Your Options If Hit by an Uninsured Driver
By some estimations from groups like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), upwards of 10% to 15% of all drivers in the country are uninsured. If you are in a car accident, then there is an unfortunately high chance that the driver will have no insurance. Does this mean that you are out of luck and cannot recover compensation for your losses? Not necessarily. You could have multiple options to still get compensation.
Five sources of compensation after a crash with an uninsured motorist are:
- Med Pay insurance: Some auto insurance companies offer Med Pay insurance, which will pay for initial medical bills after a collision. Oftentimes, there are no costs, not even deductibles or copays. Med Pay insurance is useful because it will pay for your medical costs before liability is decided. You should talk to your insurance provider about adding Med Pay insurance to your policy for more information about this coverage and how that company handles it.
- Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage: Drivers in California do not need to purchase UM insurance, but it is highly recommended. Uninsured motorist insurance coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, too. The catch to UM insurance is that it is usable only if the driver who hit you has no insurance. It requires you to file against your own auto insurance provider, which puts you in an awkward situation.
- Health insurance: Medical bills related to treating injuries you have suffered in a car accident can be paid in part by your health insurance policy. There will be deductibles and copays in most situations. There are also policy caps that could prevent you from getting complete coverage, so you could have a sizeable amount of money still owed that you need to find a way to pay.
- Collision coverage: In your auto insurance policy, there is probably a clause about collision coverage. This part of your insurance is used to pay for vehicle repairs only, including repairs for your vehicle in an accident with an uninsured driver or after a hit-and-run. Collision coverage’s use is sometimes limited because most people can only afford a policy with a low cap that won’t pay for a complete car replacement if the vehicle is totaled. Also, collision coverage is often paired with a high deductible that you have to pay yourself before the coverage is given to you.
- Lawsuit: As a final option, you can consider filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. However, you should be aware that suing the driver is often not a fruitful option because most people who do not have auto insurance have not purchased it because they don’t have the necessary finances. Although, if they have other forms of insurance, like homeowner’s insurance, then there could b a chance that your attorney can file a claim against that policy. As with any uninsured motorist accident claim, working with an experienced lawyer early on should help you clear any confusion and complications.
BD&J in Los Angeles is here to make your life easier after being hit by an uninsured driver. We can discuss the details of your case during a free consultation to uncover the avenues you can use to pursue compensation still. For more information, please call (855) 906-3699. We make ourselves available 24/7/365 for client emergencies.