If you have been involved in a vehicle accident caused by another driver, you are probably counting on them to pay for the cost of damages or injuries through their insurance policy. Depending on how severe the accident is, you may incur huge expenses after the crash. The at-fault driver’s insurance can help you cover a huge share of these expenses. But what happens if the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance or no insurance at all? The following web page will discuss the options you have when you collide with an underinsured or uninsured driver.
Traditional Vs No Fault States
Auto insurance laws in U.S. fall into two categories: negligence state and no fault states. Many states are in the negligence category. Basically, in negligence states, recovery for vehicle accidents is determined by looking at who was at fault for the accident. These states have less strict insurance requirements, therefore, the issue of an under insured or uninsured motorist is common, since the victim of an accident recovers damages from the at-fault party’s insurance policy. When the at-fault party is underinsured or has no insurance, recovery is very difficult.
If you have sustained catastrophic injuries and are in need of ongoing care, an underinsured driver’s policy may not be able to help you. The other scenario is when the underinsured motorist’s policy is not sufficient to cover your vehicle repairs. In such cases, the easiest solution is to have underinsured or uninsured coverage from your insurance company. This coverage is offered at an extra fee and caters for accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists. With this type of coverage, you are first supposed to collect all you are able to from the underinsured or uninsured motorist, then make a claim with your insurance provider for the remaining cost.
In no-fault states, every car owner should have their own vehicle insurance. One cannot obtain vehicle registration without insurance. The minimum insurance coverage required varies depending on which state you are in. In no fault states, if you are a victim of an accident, you are supposed to collect from your own insurance policy, no matter who is at fault for the accident. Your insurance company will cover your repairs and medical expenses. However, there are instances when you can recover from the faulty driver’s insurance policy.
Car Accident Negligence Law Suits
Many states don’t require drivers to have underinsured or uninsured coverage. Therefore, if you are involved in a crash with a driver who has deficient insurance, you cannot collect from your insurance company unless you have underinsured coverage. At this point, your only option is to file a negligence claim.
When filing a negligence claim, you are required to prove that the other driver caused the accident. In some cases, proving fault is easy especially if the other driver has been issued with a ticket in the past, or charged with reckless driving. In other cases, proving fault is difficult. If you are partially to blame for an accident, your recovery is significantly reduced. Insurance adjusters, juries, and judges can all assign percent of fault to the parties involved in an accident.
In some states, if your liability is below 50 percent, there is a chance you can recover the whole amount handed in any judgment. In other states, you can only recover damages based on the other driver’s percentage of liability. Therefore, if you are found to be 25 percent liable, and the other driver is 75 percent liable, any award you receive will be reduced by 25 percent.
The sad truth is that, in most cases, drivers who have no insurance or are underinsured are uncollectable. This means that even if you are successful in your claim, if the defendant has no valuable assets or no money, you are left with a judgment that is unenforceable.
When involved in a car accident with a driver who is not insured or is underinsured, the first thing you ought to determine is whether you are in a negligence state or a no-fault state. If you are in a no-fault state, you should claim compensation from your insurer. If you are in a negligence state, your claim lies with the at-fault driver’s insurer. In such cases, you can either collect from your own insurer if you have an underinsured policy, or sue the at-fault driver.