One of the first things a person does if they are not too seriously injured in a car accident is to trade insurance information. But what happens when the other person doesn’t have insurance? Perhaps they do have insurance, but it isn’t enough. It can be difficult to know what to do when you’re involved in a car crash, and the responsible party is either uninsured or underinsured.
You’ll probably find out pretty quickly if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance. If this is the case, you’ll want to file a claim with your own insurance company. Most policies include coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. This allows you to receive payments for medical expenses up to the policy limit.
You do have the option to sue the other party for your medical expenses, but this is often not a valuable use of your time. People who cannot afford car insurance probably don’t have a lot of assets to liquidate for lawsuits. However, an attorney can assess the situation to give you a better idea about your options. For instance, a driver may have let their policy lapse for some reason, or they may have lost coverage because of too many traffic offenses. This person may still have enough assets to make suing them worth your time.
You may be involved in a car crash where the other driver is underinsured. What this means is they have insurance, but it is not enough to pay for all of your medical expenses. Here is an example. A driver hits your car and another car. They are at fault, and they have liability coverage of $50,000 per accident or $25,000 per person. If the other car was carrying three people and you were the only person in your vehicle, that is four people filing a claim against the $50,000. You will only receive a portion of the amount of coverage available, which may not be enough to cover your medical expenses.
In this situation, you must file a claim with your own insurance company to cover the difference up to your policy limit. This allows the rest of your medical bills to be paid or at least a portion of them in a serious injury.
You should file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible if you have been involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver. You may have a limited amount of time to file before your claim would be denied.
With an underinsured motorist, you may not realize the issue until later. As soon as you find out that the insurance company for the other driver will no longer pay your medical bills, you should contact your own insurance company.
It’s also a good idea to contact an attorney. They can review the case and determine your options for initiating a lawsuit against the other party. The lawyer will also be able to begin working on your claim and gathering information to help you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Many people carry only the amount of liability coverage required by law, which is often not enough for a serious injury. In these situations, they may be required to pay the rest of the medical expenses from their private assets. An attorney will be able to help you determine if a lawsuit is the next best step so that you are not left paying for your own medical bills.