There are two ways that uninsured motorist claims typically arise. One is where everyone agrees that there was no insurance for the “at-fault” in the first instance. The second is where the police report indicates that there was insurance, but the insurer had either canceled prior to the accident, that coverage was never in place, or that due to late notice and prejudice to the insurer, there was a valid disclaimer of coverage. There are also many cases where the cancellation of coverage by the “at-fault” driver’s carrier was technically improper, thereby being ineffective. The improper cancellation is then challenged by the UM/UIM insurance carrier in order to try to force the wrongdoer’s insurance carrier to pay.
An important requirement in some jurisdictions for uninsured “hit and run” claim is that there is a “physical contact” between the unidentified vehicle and the claimant. There are many cases which raise the issue as to whether there was physical contact and a hearing may be is required. Typically arbitration will be stayed pending a hearing on that issue.
There may also be an obligation of the UM claimant to report the accident to the police within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible for there to be a valid “hit-and-run” claim. The failure to do so can result in dismissal of the claim.
The law firm of Lawrence, Worden, Rainis & Bard, P.C. is AV Preeminent Rated* and is currently listed in Best’s Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys and Adjusters. Lawyers at the firm have an average of nearly 20 years of experience handling insurance litigation. To discuss construction accident defense, call 631-694-0033 or contact the firm via email.
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