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Who Pays for My Injuries if the Other Driver Is Uninsured?

Who Pays for My Injuries if the Other Driver Is Uninsured?

If the other driver is uninsured, your own insurance company may owe you compensation. If you have purchased uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you can access it when an uninsured motorist hits your vehicle.

You can also sue the at-fault driver and any other party with liability for your accident. It is not always clear how to seek compensation for an auto accident. Having a car accident lawyer lead your case can provide clarity and lead to the financial recovery you need to move forward from the accident and injuries.

Never hesitate to seek a free consultation with a car accident attorney, especially if you learn an uninsured driver hit you.

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Many Motorists Violate Auto Insurance Requirements

Insurance officer notes details on clipboard as agent inspects black car post-accident.

All vehicles operated in the large majority of states must be insured. Drivers must always have proof of insurance, which becomes especially important when an accident happens.

Yet, many drivers allow their insurance to lapse and continue to drive in violation of the law. For example, in a recent year, California was among the states with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists (17 percent). Motorists may not have insurance because:

  • They are new drivers who do not understand insurance requirements
  • They don’t want to pay the cost of insurance premiums
  • They aren’t the type to follow the law
  • They do not realize their insurance policy has lapsed
  • They are driving someone else’s vehicle and don’t realize it lacks insurance

There is no valid excuse for driving without insurance. The law and basic moral decency require that every motorist has active and sufficient insurance coverage.

Driving Without Insurance Creates Financial Risk for All

Motorists who drive without insurance expose themselves to financial risk. If a motorist without insurance causes an accident, they:

  • Do not have an insurance company to cover the cost of their accident
  • Expose themselves to direct financial liability for the accident
  • Will not have an insurance company to help fight any lawsuit filed by the other party involved in the accident

Just as importantly, uninsured motorists present an unacceptable financial risk to anyone whose vehicle they hit. When an uninsured motorist hits you, you:

  • Have no third-party insurer to file a claim with
  • May have to access your own insurance policy for compensation
  • May have to sue the at-fault motorist (and other liable parties) to obtain the compensation you need and deserve

Many drivers recognize the high rate of uninsured motorists. Therefore, they often purchase UM/UIM coverage, which can be a critical source of compensation after an accident.

Your Own Insurance May Provide Compensation for an Uninsured Motorist Accident

Once you realize the other driver in your accident lacks insurance, you must consider whether you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage can pay for:

  • Your medical costs
  • The medical costs of anyone in your vehicle when the accident happened
  • Damage to your vehicle caused by the uninsured motorist

While this coverage can be helpful, there are coverage limits that can place a financial ceiling on the compensation you are eligible for. You may consider suing liable parties if your insurance policy does not provide the compensation you need.

Yes, You Can Sue an Uninsured Motorist

Your attorney will discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit after your accident. Unless your insurance provides complete coverage of your losses, you may sue:

  • The at-fault motorist
  • Anyone else with legal responsibility for the accident

Some motorists lack insurance because they have limited financial means. It is something to consider when weighing the possibility of a lawsuit. However, other parties with more financial means may be liable for your accident.

For example, consider that an uninsured motorist causes your accident while performing work-related duties. You can sue the motorist’s employer for accident-related damages.

Leave Your Case Strategy to an Experienced Attorney

You may already understand how complicated an accident with an uninsured motorist can be. You may struggle simply to identify the right way to seek compensation.

Let an experienced attorney evaluate all relevant information and create a personalized strategy. Your attorney’s familiarity with insurance laws and experience representing other uninsured motorist victims will be valuable.

What to Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

There are two key priorities after any auto accident:

  1. Get medical attention as soon as possible
  2. Hire an attorney with experience representing victims of uninsured motorists

Regardless of how you seek compensation for accident-related damages, taking these steps will serve your best interest.

The Importance of Getting Medical Care After an Uninsured Motorist Accident

You need to ensure your safety after an auto accident. Injuries like whiplash and internal bleeding can cause late-onset symptoms, and seeing a doctor is the only way to ensure you aren’t in danger.

You also need to document injuries for any insurance claim or lawsuit you pursue. When you seek medical attention, you should:

  • Insist that the doctor checks your entire body for potential injuries
  • Discuss any pain or abnormal symptoms you’ve experienced since the accident
  • Ask for written documentation of injuries and symptoms
  • Ask whether X-rays or any other medical imaging is necessary

Also, keep copies of bills and any other documentation for accident-related treatment. It will be critical documentation in your lawyer’s case for compensation.

Your Attorney Will Research Every Detail of Your Insurance Policy

When you hire a lawyer, one of their first steps will be reviewing your auto insurance policy. Specifically, your lawyer will determine:

  • Whether you have UM/UIM coverage
  • Whether such coverage applies to your accident
  • What coverage limits do you have for UM/UIM coverage

Your attorney will discuss the details of your policy with you. They will provide transparent analysis and file any necessary claims for you.

Why It Is Important to Hire a Car Accident Attorney After Your Accident

You should hire your lawyer with clear expectations in mind. Hiring a capable attorney can provide several benefits, which include:

  • No stress about case-related costs: Auto accident attorneys almost always use contingency fees. When this is the case, the law firm covers all case-related costs. You won’t have to incur any further financial stress, as you have faced enough in the wake of your accident.
  • Total focus on your post-accident recovery: Auto accidents often cause both physical and psychological harm. You may not only need treatment from medical doctors but also care from mental health professionals. You may be better positioned to recover without the obligation of handling your case.
  • Experience-based advice from your legal team: Your lawyer’s experience is one of the greatest assets. Your lawyer can handle every challenge without sweating, as they have been here before. Trust your lawyer’s deep legal background to guide you through this process.
  • Ample resources for your case: Law firms often have significant financial resources. Your attorney may hire experts, reconstruct your accident, conduct extensive pre-trial prep, and use many other resources to build a successful case.
  • The potential of filing a lawsuit and going to trial: When you handle your own insurance claim, the insurers may know that you’re unable to handle the demands of a lawsuit. With a lawyer, there is no doubt you can file a lawsuit and go to trial if necessary.

These are not minor benefits. These are significant reasons to let a car accident lawyer represent you after your accident.

Your Attorney Will Lead Your Claim or Lawsuit from Start to Finish

Lawyers' office with paperwork, tiger skins, hammers, and scales of Justice on the advisory table.

When an attorney accepts your case, they accept the challenges and difficulties your case may bring. They will weather any such challenges as they:

Deal with Insurers

Attorneys protect clients by dealing with insurers. Your lawyer will provide details of your losses to insurers and combat any bad-faith tactics, which may include:

You may call it “your” insurance provider, but the insurance company may look out for its financial interests above all. Allow a lawyer to press for fair compensation from your insurance company.

Secure Evidence

Your lawyer will build your case with evidence of negligence. This evidence may detail negligent actions by the uninsured motorists and any other liable parties. Eyewitness accounts, expert testimony, video footage, and other evidence can be key to a successful case.

Detail Your Damages

Young man after car accident suffering at home

Your case will not be complete without a detailed accounting of your losses. Your legal team will gather:

  • Medical images of your injuries
  • Medical bills
  • Expert testimony about your damages
  • Invoices for vehicle repairs
  • Employment records that help show your lost income
  • Any other relevant documentation

Your insurance company and other liable parties will need to see such documentation before compensating you fairly.

Calculate a Case Value

Your accident-related losses will have a specific financial value. Your attorney will calculate economic, non-economic, current, and future damages to arrive at a final case value.

Negotiate a Settlement

With evidence of negligence, documentation of your damages, and a precise case value, your lawyer will be ready to negotiate a settlement. Whether they are negotiating with insurers or other parties, they will insist that you receive all the compensation you deserve.

Complete a Trial (if Necessary)

If you sue the uninsured motorist or other liable parties, your case may lead to court. Your attorney will lead every step in your trial, which likely includes:

  • Presenting evidence of negligence
  • Presenting and questioning witnesses
  • Cross-examining witnesses for the defendant
  • Making a verbal case
  • Making all necessary objections and motions
  • Asking the jury to pay you fairly based on the evidence and testimony provided

During your lawyer search, seek a firm with an extensive history of handling auto accident cases at trial.

Oversee Case Administration

Your case will also involve paperwork, high-stakes communications, fact-checking, and other administrative duties. Your attorney and their team will oversee these duties, which are critical to every insurance claim and lawsuit.

Your Lawyer Will Demand Fair Compensation for All of Your Damages

Part of your lawyer’s process is identifying your losses and determining their financial value. These losses may include:

  • Accident-related medical bills: Any medical expense related to your accident entitles you to compensation. Whether you recover relatively quickly or face a long healthcare journey ahead, your attorney will calculate your medical costs and seek fair compensation.
  • Pain and suffering: You may have several non-economic damages that qualify as pain and suffering. It may include acute and chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep-related problems, scarring and disfigurement, lost quality of life, and other similar challenges.
  • The cost of accident-related mental health services: If you seek any form of mental health treatment because of accident-related difficulties, your attorney will include the treatment costs in their settlement demands.
  • Vehicle repair costs: Your insurer or other parties may be responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. If your vehicle was totaled, your attorney will seek compensation equaling its actual cash value.
  • Lost income and other professional harm: If you lose income, earning power, or professional opportunities because of accident-related injuries or mental health challenges, your lawyer will consider such damages.

The cost of an auto accident tends to increase when the victim suffers severe injuries. Your attorney will communicate with your doctors to understand the severity of your injuries and calculate a fair case value.

Is There a Deadline for Filing My Case?

Keith More, personal injury lawyer

Keith More, Car Accident Lawyer

There will be a deadline for filing your auto accident case if you require a lawsuit in civil court. If you must sue, each state imposes a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits.

You should not wait a minute longer to find a car accident lawyer to lead your case. Not only do they need to meet filing deadlines, but they will also need to collect evidence as soon as possible.

You can find your personal injury attorney online, through recommendations, or by contacting law firms who post local advertisements. The internet is a key resource when searching for a lawyer, as you can:

  • Review a firm’s case results
  • Read testimonials from a firm’s former clients
  • Research firms’ accolades
  • Complete free consultations with law firms and ask them about their firm culture and your case

Start your search for a car accident lawyer today.

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