An Uninsured Driver Hit Me—Can I Receive Payment for a Claim?
As of 2015, the state of Indiana ranked eighth for the number of residents without auto insurance—about 16.7 percent of Indiana drivers were driving without any auto insurance at all. While some drivers cannot afford the premiums, others simply decide to “chance it,” and drive without insurance. Unfortunately, car accidents happen, and an uninsured driver could hit you. One of the only “comforts” following a car accident, is that if the other driver was at fault your medical expenses, lost wages, and vehicle damages will likely be covered by his or her insurance.
It can be like a kick in the stomach to find out the at-fault driver is uninsured. There are several considerations if you find the other driver is uninsured; the personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Malad, LLP, can help you navigate the extra frustrations associated with an uninsured driver. We know this is a difficult time under the best of circumstances and being hit by an uninsured driver makes it that much more frustrating and stressful. Do not try to face the stress on your own—we can help!
What Should I Do if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
You do have options. Under Indiana auto insurance laws, drivers must have uninsured motorist coverage on their policy unless these coverage options are waived in writing by the purchaser. Something to remember is that most insurance companies limit the amount of time policyholders have to make an uninsured motorist claim—usually 30 days—so it is important that you put the claim in motion as quickly as possible after learning the at-fault driver has no insurance.
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage you could have the option of filing a lawsuit against the other driver, assuming he or she was primarily responsible for the accident. Indiana is a comparative fault state, meaning any compensation you are awarded will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. Suppose you are driving over the speed limit when you go through a traffic light, then you are hit by another driver who ran a red light.
The other driver is largely responsible for the accident, but if it can be shown you were exceeding above the speed limit, a jury might determine you were 10 percent responsible for the accident, therefore your award would be reduced by 10 percent. Unfortunately, even if you win your personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver, there is no guarantee you will actually collect the award. Generally speaking, drivers who drive without auto insurance are unlikely to have significant assets or cash.
It is even more important that you report the accident to the police if the other driver is uninsured. An uninsured driver may implore you to skip calling the police as a means of minimizing his or her liability. Since you may not know the extent of your injuries or the extent of the damage to your vehicle, there must be a police report on file to show that the other driver was at fault and was uninsured.
How Cohen & Malad, LLP, Can Help
Facing a situation like this where your injuries and damages were caused by an uninsured driver can feel like an insurmountable problem. The highly experienced injury lawyers at Cohen & Malad, LLP have helped many people in your exact situation. We want to ensure your rights are properly protected from start to finish, that you receive the medical treatments you need, and that you receive an equitable settlement for your damages. Contact Cohen & Malad, LLP, today!