What to Do When an Uninsured Driver Hits You
I was hit by an uninsured driver. Now what do I do? One of your first thoughts after a car accident is probably, “Thank God for insurance.” No one likes paying the monthly bill, but when the day comes that they are in a crash, everyone is thankful that someone else can foot the bill. It is the backup everyone is thankful for.
If you were hit by an uninsured driver, however, moving on from the accident may not be a smooth process. You may need to try to recover from your own insurance or take the other driver to court.
Determine Your State Uninsured Driver Law
If you live in a no-fault state, you go to your own insurance company after the accident, and it will pay for the damage no matter who was at fault.
If you live in a fault or a tort state, like California, who is at fault matters in terms of whose insurer pays for the damage. Normally, if the other driver was at fault, his or her insurance should cover the property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. Complications arise when that driver does not have auto insurance.
File an Uninsured Driver Claim With Your Auto Insurer
In California, drivers are not required to have uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage states if an uninsured driver hits you, you can file a claim with your own insurance company and it will cover the costs.
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance may not cover all of the damage to your car, medical expenses, and lost wages. Your insurer will usually only cover up to your policy limit, which may leave a considerable amount of bills for you to pay out of pocket. In that case, you will need to try and recover directly from the other driver.
Use Your Health Insurance
While you are dealing with insurance and legal issues, you still need to seek medical treatment for injuries sustained in the accident. Do not hesitate to use your health insurance. You insurance will cover the expenses as stated in your policy, and can use subrogation to try and be reimbursed by the other driver.
Contact a Santa Rosa Personal Injury Attorney
If you have uninsured motorist insurance, being hit by an uninsured driver might not create a complicated situation. However, if you do not have this type of policy, you will need to file a lawsuit against the driver at fault.
It is best to have an experienced attorney advise you on your rights and help you in court. A lawsuit can take months, and you will need to show the other party was at fault and your injuries were due to the accident.
A lawyer can also help you actually be paid if you win. If the driver did not have insurance, there is a real chance that he or she does not have the money to pay damages in one lump sum. Your lawyer may need to help set up and monitor a payment plan or garnish the person’s wages.
Contact Beck Law PC to learn more.