If you’re in a car accident and the other driver has no insurance, then any medical bills or costs to repair your vehicle will need to be paid by your insurance company. This is usually done through uninsured motorist coverage, although collision insurance also covers certain costs. In addition, you might be able to sue the uninsured driver for damages. Some states make filing a lawsuit more difficult than others, though.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is required in 22 states, and drivers usually have to purchase an amount that’s equal to their basic liability coverage. UM will pay for all of your expenses up to your policy limits when you’re hit by an uninsured driver, from your vehicle repairs to your medical bills. Collision coverage can also protect you in these situations, since it covers repairs to your car after an accident. However, it does not cover medical expenses.
In addition to filing a claim with your insurance company, you might be able to sue the at-fault driver. However, if you live in a no-fault state, this might be difficult. No-fault states require your insurance to pay for your medical expenses after an accident, regardless of who caused it. In order to sue, you must have suffered a severe injury or significant financial loss, although the specific criteria vary between states. If you don’t live in a no-fault state, suing the other driver will be easier, although it might not be worth it. If a driver doesn’t have car insurance, they likely won’t have the resources to pay damages.
Even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you should still get their contact information after the accident in case your insurance company needs it. The driver might try to offer you money on the spot to cover your expenses and avoid being caught driving uninsured, but you shouldn’t take it. You can’t immediately know how much the damage is going to cost to repair, so you should still go through your insurance company. In addition, be sure to take photos of the accident scene and file a police report in order to make the claims process go smoothly.
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