Planning for the Unpredictable with Uninsured Motorist Coverage

March 6, 2024 | By Mike Hancock
Planning for the Unpredictable with Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Car accidents are often unexpected events that can lead to significant financial and emotional burdens. While responsible drivers carry insurance to protect themselves and others in case of an accident, not everyone on the road follows suit.

In fact, there’s a notable percentage of drivers who are uninsured or underinsured, leaving innocent victims vulnerable to substantial losses. This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play, offering a crucial layer of protection for drivers.

The following is a look at why uninsured motorist coverage is a good idea for all drivers. You’ll also learn how a Tampa car accident attorney can help if you’re in a wreck with an uninsured driver and have issues obtaining compensation from the insurance company.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage – The Basics

Planning for the Unpredictable with Uninsured Motorist Coverage

The US has nearly 30 million uninsured drivers, about 13 percent of all motorists. Drivers who do the right thing and purchase coverage can buy uninsured motorist coverage to guard against being involved in a wreck with someone who doesn’t have a car insurance policy.

Uninsured motorist coverage is insurance that steps in to cover medical expenses, property damage, and other losses incurred by an insured party in an accident caused by a driver who either doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for the injured party’s losses. This coverage is designed to provide peace of mind and financial security when the at-fault driver can’t compensate for the damages they caused.

One of the primary benefits of uninsured motorist coverage is that it can fill the gap left by uninsured or underinsured drivers. Without this coverage, people involved in accidents with such drivers can be left with no means of recovering their losses. They’ll have to find ways to pay out of pocket for exorbitant medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and other expenses. Uninsured motorist coverage is a safeguard, ensuring that victims receive the compensation they need to rebuild their lives after an accident.

Insurance Company Challenges

However, despite the availability of uninsured motorist coverage, obtaining fair compensation after an accident involving an uninsured driver can still be challenging. 

Insurance companies are profit-driven entities, and as such, they often employ various tactics to minimize payouts or deny claims altogether, leaving accident victims frustrated and financially burdened. Understanding these tactics is crucial for individuals navigating the claims process and seeking fair compensation for their losses.

Disputing Blame

One standard tactic insurance companies use is to dispute liability or fault for the accident. Insurers may argue that their policyholder wasn’t at fault or that the victim’s actions contributed to the accident, thereby reducing their liability for damages. They may attempt to shift blame onto the victim or other parties involved in the crash, casting doubt on the claim’s validity and complicating the settlement process.

Undervaluing Damages

Another tactic employed by insurance companies is to undervalue the extent of the victim’s injuries or property damage. 

Insurers may downplay the severity of injuries or dispute the necessity of certain medical treatments or procedures, leading to lower settlement offers. Similarly, they may undervalue the cost of vehicle repairs or other property damage, offering minimal compensation that fails to cover the victim’s losses adequately.

Delaying the Claim

Insurance companies frequently delay the claims process to wear down claimants and pressure them into accepting low settlement offers. They may request extensive documentation, conduct lengthy investigations, or use stall negotiation tactics. Insurers use these and other tactics to prolong the process. 

They think the claimant will either get too tired of dealing with the hassle or become desperate for money. The insurer is betting the claimant will eventually give in.

Furthermore, insurers may exploit technicalities or loopholes in insurance policies to deny claims altogether. They may cite obscure clauses or exclusions to justify claim denials, leaving victims without recourse for recovering their losses. 

Insurers may also engage in bad faith practices, such as failing to promptly investigate claims, denying valid claims without justification, or offering unreasonably low settlement amounts.

Attacking the Validity of a Claim

In some cases, insurance companies may even engage in surveillance or investigation tactics to discredit claimants and undermine the legitimacy of their claims. This can involve monitoring claimants’ activities, conducting background checks, or seeking evidence to refute the extent of injuries or damages claimed.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Get the Money You Deserve

Car Insurance

In these situations, getting the help of a car accident attorney can be invaluable. A skilled lawyer has the knowledge and experience to navigate the complexities of insurance claims and negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients. 

They understand the tactics insurers use to deny or devalue claims and can counteract them effectively. By advocating for their client’s rights and leveraging their legal experience, car accident attorneys work to secure the maximum compensation possible for their clients.

Looking for Other Compensation Avenues

Suppose you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance, and you’re having problems getting the money you deserve through your uninsured motorist coverage policy. In that case, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. When facing resistance from insurance companies, experienced car accident attorneys employ various strategies to pursue compensation. 

One approach involves investigating alternative avenues for recovering damages, such as holding other parties accountable for their role in the accident. 

For example, if a defective part in one of the vehicles contributed to the crash, the manufacturer can be liable for the resulting damages. Suppose the accident occurred due to a brake failure or tire blowout. If that malfunction occurred due to a defect, you can sue the company that made the product.

Similarly, if another driver’s negligence or recklessness played a role in causing the accident, they may share responsibility for the losses incurred. The following briefly examines how an attorney can help in both scenarios.

Manufacturers of Defective Parts

Car accident attorneys conduct thorough investigations to determine if a defective product played a role in the crash. This involves reviewing the circumstances of the accident, gathering evidence such as maintenance records and expert opinions, and assessing the manufacturer’s responsibility for the defect. 

By building a solid case against the manufacturer, attorneys seek compensation for their clients’ losses, including medical expenses, property damage, and other damages.

Another Driver’s Negligence

Similarly, if another driver’s recklessness contributed to the accident, they may share liability for the resulting damages. The uninsured motorist may have hit your car. However, another driver could have forced the motorist’s vehicle into yours. That other driver could have been drunk, speeding, or committed some other form of negligence.

Car accident attorneys investigate the actions of all parties involved in the crash to determine each party’s level of fault. This investigation includes reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing the circumstances leading up to the accident. 

By establishing the other driver’s liability, attorneys pursue compensation for their clients through personal injury claims or lawsuits. Armed with compelling evidence, attorneys build strong cases to hold the responsible parties accountable and seek compensation on behalf of their clients.

Dealing With Unfair Settlement Offers

Finalizing the Settlement

When someone suffers a severe injury in a car accident, they will often worry about their mounting medical bills. Medical costs associated with a severe spinal cord injury, for example, can be nearly $1 million in the first year alone. Since victims don’t have money coming in because they can’t work, some will jump at an insurer’s first settlement offer.

Insurance adjusters sometimes emphasize the urgency of accepting the offer, claiming that further delays will only prolong the process and result in reduced compensation. This tactic only increases an accident victim’s anxiety, pushing them toward taking a settlement. 

Insurers often take advantage of victims’ lack of knowledge about their rights. People may be unaware of the potential long-term consequences of accepting a settlement offer without legal representation.

Insurers capitalize on this lack of understanding to push victims into accepting inadequate settlements that don’t fully account for their current and future losses. If an injury victim accepts an unfair offer, they’ll be responsible for paying whatever expenses remain once the settlement money runs out.

Protecting Victims from Predatory Insurance Company Tactics

Car accident attorneys are crucial in protecting clients from unfair settlement offers. 

From the outset, attorneys conduct comprehensive evaluations of their client’s cases to determine the actual value of their claims. This involves assessing the extent of injuries, estimating future medical expenses, calculating lost income and earning capacity, and evaluating non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

Since they know the actual value of their client’s case, they won’t stop until the insurer offers to cover all of the accident victim’s expenses.

Negotiating With an Insurance Company

Armed with this information, attorneys negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients to secure fair and just compensation. They challenge lowball settlement offers, present evidence supporting their clients’ claims, and advocate for maximum payouts that fully address their clients’ losses and needs. Attorneys are skilled negotiators who understand the tactics employed by insurance adjusters and know how to counteract them effectively.

Negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of clients is a cornerstone of a car accident attorney’s role. This process involves carefully balancing legal strategy, advocacy, and negotiation skills to secure fair compensation for accident victims. Here’s an inside look at how a car accident attorney navigates the negotiation process with insurance companies:

Preparing the Case

Before entering negotiations, the attorney thoroughly prepares to build a strong case. This preparation includes gathering evidence such as medical records, police reports, witness statements, and documentation of damages. The attorney meticulously reviews the case details, identifies key strengths and weaknesses, and formulates a negotiation strategy tailored to the client’s circumstances.

Taking First Steps

The lawyer initiates contact with the insurance company to open negotiations. They present a detailed demand letter outlining their client’s injuries, damages, and the basis for their claim. This letter serves as a starting point for negotiations, providing the insurer with a clear understanding of the extent of the client’s losses and the compensation sought.

Initial Offers and Counteroffers

The insurance company typically responds with an initial settlement offer, often lower than the amount requested in the demand letter. The attorney carefully reviews the offer, assesses its adequacy in light of the client’s losses, and formulates a strategic response. They’ll typically counter the offer with a higher amount supported by evidence and legal arguments, highlighting the strengths of their client’s case and the reasons for seeking more significant compensation.

Negotiation Tactics

The attorney employs various tactics throughout the negotiation to advocate for their client’s interests and maximize the settlement amount. They do this by taking the following steps:

  • Presenting compelling evidence
  • Emphasizing the severity of the client’s injuries
  • Challenging the insurer’s valuation of damages
  • Highlighting legal precedents or statutes supporting the client’s claim 

The attorney remains assertive yet professional in their interactions with the insurance company, advocating for fair and just compensation. They’ll insist the insurer pays the full value of the victim’s uninsured motorist coverage policy.

Persistence and Patience

Negotiations with insurance companies can be lengthy and challenging, requiring persistence and patience on the part of the attorney. They may engage in multiple rounds of negotiations, exchanging offers and counteroffers until both parties reach a mutually acceptable settlement. 

Finalizing the Settlement

Mike Hankcock, Car Accident Lawyer
Tampa Car Accident Attorney, Mike Hancock

Once the lawyer and insurance company reach a settlement agreement, the attorney reviews the terms and conditions to ensure they favor their client. They may negotiate additional provisions or amendments to the agreement as needed. 

Once both parties agree to the terms, they finalize the settlement. The client then receives the compensation they’re entitled to for their injuries and damages.

Negotiating with insurance companies requires skill, strategy, and tenacity on the part of car accident lawyers. By diligently preparing their cases, advocating for their clients’ interests, and persistently pursuing fair compensation, attorneys play a vital role in securing just outcomes for accident victims in the negotiation process.

If the insurer refuses to settle, the attorney will be ready to take them to court. However, this rarely happens, so it’s doubtful your case will go to trial.

Speak With a Car Accident Attorney ASAP

Please don’t try to fight an insurer alone if you’re not getting the money you deserve after making a claim on your uninsured motorist coverage policy. A car accident attorney will fight to help you obtain maximum compensation.

Mike Hancock


People involved in serious accidents experience loss and often don’t know what to do next. Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Mike Hancock has dedicated his career to handling the recovery process for his clients so that their lives can get back to normal.

Mike has excelled in personal injury litigation for over 30 years and even though that’s earned him numerous professional honors, what’s most important to him is meeting directly with you and his commitment to giving you peace of mind.

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