When you are the innocent party in an auto accident, you have the right to file a claim with the responsible party's insurance company. If the other driver is not insured, you will have to explore other options to receive compensation for your damages. Before taking action it is important to understand what your options are.
File a Lawsuit
Depending on the state in which you live, you could possibly file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Some states have no-fault car insurance laws. In those states, you cannot file a lawsuit. In essence, no-fault car insurance laws state that who caused the accident does not matter. You would be responsible for covering your damages.
If you do not live in a no-fault car insurance state, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver. There is a catch though. Even if you win a judgment, you still have to depend on the other driver paying the awarded amount. You could ask the court to garnish the wages of the other driver, but you could end up going to court several times before the judge is willing to do so.
In the event that you do file a lawsuit and win, you might be able to convince the other driver to agree to a payment plan based on the awarded amount. If so, get it in writing. If he or she defaults on the payment plan, you will have proof to show the court that he or she has not made efforts to pay the judgment.
File a Claim on Your Own Insurance
One of the last actions you probably want to take is filing a claim on your own insurance, but it is an option you should consider. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, you most likely have uninsured driver coverage. It is designed for situations such as yours.
With uninsured motorist coverage, the amount of time you have to file a claim is limited. Check your policy as soon as possible to determine how long you have to file. If you fail to file within the time limit, you could lose your right to do so.
The damages that the insurance company will cover are limited. Since it varies by provider and policy, review yours to determine which damages will be covered. If your insurance company is refusing to cover the damages, consult with an auto accident attorney. It is possible that your provider is not following its duty to provide coverage for you.Share
7 November 2016
Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.