Research shows that 1 out of every 7 drivers in the United States and about 12% of the drivers on Connecticut roads do not have auto insurance. It is not unusual for uninsured drivers to flee the scene of an accident fearing they will get in trouble with the police for operating a car without insurance as required by Connecticut law.
So what happens if I am injured in an accident that is not my fault and the driver flees the scene or does not have any auto insurance?
When you purchase auto insurance in Connecticut, your own policy includes Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage for this exact situation. Under Connecticut law, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects "you, your relatives who live with you and your passengers if they are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist, a motorist whose bodily injury liability limits are less than your limits or a hit and run driver." You pay for this coverage automatically with your annual auto insurance premium. This coverage can compensate you for your pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills.
Do I still need an attorney even if I have an Uninsured/Underinsured claim against my own policy?
Absolutely! Even though you pay for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage as part of your auto insurance premium, it does not mean that your own insurance company will cut you a check for your injuries. In fact, the opposite is true: your insurance company will try to get you to accept as little as possible to settle your claim, in order to maximize the money in their shareholder's pockets. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli know the "games" your insurance company will play and how to get you the compensation you deserve.
Will my auto insurance rates go up if I file an Uninsured/Underinsured claim against my own insurer?
Generally no. Insurance rates usually rise if you are at fault for an accident. If you were injured in an accident that is not your fault, you are making a claim for benefits you are entitled to and have been paying mandatory premiums for. In addition, you will probably be making a claim against your own insurance company for damage to your vehicle. Adding an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist claim to take care of your injuries should not make any further difference in your policy rates.
Who should I call?
If you or someone you love was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Connecticut by a hit and run or uninsured driver, you should contact an attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli has experience handling these cases and will deal with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on getting better. Contact us today for a free consultation at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.