Settling a major car accident case is rarely an easy task, but it can be even more challenging when the person who caused the accident did not have any auto insurance. If you are in this situation right now and do not know what to do, this post lists several things you should know about settling a case with an uninsured driver.
The Role of Insurance in Car Accidents
Drivers in every state should carry auto insurance coverage because itâ€™s the law. Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to drive without it. When people have insurance, settling a car accident case is not difficult to do. The at-fault driver's insurance company generally handles the case and pays the claim.
The laws in all states require car insurance for one key purpose: to protect other drivers. If the at-fault driver doesnâ€™t have insurance, the case becomes more complicated.
The Options You Have for Settling the Case
There are two main options you can use to settle the accident, and the first is using your own insurance policy. While it may seem strange to have to use your own insurance policy to cover someone else's negligence, this is one of the benefits of having auto insurance.
To take advantage of this, you should ask your agent if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. Most insurance policies come with uninsured motorist coverage insurance, so you probably do have this type of coverage if you have a normal auto insurance policy.
The purpose of uninsured motorist coverage is covering an innocent driver's damages if they collide with an uninsured driver. The only downside to this type of coverage is that it has limits, and it will probably not provide coverage for all the damages you have, however, this coverage will cover some of these damages, which is better than nothing.
The other option you have is to sue the other driver. This driver broke the law by driving without insurance, and he or she is responsible for paying the damages you incurred from the accident. The main challenge you may encounter with suing the person is collecting money from them.
If the person does not have any money to pay you but has assets of value, the court may order him or her to sell them and use the money to pay you.
Other Important Things to Know
If you file a claim against your own insurance policy to take advantage of the uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance premiums should not go up. Most insurance companies do not raise rates for these types of claims, primarily because it is not the driver's fault that they had to file a claim against their own uninsured motorist coverage.
The second thing to know is that you may have the right to file a criminal case against the at-fault driver as well, especially if there is other evidence of wrongdoing, such as texting and driving or drinking and driving. In cases like these, you will have a stronger case if you decide to pursue criminal charges.
Regardless of if you decide to file criminal charges, you should hire a lawyer for help and advice for dealing with the insurance company or the other driver, and hiring an attorney is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself in situations like these.
Trying to handle this type of situation alone is not usually the wisest option available to you. Instead, contact Doherty Law Offices. We offer help for victims of car accidents and can help you learn your rights and options. Set up a consultation today!