The roads are not at all safe. With the pandemic’s effects dwindling and more people getting back behind the wheel, the chances and number of car accidents are also rising. According to USDOT’s data, the number of car accidents in the first half of 2021 was 18% more than that of 2020’s numbers. With a high number of accidents, auto insurance policies like liability insurance become necessary.
But what if someone does not have vehicle insurance? Can you sue someone for not having vehicle insurance? Just as with anything related to auto insurance, a simple “yes” or “no” will not suffice at all, owing to the complexity of this topic.
In this article, we’ll discuss all the possibilities when you can sue someone for not having a proper car insurance policy, and what to do to ensure you are safe after the car accident, both physically and financially.
Suing Someone for Not Having Car Insurance?
Almost all the states in the US have made liability insurance mandatory. So you need to have liability insurance to legally drive a car. This policy is what pays for the cost of medical treatments and property repairs for the other driver.
12 states require you to have a personal injury protection plan while 14 states have made uninsured motorist coverage mandatory. But for the topic of this article, these two situations are irrelevant. You cannot sue someone for not having a personal injury protection plan or uninsured motorist coverage.
But can you sue someone for not having liability insurance in states where it is mandatory to have it? Yes, and no. With over 32 million drivers driving without a liability insurance policy, it is very likley that one day or the other you might bump into one, literally.. But you cannot find these people and pull them to the court if there’s no car accident in the first place.
You can only sue them if you get involved in a car accident and the accident is their fault. If the accident is their fault, their liability coverage should pay for the entire cost of the accident. But if they do not have liability insurance, then a lawsuit is what they’ll get.
How to Proceed with the Lawsuit?
After you get in a car accident, you need to have ample evidence to show that the accident was indeed the other driver’s fault. A dash cam would be the best option, but if you don’t have that, use your camera to take pictures and videos of the scene. Make sure that you inform the police as well and get an official police report of the accident.
Getting your car insurance company involved in also recommended. Let them know about the accident. Get the other driver’s insurance information. To get reimbursed for all the costs of the accident, it is important to have all the bills and receipts, so keep them carefully.
From car repair bills to medical bills, every little piece of paper that shows some amount of expenditure related to the accident must be kept. You also need to discuss this with a trusted attorney who will guide you with the next step. With all these processes, you can sue and win the case.
Be Prepared for Situations Like These
32 million uninsured drivers is not a small number. There’s a very high chance that you’ll get in a car accident with them. While you can sue them and get reimbursed, it is a long and costly process. What if you do not have the money needed to pay for your medical bills or car repairs? Be prepared for situations like these.
Having a collision insurance policy ensures that if you get in a car accident and even if the driver at fault does not have liability coverage to pay for the cost of repairs to your car, you can get your car fixed without paying from your pocket (other than the deductible). Collision coverage can also be claimed if you are at fault, or hit a tree or a pole.
Having a collision insurance policy covers your car’s repair car’s repairs costs. But what about your medical treatment and the long bill that comes with it?
Personal Injury Protection Plan
If you are a resident of the 12 no-fault states, a personal injury protection plan is mandatory. This policy reimburse you for the medical treatments and lost wages needed after a car accident. A personal injury protection plan is very similar to MedPay as both cover the costs of medical treatments.
Where personal injury protection differs from MedPay is lost wages. PIP will also cover the losses you might suffer after a car accident due to you not being able to work.
If you live in a state that’s not no-fault, for example, California, any good California car insurance guide would recommend that you get a personal injury protection plan because it is worth it.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
A great car insurance policy can be claimed when the driver at fault is either uninsured or underinsured. Think of uninsured motorist coverage as liability coverage but for yourself. Suing is an option and you should go ahead with it if the driver at fault does not have liability coverage.
But it is also important that medical treatments and car repairs are very expensive. If you do not have that money ready to dispense, you could be in deep waters. Having uninsured motorist coverage helps you pay for all the costs of the accident with a single policy.
What makes uninsured motorist coverage even better is that you claim it if the driver at fault spaces after the accident. In situations like hit-and-run, you cannot even sue the driver to get reimbursed, which makes UM policy worth it.
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