What If the Other Driver Has No Insurance?
Car accidents happen. And when they do, you want to be sure that you are able to be compensated for the damages you sustain, especially when the accident was caused by someone else being careless or reckless. Hopefully the person who caused the wreck has car insurance of their own to cover your losses, but it is possible that person does not. Unfortunately, nearly 13% of all drivers across America are uninsured, despite every state requiring vehicle owners to purchase car insurance. However, if you have been injured in a car accident and the at-fault party does not have any car insurance, not all is lost. If you have car insurance of your own and elected to add uninsured motorist coverage to your policy, then you may be able to utilize that coverage to compensate you for the damages you sustain through the help of a car accident lawyer.
What if the other driver has no insurance? Do I still have a case? Below are common questions that arise in cases when there is no liability car insurance present:
Who is liable for the crash if the at-fault party does not have any car insurance?
Even if the at-fault party does not have any car insurance, he or she is still liable for any injuries that you have sustained. However, if they do not have any insurance, there is no guarantee that there is any way that you will be able to recover from them. First, they would need to have available funds or sufficient assets they could liquidate to compensate you. Many times, uninsured motorists will not have the means to compensate you for your damages, and even if you get a verdict against them, you may not recover. This is why having your own uninsured motorist coverage can pay dividends.
What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is there to protect you when the at-fault party does not have any insurance of his or her own. It is different from liability insurance in that liability insurance protects you when you or an authorized driver negligently injures someone else. Under most policies, you have the option of adding uninsured motorist coverage to your policy. In some states, insurance companies are required to offer it to you and you have the option of electing to purchase it or not. Generally, your uninsured motorist coverage will match the amount of coverage under your liability policy.
What does uninsured motorist coverage cover?
Uninsured motorist can cover bodily injury and property damage claims. Essentially, your uninsured motorist carrier steps into the shoes of the uninsured defendant, as if that person had valid coverage all along. There are two main forms of damages you can recover under a bodily injury claim through your uninsured motorist coverage – economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are generally your lost wages, medical bills, and other out of pocket expenses. Non-economic damages are your intangible losses such as loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and loss of consortium claims. Our attorneys help car accident victims in Memphis and throughout the South pursue all forms of compensation to which they may be entitled under the law. Once a claim is paid, your insurance company may then seek to recover these amounts against the uninsured driver, a process known as subrogation.
Why should I contact an attorney if I am using my own car insurance?
You may feel as though you will be in good hands dealing with your own insurance company. After all, you are their customer. However, when an uninsured motorist claim is filed, your insurance company is not always acting on your behalf. The insurance company is now on the hook to pay you for your damages and they may do whatever they can to lessen their degree of responsibility. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate your claim and determine an appropriate value on your case. Even more important, they will investigate the accident for you. An attorney will be able to locate and preserve evidence, locate witnesses, handle all communications with the insurance company, and ensure proper steps are taken to maximize your recovery. Also important to note is that most car wreck attorneys do not take a fee unless they are able to get you compensated.
As a large regional personal injury law firm, Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz has the resources to help car wreck victims throughout the South. For a free and confidential consultation regarding your specific situation, call 800-529-4004 or complete our online form. Our attorneys help car and pedestrian accident victims throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky, including Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Tupelo, Meridian, Starkville, Hattiesburg, Little Rock, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Cape Girardeau, Hayti, and Caruthersville. Regardless of whether you were struck by a car, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, or bus, NST is the way to go.