If you are involved in a car accident, no matter how major or minor, the first thing you will do is hire a personal injury lawyer. You’ll then work with him or her to file a personal injury case or claim. But there is one thing that complicates all of this: uninsured motorists. If the person who hit you doesn’t have insurance, don’t panic. Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that you still have options.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
Your personal injury lawyer in Hesperia will tell you that you will likely have no option but to file a claim with your own insurance company if the other motorist was indeed completely uninsured. You will be in luck if you have an uninsured motorist coverage rider on your insurance policy. This will pay you the settlement amount you want and need.
Your state may or may not require you to have uninsured motorist coverage as a rider on your car insurance policy – most states don’t. However, you should buy it even if you are not legally required to. It could come in handy if you are ever involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. The only stipulation is that you can’t carry uninsured motorist coverage that is greater than your overall policy coverage limit. This means, that you can’t buy uninsured motorist coverage for $1,000,000 if your overall policy coverage limit is $750,000.
You should also buy an underinsured motorist rider. This will come in handy if you are ever hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for your bodily injuries and/or property damage. You can then file a claim through your own insurance company and get the settlement amount that you want and need. The uninsured motorist rider will generally pay the difference between your total settlement amount and the amount that the defendant’s insurance policy has paid.
So if you have a settlement amount of $1,000,000 and you get a settlement of only $750.000 from the defendant’s insurance company, your underinsured motorist coverage will pay for the $250,000 difference.
Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that you can pay extra to add a collision coverage rider to your insurance policy. This rider will give you money to pay to repair or replace your car if you are hit by an uninsured or an underinsured driver. It will also come in handy in hit-and-run incidents.
Filing a lawsuit
You can definitely sue an uninsured or underinsured motorist in court. But this is only the case if you don’t live in a no-fault car insurance state. You generally can’t sue the other party if you live in a state with this rule. The only exception is if your bodily injuries and/or property damage are above a certain dollar amount.
Just remember, that you probably won’t collect any money even if you do win. The only exception is if the defendant has substantial assets. But this tends to be rare in these instances.You have options if the defendant is uninsured. All is not lost; you can still hire a good personal injury lawyer. Then you can file a claim with your own insurance company.