If they were uninsured, you should still get their name and contact info after an accident. In the case of a hit-and-run, write down whatever you can remember about the car that hit you (color, make, model, or any other details). Record the details as soon as possible before they fade from your mind.
- Photos from the scene of the incident. Include any important situational details (was a layer of water on the road causing the other driver to hydroplane? Did you have to stop suddenly because of an obstruction in your lane?) that back up your account of the accident.
- Witness statements from anyone else who saw that accident and can attest to the other driver's fault. It's normal for the other party in an accident to tell a different story, especially if yours hinges on them making a mistake. Make sure to get witness names and contact information at the scene so you have something beyond your word to prove fault.
Experienced Negotiators Make Your Life Easier
Your insurance adjuster is used to using specific techniques to disavow themselves of liability for accidents, and unfortunately, they'll use them when you try to ask for some of the protection you've paid for. Our team at Karns & Kerrison has over 85 years of combined experience working with insurers to get better results for our clients. See how we've recovered over $250 million for the victims of vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, defective products, and more.
Contact us online or call (888) 281-3100 for your free consultation today.