You’re driving, minding your own business. But then – “BOOM”, you get hit by an uninsured driver out of nowhere. Well, for one, that is simply a misfortune.
However, you’ve probably never been in a situation like this, and you have no idea what to expect. You don’t know who to call, what to do, what not to do, to sue or not to sue, who will be covering damages, so on and so forth.
In any case, this article is here to help you move from unknowing to crystal clear clarity. We will cover everything you need to know about the pain of colliding with an uninsured motorist.
So whenever you’re ready to ensure that you get the best possible outcome from this unfortunate situation, keep reading.
Table of Contents
What Should I Do After Getting Hit By An Uninsured Driver?
Let’s just envision the situation for a moment. You get hit by an uninsured driver, in the best-case scenario, nobody is injured. After pulling out to the side, you get out of the car and want to speak to the driver.
The back of the vehicle is destroyed, and you have a feeling that a doctor visit would be good right about now because your back isn’t feeling too good. The at-fault motorist is worried, and when you ask him for insurance info, he says he does not have it.
That’s another spit in the bucket, but since you’re a savvy individual, you know what to do after getting in an accident with a fellow like that.
If you get into an accident, regardless of the motorist has insurance or not, you should call the necessary authorities. In most cases, that’s the police.
But if you suspect the driver is uninsured, it’s even more important to call the police. That’s because their report will help you get the damages covered, as well as help you make claims in the future.
Since the driver most likely does not have insurance, they will face fees and fines. They might want to escape the crime scene by offering you money.
At this point, you have no idea what the injury or damages will come out to. So even if it might seem like a good opportunity, don’t accept the money and wait out the long game.
They don’t have information to give you, but you can still record this vehicle details and contact data. Don’t hesitate to ask for contact information from witnesses.
Their statements are very beneficial towards a successful claims process. If the witnesses are not comfortable sharing their information, ask the police to gather their contact info later.
Record the model and make of the car. Capture the location and time of the accident. If an officer arrives, write down their name and badge number.
Basically, record all related details that will help you work with insurance agencies. If you don’t do this, you risk not getting any compensation, period. Evidence is your best friend in an accident.
You also want visual confirmation of the damage done. Take pictures of the accident in all possible ways with all possible angles.
Capture all of the damage, the traffic signs, license plates, vehicle travel directions, etc.
What’s Your Likelihood Of Being Exposed to the Risk Of An Uninsured Driver?
Each state has its own statistics, but it’s assumed that about a quarter of drivers will not have auto insurance. This means that about 25% of drivers you share the streets with do not have insurance to pay for injuries or damages that they might have caused.
On a national assessment, the numbers might seem a bit more favorable, but when you consider the number of people involved, you will think otherwise. One driver out of every eight drivers is driving with no insurance.
You can find your state-pertinent level of exposure by searching for uninsured driver stats for your state via the Insurance Information Institute website.
Who Pays For Bodily Injuries to People In My Car After An Accident
The Massachusetts auto policy provides a statutory limit coverage of $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident for bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist. If you wish, you can purchase increased liability limits for this coverage as well.
Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for:
- Medical bills
- Loss of wages due to accident
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral Costs
Who Pays for The Damage To my Car From An Uninsured Motorist
If your auto policy includes a collision coverage option, this will provide the coverage needed to pay for damages to your vehicle.
Your insurance company will send out a licensed auto appraiser to estimate the cost of repairs needed for your car. It should be noted this coverage has a deductible, which will be deducted from the total cost of the estimate.
How to Sue an Uninsured Motorist?
When an insurance agency is involved in the process of the accident claim, they will often pursue the at-fault motorist in court to recover any money they lose.
This can be done on your own as well. Filing a lawsuit for injuries and car damage will let you receive the monetary compensation you deserve without having to rely on insurance agencies to cover the costs.
It also lets you acquire restitution for emotional imbalances, such as suffering and pain, which an insurance agency would not have covered.
Let’s cover everything you need to know about suing your uninsured driver.
Depending on your residence locale, your capability to file your lawsuit against an at-fault motorist will be variable. Some states have no-fault clauses, meaning that any driver’s insurance is meant to cover all of their own bodily and vehicle damages.
If you live in such a state, you might only be able to sue the at-fault driver for excessive damages. Excessive might mean expensive medical bills stemming from permanent disability.
In all other locales, you have full freedom to pursue legal action against the involved party. Nonetheless, you need to weigh the prospects of suing somebody. Lawsuits are not free. Most lawyers work with a contingency fee, meaning they get paid if you settle.
If you don’t win the case, most lawyers won’t charge a fee. But some of them will, and that can be quite expensive.
Process Of Filing
Accident lawsuits get filed in the small claims court. The judge will make their rulings based on any of the information provided to the court. This means the more the merrier.
A court order will get made if the at-fault party’s found guilty, thus making them responsible for pay damages.
You must understand that a judgment against the driver will not constitute a 100% likelihood of them being able to pay.
Collecting from the at-fault driver can be difficult because a lack of resources is one of the first reasons that people don’t have insurance.
Nonetheless, if you are met by major expenses because of the accident, pursuing the driver in court is still potentially your best bet.
Plan for the Worst
While you don’t have control over other people, uninsured drivers included, you can control your own risk of exposure to the potential loss during an accident.
Check your insurance coverage and think about all the potential costs that you might incur when hit by someone who cannot cover the damages.
Speak to an insurance specialist, and find what coverage limits or policy would best fit these situations. You want to plan for the worst, but you want to be prepared for the best.
And that’s only possible if you follow the first part of that sentence. It’s also important that you know how to find the best possible insurance, especially if you are considering switching policies.
If you are looking for a new car or to change your insurance, speak to your current provider to compare premiums available for the vehicle.
Car insurance premiums are variable based on repair costs, safety records, theft likelihoods. But also the total price of the vehicle.
If you are changing policies, you have to ensure that you are covered at all times. If you let your coverage lapse over by forgetting to make your payments, your rates are most likely going to be raised.
You need to be aware of this because it’s quite easy to miss these gaps.
If your car has safety features or anti-theft, such as anti-lock brakes, most insurance providers will be eager to provide you with a discount on your rates.
You might also be able to get a discount if you’re a student or have taken a defensive driving class. However, you need to ask because nobody is going to be giving out handouts.
Don’t Go Overboard
When you talk to an insurance provider, they will attempt to sell more coverage than you need. This is a given because they are business. You don’t need too much coverage unless you have a luxury car, don’t have proper health insurance, or drive extensively.
Many insurance providers can make easy money from uneducated buyers who don’t have an idea of what they want. By using the tips provided, you won’t smooth-talker, putting you in a hard-to-escape situation.
Having reliable insurance coverage is critical, you don’t want to experience a financial problem when you are already in the process of suffering from an accident. Be smart, do your research, compare quotes, and develop a policy package that suits your budget and needs.
Who Will Have to Pay for Damages?
Your state has to follow one of the two classifications for insurance:
- civil wrong or tort
Twelve states have the second law classification, while the rest make use of the first. Payment is always determined by the type of law that is enacted in the state, no matter how and where the accident had happened.
With civil wrong law, the person at-fault has to pay for the incident. If that person’s insured, their insurance provider will take care of this. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver and the police have come to the conclusion that you’re not at-fault, two things can happen.
If you have coverage for uninsured motorists on your policy, your insurance will pay for all of the damages. If you don’t have that, you can choose to sue the motorist. However, if they don’t have insurance, they probably don’t have many resources to give anyway.
In a state with no-fault law classification, the damages get split between all of the entities that involved, regardless of who was the individual to cause the incident. This means that your insurance provider will only pay for some of the damages, whether or not, despite the driver not being insured. In fact, they will pay even more in that case.
States with no-fault classifications have restrictions placed on lawsuits. So you cannot sue another driver unless there are heavy medical bills or significant damages.
Even if you choose not to sue, the insurance agency will take legal action to recover some damages. This means you might still have to go to court to support their argument.
Do You Need Assistance Taking An Uninsured Motorist to Court?
If you need assistance taking your uninsured motorist to court, you need to find an experienced lawyer who understands the compound of all potential options.
Your car accident lawyer will help you combat for a fair settlement, protect your interests to the uttermost extent. No matter if you are seeking restitution for injury or suing for car damage, you can do so with a lawyer who understands the state’s local laws.
Just Because They’re Uninsured, You Don’t Have to Be
Now that you know what to expect after getting hit by an uninsured motorist, you are well on your way to find the best course of defense against the sad, unfortunate outcomes of such situations.
It takes guts to go through the entire process of financial recovery from an accident such as this, not to mention the physical and mental pains that have to be suffered through.
In any case, if you’re looking for personal car insurance that includes covers for uninsured drivers, get in touch with us, and we will happily accommodate your needs. We cover a variety of insurances, not just vehicular. Our coverage is for the entire state of Massachusetts.