Getting into a car accident without insurance is one of the most distressing experiences to happen to someone. The possible consequences can be overwhelming, especially since, regardless of whether you are the victim or at fault, you are extremely limited as to what type of compensation you can receive for damages or injuries when you lack the protection of an insurance company. You can face expensive fines or even have your car towed for driving as an uninsured motorist. Hiring an attorney can drastically change the outcome of your situation and fill the void left by the absence of insurance coverage.
Driving Without Insurance: Plaintiff vs. Defendant
Your experience following a car accident during which you had no insurance coverage will largely depend on whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. This can be tricky to determine, especially since, in many cases, each party can take a percentage of the blame. Assess your situation:
If you were injured but were not at fault, you will most likely be able to recover given compensation from the negligent party’s insurance. In this case, there is little need for coverage from your hypothetical insurer. However, if the other party is uninsured, you will need to seek compensation through uninsured motorist coverage. Further, if neither of you is found to be at fault, your compensation options are severely limited.
On the other hand, if you are found to be at fault as an uninsured motorist, you will face significant consequences. Notably, you will be held personally responsible for covering any damages the victim may file. These costs can lead to extreme collection measures including garnished wages and foreclosures. If you attempt to fight the victim’s claims, you will also be responsible for providing your own defense.
Protection from insurance coverage would prevent such consequences since policies must provide two primary things:
- Duty to Defend: Your insurer will hire a lawyer to defend you against claims from covered accidents.
- Duty to Indemnify: Your insurer will provide compensation for losses and damages within the limits of the policy.
Among the absence of these benefits, there are several risks you take when driving without insurance, especially in at-fault states. If you are caught driving without insurance, you may be subject to having your license suspended, having your vehicle impounded, or receiving expensive citations.
Filing a Claim as an Uninsured Motorist
If you were in an accident as an uninsured motorist, whether you were the victim or at fault, you will need the assistance of an attorney. Since you do not have the protection of an insurance company, you will, unfortunately, be expected to pay more than just a several-hundred-dollar deductible – and the resulting fees can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars in total.
Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney can help to reduce the costs you face as an uninsured motorist. Your attorney will do their best to protect you from garnishing and other extreme collection efforts as well. Before you attempt to respond to any lawsuits or claims, contact an attorney to guarantee the best protection and most manageable results from your accident.