I still remember my accident like it was yesterday. One minute I was driving my daughter to school and the next I was waking up in a hospital bed. It was frustrating to deal with the emotional trauma of forgetting an entire week of my life, in addition to stressing about my small child. Fortunately, we were both able to recover, but it wasn't easy walking dealing with the medical bills that accompanied the accident. I found myself struggling with things as simple as answering the phone, because I was nervous about dealing with another insurance adjuster. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, I was able to make sense of my situation. I know that you can overcome difficult challenges too, which is why I shared my story on this website.
Getting in an auto accident can be devastating emotionally, and it can also lead to injuries and serious damage to your car. When the other driver doesn't have insurance, it may be more difficult to get compensation. Here are a few things you need to know if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Uninsured Motorists Coverage
If you live in a state that requires uninsured motorists coverage or if you have added this type of policy to your car, you may be able to file a claim with your insurance company. The process mirrors that for filing a claim in any other type of accident, although there are a few key differences. In the event that your insurance carrier provides a monetary award that doesn't meet your expectations, you will have to go into binding arbitration. In traditional cases with an insured motorist, you would be able to sue the other insurance company. Binding arbitration can be a complicated process, so you may want to consider hiring an auto accident attorney to help guide you through the process should you choose this option.
Filing A Lawsuit
You may be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver to get compensation for damage to your vehicle and for any injuries you received in the accident. Going this route may result in getting some money, but it depends on the financial situation of the person you are suing. A person with few assets won't be able to pay a large judgement, which means your options may be limited if the other driver does not have a lot of money. The judge presiding over the case can provide the defendant with the option to make payments on a payment plan. Your car accident attorney can run a check of the driver's credit and assets to determine if there is a good chance you can get a favorable settlement from your lawsuit before taking on your case.
States with no-fault accident laws prevent you from being able to file a lawsuit against the other driver. You will need to file a claim with your own insurance company instead. While this may seem like an inconvenience at first, it can actually work in your favor. Because no-fault laws don't take into account who cause the accident, you can get payment from your insurance company even if you were the person who caused the accident.
A car accident lawyer can help you determine which laws apply in your state and which options to choose for compensation. Be sure to ask plenty of questions so you understand the process, and bring all paperwork associated with the accident to your lawyer's office to make it easier to build your case.