Helping Alaskans Navigate Insurance Disputes
You are likely a responsible driver who not only does your best to drive safely but who also carries the required levels of insurance. Unfortunately, not all drivers in the state are this responsible.
While all Alaska drivers are legally required to carry a certain level of insurance, some drivers make the decision to drive without insurance. The state of Alaska ranks number eleven for states in the U.S. with the highest number of uninsured or underinsured drivers. In fact, 15.4 percent of Alaska drivers do not have car insurance or have insurance that is under the state’s requirements. (Florida is number one in the U.S. for the number of uninsured drivers, followed by Mississippi, New Mexico, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Washington, Indiana, Arkansas, and D.C.).
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it is likely you are going through an extremely frustrating, stressful time and that you are anxious about your future. If you happen to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own insurance policy, then your accident may be covered, however, if you do not have this coverage and the driver responsible for the accident has no insurance, your life can look pretty grim right now.
You have a vehicle which needs to be repaired and may have no other means of transportation to get to and from work, school, to run errands or even to visit friends and family. Further, you may have serious injuries from the accident—so serious you may be unable to return to work—which is causing your normal monthly expenses to go unpaid.
This scenario hardly seems fair—after all, you did nothing wrong. You were just going about your normal day when an uninsured or underinsured driver acted in a negligent manner, placing you in the situation you now find yourself in. You need guidance and support right now, and Ringstad Law Office, P.C. can give you that and more.
We will look over your insurance policy, determining the level of coverage you have, then we will deal with the insurance companies to pursue the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered. At Ringstad Law Office, P.C. we will make sure your rights are protected, and your voice is heard. We have many years of experience helping families in Fairbanks and throughout Alaska get back to normal following your accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
What to Do Following a Fairbanks, Alaska Auto Accident
There are certain actions you should take after any car accident however all of these things are even more crucial when you later find the at-fault driver has no auto insurance or is extremely underinsured for the severity of the accident.
- While you should always contact the police following an auto accident, this step is even more critical when the at-fault driver has no auto insurance. Often, those with no auto insurance or those who are underinsured may attempt to convince you to skip calling the police, telling you they will pay for your medical expenses and the damages to your car. Or, the at-fault driver could give you insurance information, which is no longer valid, convincing you just to let the insurance companies handle the situation rather than involving the police.
- If your injuries are not severe, take photos of the scene of the accident, including photos of the damage to both vehicles, the scene surrounding the accident area, the license plate of the at-fault driver’s car, and any obvious injuries. These photos could be invaluable to your attorney as he or she works to obtain compensation for your damages.
- Write down the contact information of the at-fault driver (even when you do call the police). This includes the person’s address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and any insurance information provided by the at-fault driver.
- If there were witnesses to the accident, obtain contact information for each witness.
- As soon as you have been checked out medically and contacted the police, call your own insurance company. Supply only the facts of the accident. Avoid saying anything which would indicate you were even partially at fault. Allow the police to do their job prior to making a determination regarding fault. When you speak to your insurance company, ask about your coverage, most specifically, whether you have uninsured motorist coverage, including bodily injury and property damage.
- During this time, the at-fault insurance company will contact you to take a statement. You should never speak to the at-fault insurance company until you’ve spoken with an experienced personal injury attorney. For instance, our experienced injury attorneys know the ins and outs of these processes, and that knowledge can be invaluable to ensure you are receiving the support you deserve.
- Keep records of everything related to your accident. Keep careful records of every medical expense you incur as a result of the negligence of the other driver, and ensure you use the same level of detail throughout. If you start taking very detailed notes, be sure to take the same quality of detailed notes throughout your healing process. If the at-fault driver has no coverage for bodily injury liability, your own health insurance may cover your medical expenses, however, you would still be responsible for your deductible, and any expenses not covered by your insurance.
- Finally, discuss the possibility of filing a personal injury claim against the other driver by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. Be aware that a driver who has no auto insurance may have no significant assets either. Because of this, you will need to leave it to your Fairbanks, Alaska personal injury attorney to make that determination.
Getting the Help You Need from Ringstad Law Office, P.C.
No matter what your insurance dispute is—whether it is with your own insurance company, or the at-fault driver’s insurance company—having an experienced attorney from Ringstad Law Office, P.C. by your side can make all the difference.
Perhaps the at-fault driver has insurance, yet his or her insurance company does not want to pay for your damages. Insurance companies almost always respond more positively to a personal injury attorney than to an individual.
At Ringstad Law Office, P.C., we make sure your rights and your future are protected, and your voice is heard. We will help you—in the same way we have helped hundreds of other Fairbanks, Alaska families—get back to normal following an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. Contact us today for a free consultation.