Out of nowhere, you find yourself suddenly hit hard by another vehicle. You’re stunned and you realize that the accident was very significant. You’re wondering about yourself and you’re trying to check to see how you are and then you also wonder what condition your car is in. The one good thing is that this accident was in no way your fault. This means that the other driver’s insurance will be responsible for paying the medical bills, damage repair or replacement of the car, and other things such as time lost from work, etc. Here we will take a look at what happens if you’re in a car accident with an uninsured driver.
Is It Possible To Register And Drive A Car Without Insurance?
Although insurance laws will vary to a degree from state-to-state, they all require at least a minimum amount of liability insurance. Even so, every year a significant number of people drive their cars without that insurance. Many drivers who carry appropriate insurance as required by law wonder how a person even gets their car registered if they’re not insured.
There are several ways that people get around this. One thing that some drivers will do is to sign up for the required insurance long enough to get the car registered and then later cancel that insurance. It is estimated that close to 15% of drivers on the road nationwide are completely uninsured. The state of Mississippi has almost double that rate and other states such as Florida, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are also very high. DUI Lawyer can help you to understand the law and procedures.
What Happens With The Driver Who Is At Fault And Has No Insurance?
Each state sets the laws regarding this matter but the one who is found at fault is responsible under the law to cover all related costs. The problem is that those who don’t carry insurance almost never have any type of money or other resources for you to go after should you need to sue them in court for damages. In this case, even if you were to win in court there would be nothing to get.
In a few states, there is what is called no-fault laws. This is where each driver’s insurance will pay for that driver’s injuries and damages as well as any injuries to passengers regardless of who is found to be at fault. The drawback to the states that have this type of law is that it restricts you to a large degree with your ability to sue. The good news is that in these states you will be covered as long as you have insurance regardless of whether the other driver does.
If your insurance policy has a special coverage for situations where you encounter an uninsured motorist who is at fault in an accident with you and your car, then this is also a situation where you will be covered. If you happen to only have liability insurance yourself, then this type of coverage will usually not be included unless you specifically ask for it to be and pay an additional premium for it. In this type of situation, you would have to have that insurance prior to the accident.
Because there are a significant number of uninsured drivers on the roads throughout the country it is highly recommended that you protect yourself. If you don’t live in a state that has no-fault laws then you should ask your insurance agent about whether your coverage includes uninsured motorist insurance. Often even if you are carrying only liability insurance your company will allow you to add this extra coverage.
Filing a Claim When The Other Driver Is Uninsured Or Underinsured
If you discover that the other driver is either uninsured or you find that they are underinsured and they were at fault, you will need to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. If you plan on filing a claim on your insurance for an uninsured driver there are often deadlines you must meet under your own policy requirements. Some policies, for example, require you to make this filing within a maximum of 30 days of the accident.
If the other driver refuses to give you their information or you learn through some other source that they don’t have insurance then you’ll want to immediately inform your policy company of this fact. If the other driver is underinsured this is something that you usually won’t know about very quickly. If you have medical expenses or significant damage to your car then it is likely that you won’t find out that the other driver’s insurance is not enough to cover it until you have those numbers.
The main thing to understand is that filing an uninsured claim will be in many ways the same as any other accident claim. The only difference is that you are using your own insurance to settle the payment of expenses. One of the biggest things that separate this situation is the fact that if you have expenses that exceed what your insurance company is willing to pay there is usually not an opportunity to sue your own insurance company.