Speak to an Uninsured Motorists Claims Lawyer
Uninsured and underinsured motorists claims (also known as, UM and UIM claims) are claims that you make if you are injured in a car accident but the at-fault driver did not have any insurance, or did not have enough insurance to cover your actual damages.
If you are injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you need to first check whether you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).
Louisiana law says that your Underinsured Motorist insurance carrier owes you, the purchaser and insured under the policy, a duty of good faith and fair dealing. Jones v. Johnson, 45,847 (La. App. 2 Cir. 12/15/2010), 56 So. 3d 1016, 121.
In order to recover under your UM/UIM insurance policy, you must prove:
• the uninsured or underinsured status of the owner or operator of the automobile that caused the accident;
• the fault of the owner or operator of that automobile;
• the damage resulting from such fault; and,
• the extent of those injures.
McDill v. Utica Mut. Ins. Co., 475 So. 2d 1085, 1089 (La. 1985). The McDill case is a seminal case in UM/UIM insurance law in Louisiana. Often, your insurance company will write you a check that they pay to you unconditionally. This is known as a “McDill tender.”
We must send your medical records to your UM carrier so that we can prove the extent of your damages and injuries. This is often called a “proof of claim.”
Once your UM insurer receives your proof of claim, they have 30 days to pay you the limits of your UM policy or make a McDill tender, which can be a partial payment instead of the full payment ultimately owed under the claim.
The unconditional or McDill tender is not a settlement but is a “no-strings-attached” payment of the undisputed portion of the insurance policy owed to the accident victim.
Making this kind of tender can help insurance companies avoid penalties and attorney fees under the Louisiana insurance statutes.