Your Options When Hit by an Uninsured Driver

Auto Accident Lawyer

Accidents happen, and in most states, the law requires all vehicle owners to have adequate insurance coverage. Unfortunately, despite the legal expectation, many motorists do not have insurance, leaving other drivers at risk for increased financial losses after a collision. While there is the potential for legal recourse, this is not always the best resolution, especially when an uninsured motorist causes a wreck. Often, the best course of action is to rely on your own policy, and in fact, in some states, this may be your only option.

Uninsured and Underinsured Driver Coverage

Many auto insurance companies offer the option of additional coverage for this exact situation. Uninsured motorist coverage will probably cover the same amount as your liability policy. Purchasing UIM coverage provides financial protection against uninsured or underinsured drivers, allowing you to recoup some of your losses, but as with any insurance claim, your policyholder will typically adjust your premium.

Legal Action

You have the option of suing the driver at fault for the collision but weigh this option carefully. If a driver does not have required insurance coverage, then it is likely that they do not have the financial resources to cover your damages. While a trial may ease some of your frustration and a favorable judgment may make you feel vindicated, awarded damages do not equate to losses recovered in all cases. A verdict may find damages of $75,000,  but a defendant may only possess enough funds and assets to cover half that or less. Therefore, a trial may only increase your financial burden and create another victim. In these circumstances, a lawyer may argue for restraint and legal mercy instead of encouraging a trial.

No-Fault States

Regardless of your desire to sue some states remove that possibility. Though there are many at-fault states, meaning that motorists are accountable for their role in an accident, some states have opted for a no-fault model, meaning that liability lies with both drivers. Therefore, limitations for legal recourse in no-fault states exist and minimize your ability to seek financial restitution. However, if you sustained severe injuries, which led to mounting medical bills and debt, you can seek damages as long as you meet the state’s minimum requirement.

While some accidents are unavoidable, auto insurance requirements should protect you as a motorist. Unfortunately, despite the legal expectation, many drivers do not have insurance, and when they cause an accident, they have no financial ability to make good on your damage claim. If you were in an accident with an uninsured driver, seek legal counsel from a qualified personal injury attorney in your area.