What To Do If A Driver With Little Or No Insurance Hits You - Alvinology

What To Do If A Driver With Little Or No Insurance Hits You

No one ever wants to experience a car accident. It can traumatize as well as injure you. You’ll also have to worry about fixing or replacing your vehicle, and you’ll have to deal with your insurance company and the other driver’s as well.

You might have a situation, though, where the other driver does not have insurance. There are certainly individuals out there who don’t carry the minimum policy that the law requires. They’re just hoping to avoid accidents and to keep getting away with it.

If you find that the driver who hit you does not have insurance or they don’t have enough to cover the damages, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.

Do You Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

For this article, we’ll use the state of Georgia as an example. Keep in mind, though, that the car insurance requirements are different in each state. In Georgia recently, 12% of drivers had no insurance.

That number has probably not gone up much since then. The numbers are also likely comparable in most other US states.

One thing you’ll have to look at first when determining what to do if an underinsured or uninsured driver hits you is whether you have uninsured motorist coverage. You can purchase that in Georgia or elsewhere. In Georgia, though, the state does not require you to have it, so some people don’t bother paying for it.

If you have it, it will help you during this time. You’ll need to reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible and fill them in on all the accident details. They can then determine how much compensatory money they can get you and how soon they can send it.

If an Underinsured Motorist Hits You

We should also differentiate between what happens when an underinsured driver hits you versus a completely uninsured one. If an underinsured motorist hits you, expect to talk to one of that company’s reps. Make sure that you get the other driver’s name, phone number, license plate number, and all other relevant details at the crash site.

You can probably get the underinsured driver to pay out to their coverage’s limit. That might get you a ways toward covering the car repairs and any other monies you’re due following the accident.

Whether the motorist that hit you had little insurance or none, though, contacting your provider must be the first thing you do. That gets the ball rolling. They will likely want to conduct an investigation, so make sure you’re nothing but truthful with them and don’t change any critical details when relating to them what happened.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

The next move is going to be reaching out to a lawyer who knows all about car wrecks. In Georgia, just like in many other states, you can find attorneys who deal exclusively or almost exclusively with car wrecks. They happen so often that these law firms can easily operate with these clients alone.

Try not to communicate more with any insurance companies, either your own or the other driver’s, until you can get a lawyer on your side. They can advise you on what to say and not to since you should avoid making certain statements to insurance companies.

For instance, a car wreck lawyer can tell you not to say things like admitting guilt or even speculating about it. They will also tell you not to venture an opinion on your physical or mental condition after a crash. If your condition worsens, and then you try to get more money later to pay for it, the insurance company might use the statements you made to prevent you from procuring the compensation you need.

What Happens Next?

Once you have your lawyer and you’re getting ready to proceed with the following steps, you’d better prepare for a settlement negotiation with the other driver. Presumably, they will hire a lawyer as well since they would be foolish to try to handle this situation on their own. Still, you might occasionally have a scenario where the other driver cannot afford to hire their own counsel.  

If the other driver has minimal insurance, you can get what you can from their company. You might always sue the other driver for the rest of the damages, though, if the money you get from their meager policy does not cover everything. You might still have hospital bills, physical therapy bills, prescription medication to pay for, and so forth.

Whether the other driver has a lawyer or not, you can either settle with them out of court if you can agree on a number, or else you can proceed with a civil lawsuit against them. If you opt for the latter, that process can take days or weeks, so be ready for it to consume much of your time and energy.

Should You Settle?

If you can settle with the other driver out of court, that can save you time, but you have to be careful if you do that. Maybe the amount they offer you sounds like a lot, but it won’t come close to paying for all of your medical bills over time, especially if you sustained a lifelong injury from which you will never recover completely.

Your lawyer can definitely advise you in this area. They might give you data on how much money it costs to care for yourself, depending on what injuries you have. If the number the other driver offers does not make sense based on what they did to you, you’ll have little choice but to proceed to trial.

The trial’s outcome might be in your favor, and if it is, it’s up to the jury to decide how much monetary compensation to award you. Hopefully, you get enough to care for yourself. Remember, though, your lawyer will collect some of that settlement depending on the agreement you made with them.

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