It is estimated that 1 in 8 drivers in the United States are uninsured. Unfortunately, this means if you are involved in a car accident, you may encounter an uninsured motorist. But what happens if someone hits you and they don’t have insurance?
The answer largely depends on the state you live in. Sometimes, your own insurance may cover the losses you incurred in the collision and in others, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The extent of your injuries as well as if you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage in your insurance policy will also determine where and how you can seek compensation.
Munley Law car accident lawyers help drivers involved in car accidents with uninsured motorists and can explain your options.
What Type Of Auto-Insurance Coverage Am I Required To Hold?
The type of insurance coverage you are required to have depends on the state you live in. The Insurance Information Institute offers information on what insurance you are legally required to carry in your state.
For example, in Pennsylvania, you are required to carry bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) liability and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
PennDOT explains that in order for a driver to be in compliance with the law, they must hold the following liability insurance amounts:
- $15,000 for injury or death of one person in an accident
- $30,000 for injury or death of more than one person in an accident
- $5,000 for damage to property of another person
However, know that while states like Pennsylvania require PIP, others hold UIM and/or UM insurance as a legal responsibility.
What Is The Difference Between Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) And Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)?
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a form of insurance coverage that may cover some of the medical expenses and lost wages you have sustained, regardless of who caused the accident. Unfortunately, this form of coverage does not cover property damage, which means you’ll want to look into other forms of insurance coverage.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is typically a policy add-on which provides financial coverage for the driver if involved in a wreck with an uninsured driver. Some states require this as a standard insurance policy where others add it as an additional option to your current auto policy. Uninsured motorist coverage generally pays for injuries sustained to the driver and any passengers, lost wages, and in some cases, property damage but only if the uninsured driver is responsible for the car accident. This also gives protection to drivers involved in a hit and run accident.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) is additional coverage a driver may add on to their policy if they are involved in a car accident with a driver who may have liability insurance, however it does not have a high enough limit to cover the total damages incurred. The UIM policy works by having the underinsured drivers insurance pay first, then your UIM insurance would make up the difference up to the limit you have set. In general, UIM, like UM coverage, will not handle property damage.
If I Don’t Have Additional Insurance Coverage, Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, depending on the extent of your injuries, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover losses from the collision.
To file a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove negligence. The components of negligence are:
- The driver owed you a duty of care to drive responsibly
- There was a breach in that duty of care
- You suffered because of the breach
If successful, you may be able to recover economic and noneconomic damages for the collision.
Common Injuries in a Car Accident that Require Medical Treatment
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones and fractures
Though not an exhaustive list, these injuries and others will result in medical costs that you will have to handle. A successful personal injury case will allow you to recoup that loss associated with:
- Medical bills
- Future medical needs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning potential
In addition, you may be able to recover noneconomic costs such as those associated with pain and suffering.
How Can A Lawyer Help After a Collision With an Uninsured Driver?
If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you are likely concerned that you will be stuck paying for your losses. However, that isn’t necessarily the case.
A car accident attorney at Munley Law can help you build a personal injury case if the other driver is uninsured. Our legal team can guide you through the process by reviewing police reports, gathering evidence and witness testimony, conducting investigations and more.
Further, we can represent you in communications with the insurance adjusters as well as in court if the case were to go to trial.
Other aspects of the personal injury claim our lawyers can assist with include:
- Negotiations with the insurance companies
- Calculating economic and noneconomic damages
- Representing you in court
Do I Need a Lawyer If I’ve Been Involved In an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
While you never have to seek legal representation for a car accident, it can be valuable to your case’s success. If any of the situations pertain to you, you will likely benefit from a attorney client relationship:
- You develop severe injuries
- You are not at fault for the accident
- Your insurance claim was denied
Even if the collision was minor, it can have long-term repercussions.
Contingency Fee Basis
For many drivers involved in a collusion with an uninsured driver, the expenses related to the collision may make it feel impossible to afford an attorney to represent you. However, many personal injury attorneys, including ours at Munley Law, operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay anything up front for our legal services until a settlement or verdict is reached.
Further, our contingency fee never exceeds what award is paid out to you–rather, it is just a percentage of the settlement or verdict.
Munley Law Represents Drivers Involved in Uninsured Driver Collisions
Getting into a car accident is stressful enough, but when the accident involves an uninsured driver, it can quickly become unmanageable. While you are likely wondering how you will pay for your medical bills, property damage and get back to work, you likely are recovering from injuries.
This is where our team comes in. For more than 60 years, our lawyers have helped car accident victims file personal injury lawsuits to recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Long-term care
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
We know that the insurance companies profit from paying you as little as possible as a car accident victim. This is why we will handle negotiations to secure the highest settlement possible or take your case to court.
An experienced car accident lawyer at Munley Law is ready to fight for you today. For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the car accident attorneys of Munley Law or use our online form to talk with a member of our team.