Do Insurance Companies Go After Uninsured Drivers?
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, your insurance company may decide to pursue an at-fault uninsured driver to recoup your claim.
Generally, your own collision, uninsured motorist, or PIP insurance will cover your expenses if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. However, if the at-fault driver is not insured or underinsured, your own carrier might later decide to pursue the other driver in court to pay for your costs.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help. We are personal injury attorneys specializing in helping people injured in accidents caused by uninsured drivers. We will work with you to get compensation for your medical bills and other damages from the at-fault driver's insurance company.
Call our car accident law firm at 888-424-5757 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.
Can Insurance Companies Go After Uninsured Drivers?
Insurance companies can go after uninsured drivers. However, the process and likelihood vary depending on the country and state where the accident occurred. In some cases, going after a driver may not be worth the effort for insurance companies.
In America, all states have laws requiring registered vehicles to have car insurance. If you are in an accident and the other driver does not have insurance, your insurance carrier can go after them to recover damages. However, the process of doing so can be complicated and expensive.
Uninsured Motorist Protection Act
In addition to state laws, federal laws can come into play when one driver is uninsured. The Uninsured Motorist Protection Act requires that all insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage to their customers. Auto insurance companies will pay for your damages up to your uninsured motorist coverage limit when you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, it is also good to consult with our lawyer to determine your best course of action.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)?
Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM, are insurance claims that protect you if you are in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. Your insurer will pay for your damages up to your coverage limit on every incident or accident.
Uninsured motorist coverage is not required by law in all states, but it is necessary for some states. In addition, even if it is not required by law, insurance companies may still offer it to you as an option.
For example, in case you have $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage and you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, your auto insurance carrier will pay for your damages up to $100,000.
Uninsured motorist coverage can cover both vehicle damage and injury damages. If you were injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, your uninsured motorist coverage will pay your medical bills up to your maximum coverage limit.
Underinsured motorist or UIM coverage is called "No-Fault" coverage in some states. Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, your insurer will pay for your damages. Your uninsured driver coverage ("UM") allows you to make an uninsured motorist claim up to your coverage limit against your insurer.
What Is Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage?
Underinsured Motorist Coverage, or UIM, protects you if you are in an accident with a driver who has insurance but does not have enough insurance to cover your damages.
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage, but it applies only in situations where the other driver has insufficient insurance. If you have underinsured motorist coverage or UIM coverage and are in an accident with a driver who has insurance but does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, your UIM coverage will pay for the difference.
UIM will pay for damages sustained in an accident with a driver who has a car insurance policy in place but not enough coverage to pay for your injuries stemming from the accident. It can help protect you if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Is Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage Required?
In the case of uninsured or underinsured drivers, your insurer will go after the driver to get reimbursement for what they paid out. Doing so can be complicated and expensive, but it is essential to know that you have this option.
It is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer after an accident, regardless of whether or not the other driver has insurance. A lawyer can help you understand your rights against underinsured motorist coverage and advise you on the best action.
What Does UM and UIM Coverage Cover?
UM and UIM liability coverage can be used to cover fatalities, property damage, and injury damages.
However, both types of liability coverage shield you against the same perils:
- Vehicle damage not covered by the other driver's liability insurance
- The driver’s car insurance does not cover injuries that you suffer in an accident
- A death that results from an accident that is not covered by the other driver's liability insurance
- Medical expenses, including ambulance services and hospital stays, are not covered by the at-fault party’s insurance.
- Pain and suffering damages that are not covered by the other driver's liability insurance
Overlapping Auto-Insurance Coverage
While your health insurance policy may cover you for medical expenses incurred due to a car accident, it will not cover you for pain and suffering damages. These damages are considered "non-economic" losses, and health insurance policies typically do not cover them.
Similarly, your insurance policy will likely cover you for property damage caused by an uninsured driver, but it will not cover you for injury damages.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is a type of automobile car insurance that will cover you for property damage and bodily injury damages caused by an uninsured driver. PIP coverage is optional in most states.
In car accident cases, the car insurer of the at-fault driver is responsible for reimbursing the injured driver's insurance company for damages paid out. It is known as "subrogation."
The Insurance Research Council reported that about one in eight drivers in the United States was uninsured in 2018. However, this is only the national average
Collision coverage is essential because it can help pay for the repairs to your vehicle if you are in an accident with a driver. Collision coverage may pay for your damaged car.
Collision coverage is not required by law, but it is good to have it if you can afford it. Collision insurance covers a wide range of claims, including accidents with other vehicles collision insurance will pay for your damages from an accident involving two or more cars.
When Should I Contact an Injury Lawyer?
If you are in an accident with an underinsured driver, you should contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and advise you on the best course of action to take.
You may be entitled to compensation for your:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Bodily injury
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
An injury attorney can help you negotiate a settlement with the other driver's car insurance carrier or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If the other driver is not found in a hit-and-run accident, the attorney can help you file an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance company.
It is important to note that there is usually a statute of limitations on filing injury lawsuits. You may be barred from doing so when you do not file a lawsuit within the specified period.
Once the decision is made to move forward with filing a lawsuit, your lawyer will likely file a complaint and summons with the court. The warrant will notify the defendant of the pending case and give them a specific time to respond.
Our injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case and how to proceed. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is essential because it can give them more time to build a strong case on your behalf.
What to Do After an Accident
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if you don't think you're injured. Some injuries, such as whiplash, may not be immediately apparent.
- Call the police and file a report, even if the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance. It will document the accident and can be used to support your personal injury claim for damages.
- Exchange information with the at-fault driver, including name, address, phone number, car insurance company, and own policy number.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, your car, and your medical report in case of any injuries.
- Contact your insurance carrier and report the accident.
- Contact an injury lawyer to discuss your case.
Most uninsured drivers are either underinsured or have no insurance at all. If an uninsured driver hits you, you may be able to recover damages from your own insurance company if you have collision coverage.
If you do not have collision coverage or your insurance company denies your insurance claim, you may still be able to recover damages by filing an injury lawsuit against an uninsured driver.
In case you are the victim of a hit-and-run driver, there are a few things you can do to try to find the driver.
- Check for witnesses
- Look for surveillance cameras
- File a police report
- Contact your insurance company
Penalties for Being Uninsured While Driving
Have you ever wondered what the penalties are for driving without insurance? The penalties for driving without insurance can vary from state to state, but they typically involve fines, license suspension, and possible jail time.
For example, in most states, the minimum fine for driving without insurance is $500. However, some states have much higher penalties, such as California, with a minimum fine of $2000.
In addition to fines, driving without insurance can also result in license suspension. In some states, the first offense of driving without insurance is a misdemeanor and can result in up to one year of license suspension.
In some states, driving without insurance is a felony if you have multiple offenses or if someone is injured in an accident that you caused. If convicted of a felony, you could face up to five years in jail.
Of course, the best way to avoid these penalties is to make sure that you are always adequately insured. Make sure to shop around for the best rates and coverage for your needs.
The Cost of Driving Without Car Insurance
The cost of driving without car insurance can be very high. If you are caught driving without insurance, you may be fined, and your license may be suspended. In some states, the first offense of driving without insurance is a misdemeanor and can result in up to one year of license suspension.
The financial repercussions of an uninsured car accident are also very high. If you cause an accident and do not have insurance, you may be sued by the other driver.
If the other driver is injured, they may sue you for
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering.
Negligent driver lawsuits can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars or more. If you do not have the money to pay a judgment against you, the court may order your wages garnished or place a lien on your property damage liability.
The best way to avoid these high costs is to ensure that you are always adequately insured.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Filing a Claim Against an Uninsured Driver
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is a law firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The attorneys represent clients who have been injured in car accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
Our lawyers have extensive experience handling car accident cases and can help you in the following areas:
- Investigating your accident to identify the responsible parties
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties
- Obtaining a summary judgment against the driver
- Collecting on the decision by garnishing wages or placing a lien on the property
An insurance loss is any accident in which the at-fault driver either has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover the damages caused by the accident. Our attorneys have fought on behalf of clients who have been part of car accidents with uninsured motorists.
We are here to help you recover money for your injuries. We have represented many clients who have been injured in accidents caused by uninsured drivers, so we can help you too.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, contact us today for a free case evaluation. One of our experienced lawyers will handle your case, and we will fight to bring you the compensation you deserve.