Hit and run by uninsured drunk, and my insurance is denying coverage?

by Tony
(Dothan, Alabama)

A drunk driver hit me and he kept going. I chased him while staying on the phone with the police until they eventually caught up with him and arrested him. My insurance company said I did not have uninsured motorist coverage, but my fiancé and I had asked from the beginning for full coverage before any accident.

I received a few medical bills. The insurance company paid for the collision, however they say they do not have to pay for my bodily injuries. The medical bills and time I lost from work to recover (and for pain and suffering) have took a toll on my life.

What do I do? Is there any way I can get my insurance to pay my medical bills? Can I get anything from the other driver, who was uninsured? He shouldn't just be able to get away with this. Thank you for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Hit and run by uninsured drunk, and my insurance is denying coverage?":

Tony (Dothan, Alabama):

While you and your fiance may have asked your insurance company for full coverage, it was your duty to make sure your request was met. Unless you have written confirmation from your insurance company confirming the additional insured motorist coverage, you will have no recourse against the insurance company.

To know whether or not you had uninsured motorist coverage at the time of the collision, look at the declaration page on your insurance policy. The declaration page is usually the first page of the policy and clearly sets out the type of insurance you have, including any riders for uninsured motorist insurance.

If the declaration page states you did have uninsured motorist coverage at the time of the collision, then you have every right to demand to be reimbursed by your insurance company for your medical bills. If the declaration page does not reflect uninsured motorist coverage, then your options become quite limited.

Presuming you did not have uninsured motorist coverage at the time of the collision, your next recourse would be to sue the driver personally. Unfortunately, if the driver was uninsured, it is unlikely he has enough assets to cover any judgment you might gain against him.

There is another possibility. The driver was likely arrested for leaving the scene of an accident. If so, he or she will have to appear in court. Depending upon the driver’s criminal history, if any, he or she may either be sentenced to jail or prison, or receive probation.

Speak with the prosecutor assigned to the case. Tell the prosecutor you have outstanding bills stemming from the collision. The prosecutor may speak with the judge and ask the judge to order the driver, as part of his or her probation, to make restitution payments through the court to you.

If the judge agrees and the driver is ordered to pay restitution, and he fails to comply, it is likely the driver’s probation will be revoked and the driver will be sentenced to jail or prison to serve out the remainder of the sentence.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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