During a bad economy, we all cut costs. Now more than ever many Oregonians cut costs by driving uninsured or driving with not enough insurance. Richard Rizk receives many calls from panicked drivers seriously injured by an uninsured driver or underinsured driver. Good News: If you have an auto insurance policy issued in Oregon, you also have at least $25k in uninsured motorist coverage. When you are hit by an uninsured motorist, your own insurer “stands in the shoes” of the bad driver. Your own auto insurer is, by contract, responsible for your reasonable and necessary personal injuries.

Strange as it sounds, if you have sufficient uninsured limits, getting hit by an uninsured driver (as opposed to an insured driver) can actually be a good thing since you have more rights against your own insurer than someone else’s. Also, if your case goes to trial, jurors may award more against an insurance company than they would against an individual driver. Your policy may require you to arbitrate uninsured claims against your auto insurer. Arbitration is not necessarily bad either as it is often quicker and cheaper than trial.

Unfortunately, many insurers know uninsured motorist coverage is widely misunderstood. Confusion is fueled by the fact that many claims examiners from the same company may work the same claim from different perspectives. For example, there may be a claims person assigned to value your car, another to pay benefits under no fault (PIP) coverage and still another to evaluate fault and even another to assess underinsurance claims.

Avoid endless debates with claims reps. If you are faced with an uninsured or underinsured auto injury accident claim, call or email Richard Rizk at (503) 245-5677 or rich@rizklaw.com

Richard Rizk, Personal Injury Attorney, Disability Attorney, Insurance Attorney.