How Do I File a Claim if the Other Driver is Uninsured?
In Oregon, every insurance policy issued requires that the insurance company provideuninsured motorist coverage (UM). This means that if you are injured in anauto accident and the at-fault driver is underinsured or uninsured, your own insurance company will provide coverage up to the limits of your UM policy. This applies if you were driving or a pedestrian. The benefit of UM coverage is that you are covered whenever an at-fault driver does not have enough, or any insurance.
Your UM coverage enables you to recover compensation for:
- Economic damages (medical expenses, lost income, etc.)
- Noneconomic damages (pain and suffering and permanent injuries)
You also have the option of purchasing uninsured motorist coverage that pays for damage to your vehicle, in addition to your injuries. While this coverage is not required by law, it must be offered to you as an option by your insurance carrier. You can cash in on your UM coverage when you’ve been involved in ahit and run accident and are unable to identify the other driver.
UM coverage can also be used when a “phantom vehicle” caused the accident. In both cases, the injured party must report the accident to the police or the Motor Vehicles Division within 72 hours of the accident and notify their insurance company within 35 days. What’s more, there must be independent evidence that can substantiate the victim’s testimony about the “phantom vehicle.”
With UM and UIM claims, you would file a claim with your own insurance company. If you don’t agree on the amount offered by your insurance company, you may resolving your dispute through arbitration, but it is not required. You also have the option of suing the insurance company, but you should discuss these options with a Portland personal injury attorney before taking any legal action.
Contact the Law Offices of Timothy Grabefor a free consultation!