If you have been involved in a car accident with a driver who has no insurance coverage, you may still have a case. While you may understandably wonder how you would get paid, the answer is relatively simple: Most insured drivers will have an uninsured motorist clause that allows you to claim against your own insurance policy. In these situations your insurance company will step into the shoes of the driver that caused the motor vehicle collision and pay your claim, essentially on their behalf.
More drivers than ever in America are driving without insurance, according to a recent article in USA Today “Despite laws in nearly every state requiring auto insurance, one in seven drivers in the USA goes uncovered. That’s according to an industry group that estimates 13.8% of motorists are uninsured, a number that has climbed during the economic downturn as many financially-pressed Americans allowed their insurance to lapse.” This certainly increases your risk of getting into an accident with one of these individuals who has no insurance coverage.
Driving Without Insurance: Maximum Settlement
However, a personal injury lawyer can set up the uninsured motorist claim, send a demand package to your insurance carrier, and attempt to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If a settlement cannot be reached, your case would most likely resolve in arbitration under the terms of your policy.
In fact, the following claim is an example of just how beneficial it can be to hire legal representation after an accident with a driver who has no insurance coverage:
The aforementioned claim arose out of an automobile collision which took place on January 29, 2011 at approximately 8:22 a.m. The client was injured while riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by the plaintiff’s husband. At the time of the collision, our client was seven months pregnant.
The Melrose Park Police Department responded to the scene of the collision. The responding officer determined that the driver of the vehicle was at fault for the collision and issued him a citation for failure to yield the right-of-way when making a left turn.
The plaintiff suffered a fracture of T1 and required hospitalization and six months of follow up treatment with a neurologist.
The case settled for the limits of the couple’s auto insurance policy.
This case raises a key issue related to auto accident and insurance law. Many accident victims assume that if they are injured by the negligence of a family member driver, they cannot recover for their injuries. In reality, they have a right to make an uninsured motorist claim against their own auto policy. It is possible that hundreds, if not thousands, of these cases are not filed every year due to the fact that the injured victim does not realize that he or she has a right to make a claim!
Proceeding with an uninsured motorist claim can be very worthwhile to anyone who has been injured by someone who was driving without insurance. The surprising reality is that it is easier to settle an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance policy than against an adverse insurance carrier, and the settlement will usually be for a higher value.
In fact, if you have been involved in a car accident and the other driver had no insurance coverage, you may have an underinsured motorist claim. If the defendant’s insurance policy is not enough to cover the value of your claim, and you have a larger policy with your own insurance carrier, your insurance company will pay the value of your claim that exceeds the value of the defendant’s smaller policy.
If you believe that you have an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, request a Free Case Consultation to speak with a lawyer.