The Inside Story on Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You Swerved, Crashed, to Avoid a Hit-and-Run Driver. Is it Covered?
All drivers in New Mexico are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage as protection in case they are in an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have insurance.
It usually comes up when there is an accident involving two or more vehicles and the driver who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance or left the scene without stopping. It’s important to know that it doesn’t matter if the other driver physically hits your car. It’s enough if their wrongful action causes you to slam on your brakes and hurt yourself or if you swerved and hit something in order to avoid a collision with that car.
So long as it’s the other driver’s fault, your uninsured/unknown motorist coverage should protect you. It’s worth repeating because many people mistakenly believe that they must have a physical collision for their insurance to kick in. Not surprisingly, sometimes an insurance carrier won’t give you the full truth about your coverage.
Bottom line: It’s enough that the other driver causes you to have to take evasive action and you are injured as a result.
What if the Info the Uninsured Motorist Gives You is False?
Here are some other important instances where your uninsured motorist covers your accident and injuries.
An uninsured motorist hits your vehicle and takes off. Or, an uninsured motorist hits your vehicle, stops and gets out but provides incorrect contact information.
Or, you are involved in an accident but didn’t get the other driver’s information because you didn’t think you were hurt. This is very common in both soft tissue injuries and in more serious injuries involving your spine. The symptoms may not show up for days or even weeks.
Always give your insurance company the earliest possible notice that you think you’ve been in an accident or had an interaction with an uninsured motorist. Some policies require you to notify your insurer within 24 hours when you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident.
You're Better off with an Attorney
Always consult an attorney. There is no better firm in the State than Will Ferguson Associates. Personal Injury law is all we do. So even if you don’t know who the other drivers are or if they’ve left the scene or given false contact information, we can help you determine whether you have insurance coverage for your injury.
Don’t let an insurance adjuster tell you that you don’t have coverage just because you don’t know who the other driver is. So long as the accident isn’t your fault, you probably have coverage.
Martin J. Chavez is an attorney with Will Ferguson & Associates. Reach him at (505) 633-7070.