If you get into an auto accident and find that the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance, do not assume that you will not be compensated for any injuries and/or damage to your vehicle. It can surely be disconcerting to discover an uninsured driver struck you, but you have other options for coverage. The Insurance Information Institute (III) notes that “In 2015, 13.0 percent of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, was uninsured.”
You may have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), which you can use to pay for damages from the accident. You might also be able to file a lawsuit against the driver to receive the compensation you deserve. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver can make things much more difficult, unfortunately, but you can seek financial recovery in more ways than one.
You Have Options for Restitution After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
When another driver hits you, you may suffer significant injuries and vehicle damage, or it may be a minor accident with little damage and few injuries to your person. Either way, you deserve to be compensated when the accident was not your fault. Typically, after an accident, we exchange insurance information with the other driver.
When you find out the other party is not covered, you might initially panic and think you are out of luck with restoring your losses.
Your options for recovery include the following:
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
This type of coverage is provided by your insurance company and could be optional or mandatory, depending on where you live. You may not remember if you have this coverage, and you can call your insurance carrier to find out if you do.
You can use this coverage to pay for treatment for injuries and repairs to your vehicle if you have it. This type of insurance might not cover all your losses. If your driver has some insurance—but it’s not enough to pay for everything—your underinsured motorist policy can take care of what the liable driver can’t.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Party
If you do not have UM/UIM insurance, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit to receive compensation. You may want to hire a personal injury lawyer if you plan to go to court. They can gather evidence, obtain crucial documentation, interview witnesses, and more.
You would only have to worry about recovering from your accident.
What to Take Care of After Your Accident
At the accident scene, the police will file a report. You will want to speak to the other party, so you can find out if they have insurance or not. Additionally, you should take pictures and videos of the vehicles, the scene, and your injuries.
While an uninsured, at-fault driver may not want the police involved (as they could worry about getting in trouble), you must put your needs first in this situation. Whether you have UM/UIM insurance or you wish to file a lawsuit, having a lawyer in your corner can benefit you in several ways.
Your Lawyer Will Help You Stay within Relevant Time Limits
Do not delay in taking action when you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. If you have UM/UIM insurance, file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. You may have a limited time to make this claim, and you don’t want to miss out on the compensation you are entitled to.
Insurance companies are generally not on the victim’s side, even if they are your own insurer. They may want to look into how exactly you sustained your injuries, the medical care you received, and more. If you feel the insurance company is not treating you fairly, you might decide to hire a lawyer for their help, as they are familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to pay claimants less.
If you file a lawsuit, other timelines could add stress and complications. A lawyer can examine your case and make sure you file before the period in your state runs out—the Legal Information Institute (LII) describes this as the “statute of limitations.” Your lawyer can help you figure out the statute of limitations regarding your case.
Call Bernstein & Poisson Today to Discuss Your Case
After an accident with an at-fault party that doesn’t have car insurance, you may not know what course of action is best. You have endured enough, being in a car accident that was someone else’s fault. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket for your preventable damages, too. Call Bernstein & Poisson today for a free consultation at (702) 633-3333.