The driver of the other car doesn’t have insurance. What do I do?
In all 50 states, drivers are legally obligated to have car insurance. However, some drivers decide that they don’t need it or that they cannot afford it. The hope is that they never get pulled over or get into an accident. If you are in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance, what can you do to get the compensation that you deserve?
Make Sure That the Driver Really Doesn’t Have Insurance
It is possible that the driver does have insurance and just doesn’t know it. For instance, the car the driver was operating may not have been a vehicle that he or she owned. That person may mistakenly believe that he or she isn’t covered, but car insurance policies are designed to cover the vehicle no matter who drives it as long as that person had permission to do so.
Talk to Your Own Insurance Providers
It is possible that your medical insurance policy will cover some or all of the expenses that you incur in the accident. Your renters or homeowners insurance policy may cover any property that is lost or damaged because of the crash. Your own car insurance policy may also cover some of your medical bills or help you to replace lost property. In the event that your insurance company has to pay on a claim, it may spend time and money going after the person who hit you to recoup some or all of the cost.
File a Personal Injury Suit Against the Driver Who Hit You
If there are bills or damages that aren’t covered by insurance, you have the right to go after the driver personally. This may help you get money to pay for lost wages, lost future earnings or other damages that are provided for by law. In some cases, the driver will negotiate in good faith to come up with a payment plan that is reasonable and meets your needs. It may also be possible that he or she has a business or personal liability policy that will pay damages.
In the absence of cash or a payment from an insurance policy, it may be possible to seize assets. The driver’s car, home or bank account may be taken over to help satisfy any judgment or negotiated settlement in your case. You may also be able to collect that person’s tax refunds or other money that may come in at a later date. Your attorney can help you learn more about what assets are fair game and which are exempt.
Do Your Best to Settle the Case Amicably
It is in your best interest to settle the case as amicably as possible. This may prevent the driver who hit you from declaring bankruptcy in an effort to protect personal or business assets from being taken and liquidated. Furthermore, it may be easier to settle a case without the need to spend money on an attorney if your injuries or damage to property is minor.
However, if you feel as if the other party in the case is not responsive to your needs, do not hesitate to get an attorney who can help with the negotiation process. Your attorney may be able to get the other person to see that he or she was liable and that paying damages is the right thing to do as well as the legal thing to do.
What Happens If There are Costs That Aren’t Covered?
It is possible that there will be costs that aren’t covered in your case because the other person doesn’t have enough money or assets to cover them. Unfortunately, you will likely be liable for those costs. However, your medical provider will likely allow you to pay over time or even waive some of the cost. Attorney fees are usually only charged if you win your case, and legal fees are only paid as money comes in, which means you generally aren’t responsible for paying your attorney unless you get paid.
If you are in a car accident with someone who doesn’t have coverage, you aren’t necessarily left without recourse to recover damages. Instead, you should consult with an attorney who can help you understand your rights and come up with a way to pursue whatever compensation may be available from the liable party.