If the at-fault party does not have car insurance, you can file a compensation claim with your insurance company or file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
When you are in an accident, you may expect the other driver to have auto insurance, but this is not always the case. We cannot always count on other drivers to be insured, and it is important to know what your options are if you get into an accident with someone who lacks coverage.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), “78 percent of insured drivers purchase comprehensive coverage in addition to liability insurance, and 74 percent buy collision coverage.” There are people who drive without insurance, though, and drivers who are underinsured, so it is good to explore your options when you have to deal with these types of drivers.
Handling a Car Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Driver
You still follow the same steps as in any other car accident when the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. If you have not already, make sure you see a doctor. If you feel fine and do not think it is necessary, remember some injuries can take a few weeks or even months to manifest. You may end up needing medical treatment that you can seek compensation for.
The police should be involved to file a report, which will contain important details that can be used as evidence against the at-fault driver. An uninsured driver may not want to get law enforcement involved out of fear of the consequences of being uninsured, but being compensated fairly is what is most important. The at-fault driver chose to take a risk, neglecting to get car insurance, and you do not have to cover for them and miss out on the financial award you deserve.
Pictures of the scene, your vehicle, and your injuries can also help your case if you have them. If nearby video surveillance recorded the accident, this is significantly helpful if the at-fault driver denies causing the accident. You may also want to take a picture of their license plate.
You need to exchange contact information with the other driver and witnesses. Statements that witnesses are willing to give can really strengthen a case.
Make sure you report the accident to your insurance company, too. If the other driver has insufficient coverage, you will learn what your insurance company can provide you with when you contact them.
Your Options if the At-Fault Party Does Not Have Car Insurance
Drivers who were in an accident with a negligent driver should not assume they will not receive compensation if the other driver does not possess auto insurance.
Applying Your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage if You Have It
Drivers are encouraged to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If an uninsured or underinsured driver injures you or causes damage to your vehicle, your insurance company will help pay for the expenses you incur, provided you have this type of coverage. Some states require both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
If the at-fault driver carried a small amount of insurance and it does not pay for all your damages, your underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for what the at-fault driver’s policy could not. A car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver can be frustrating, and you should not procrastinate on filing a claim.
Your insurance company will likely ask for proof of your injuries, medical treatment, and damage to your vehicle, and conduct an investigation. If you feel as though your insurance company is devaluing your claim, you may want to hire a car accident lawyer, as they are familiar with negotiating with insurance companies and can litigate the case if the insurance company is not being cooperative.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver
Not every state requires uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, so not everyone will have it. If you do not, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. A car accident lawyer can assist you and offer guidance. They can really benefit your case as they want you to see the best possible results. They will determine what is in your best interest to do. The goal is obviously to be compensated for damages you suffered through no fault of your own, and a lawyer may be able to help make that happen.
Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC for Help with Your Case
You want to be knowledgeable about what happens if the at-fault party does not have car insurance. Ben Crump Law, PLLC is here for you when you experienced an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver and want legal help. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket expenses for your medical treatment. Call today for your free case evaluation at (800) 959-1444.