Is It Worth Suing an Uninsured Driver?

What Should You Do After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?

No one wants to be involved in a car accident, but the reality is that thousands of crashes occur daily across the US. Car insurance provides financial protection for drivers who suffer injuries and economic losses in an accident or cause a collision that harms others. To ensure that everyone on the road is protected, every state besides New Hampshire requires all licensed drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance.

Unfortunately, up to one in five drivers in some states fail to carry any vehicle insurance, and others do not have enough coverage to handle the typical medical expenses from an accident. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will not have the option to file a claim with their insurance company for your damages. So what can you do in this situation? Filing a lawsuit is one potential option, but an experienced uninsured driver accident lawyer can explain why this may not always be the best choice.

Why is It Difficult to Sue an Uninsured Driver?

There are many reasons why an individual may not have car insurance. They may have unintentionally allowed their coverage to lapse or consciously chose to end it. However, the most common motivation for not carrying proper vehicle insurance is an inability to afford coverage.

If an individual does not have enough funds to pay for car insurance, then it is also unlikely that they will have enough assets to pay for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses from the accident. Even if you brought a successful lawsuit against an uninsured driver, you probably would not see any benefit from it because the defendant cannot pay a settlement if they have no available money.

The court could order the defendant to make payments on the settlement or garnish their wages. Still, in most cases, the hassle and cost of suing an uninsured driver make it an impractical choice.

When Could It Be Worthwhile to Sue an Uninsured Driver?

It may make sense to file a lawsuit in certain circumstances if the at-fault driver is uninsured but still has sufficient funds to pay compensation. Your lawyer can investigate the individual’s financial situation through an asset and credit check to determine whether suing is a good option. If you decide to bring a lawsuit, your lawyer may file a lien against the defendant’s property to freeze their assets and prevent them from disposing of them before the case.

If a Lawsuit is Not Practical, What Are Your Other Options for Recovering Compensation?

Even if your lawyer advises against pursuing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver, it does not mean you are unable to recover some or all of your expenses from the accident. There are several other alternatives you can explore that may be better suited to your situation.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you have it, uninsured motorist coverage is usually your best choice for recovering damages because it is made for these exact circumstances. Uninsured motorist coverage is an optional add-on to your car insurance policy. If you are injured in a crash, and the other party has no insurance, you can file a claim against your own uninsured motorist policy to cover costs associated with your car accident injuries.

Underinsured motorist coverage provides fallback coverage if the other driver has some insurance but your damages have exceeded their policy limits. Remember that insurers typically have strict time limits on notifying the company of the accident and filing an uninsured motorist claim.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Pennsylvania requires all drivers to purchase a minimum of $5000 in PIP coverage. Your PIP coverage can be used to pay for medical expenses from your crash up to your policy limits, regardless of who was at fault.

In fact, you will likely need to use all of your PIP coverage benefits before pursuing an uninsured motorist claim. The advantage of PIP coverage over health insurance is that you will not have to pay copays or deductibles. It also will not increase the cost of your insurance if you make a PIP claim.

Health or Long-Term Disability Insurance

If you have other forms of insurance that will cover injury-related expenses, you can file claims with them for your bills. Of course, the payments are limited by the extent of your coverage. You must also be vigilant about getting medical care immediately, carefully filing your claims, and providing requested documents.

Workers’ Compensation

If your car accident occurred while you were working, you are likely eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. You should inform your employer of the accident as soon as possible and file a report to protect your rights to make a claim. When getting treatment for your injuries, tell your doctor they are work-related so they can record it.

Could Other Parties Share Liability for Your Accident?

Car accidents can be complex, and many involve multiple liable parties. If the uninsured motorist is not the only one responsible for the accident, you could potentially seek damages from the other individuals or institutions.

Examples of third parties that could be named in a lawsuit include:

  • Vehicle or part manufacturers: If a defective part caused the accident, the manufacturer could be held responsible through strict liability.
  • Government entities: Local or state government agencies that design or maintain roads and signage can be sued if they were negligent in their duties and contributed to hazardous road conditions.
  • Restaurants, bars, and clubs: If the at-fault driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash and an establishment overserved them, or they were underage, it may be possible to file a lawsuit to recover damages.

How Can Our Law Firm Assist You?

The time following a car accident is stressful. Recovering from injuries, figuring out transportation, and managing bills can be overwhelming. Dealing with the challenges presented by an uninsured driver just increases the frustration and difficulty.

The trusted legal counsel for vehicle accident injuries in pa at Villari, Giannone & Matteo P.C. can help simplify the situation, advise you of your best options, and guide you through every step of the process, whether you file a lawsuit or pursue another alternative. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation to learn about your legal rights: 888-729-2901.

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