If an accident happens when both drivers are uninsured, there are several possible outcomes. While the driver who did not cause the accident still has the right to hold the other legally responsible for their injuries and damages, in most states, many factors can affect how this process works, what could happen, and how much the case might be worth.
If you were uninsured but injured in a crash caused by another uninsured driver, you should speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your state’s laws and your options for seeking compensation. You may need to sue and seek assets from the at-fault driver or consider other ways to pay your bills. Your attorney can offer advice and guidance during this process.
How a Fault-Based Car Accident Case Normally Works
Most car accident cases end with an insurance settlement. One driver files a claim against the other, provides evidence that the other driver caused the crash, and demands fair compensation. They negotiate and come to an agreement between the two parties. This is a very simplified version, but that is generally how it works. Only occasionally do personal injury cases go to trial.
Insurance settlements are so common because most states require all drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage if they own or drive a vehicle. For example, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance, all drivers in this state must have at least a 15/30/25 policy. This auto liability coverage pays a maximum of:
- $15,000 in bodily injury for one victim of a crash the policyholder causes
- $30,000 in bodily injury for all victims of the same accident
- $25,000 in property damage coverage
When the policyholder causes an accident, the victims file claims based on this liability policy. If the at-fault driver does not carry the required insurance, the victims will have to consider other options for compensation, which could include:
- Their uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Their collision and medical payment policies
- A lawsuit against the at-fault driver to claim their assets
- Filing a claim based on health insurance or other benefits
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Penalties for Being Uninsured Could Hurt Your Financial Recovery
When a driver does not have the required insurance policies, there are consequences. These could include citations, fines, a driver’s license suspension, and more. You could receive a ticket and face these penalties if you were driving without insurance regardless of fault in the crash.
In some states, additional penalties could affect your civil case. For example, Louisiana has a no pay no play statute, found in La. R.S. § 32:866. This law prevents victims of collisions in the state from recovering the first portion of their losses equal to the coverage they were legally obligated to carry. This means they must forfeit:
- The first $15,000 in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- The first $25,000 in car repairs or replacement of a totaled vehicle
This means that, even as the victim of an accident, you could face fines and forfeit a significant portion of your money damages if you were in an accident without insurance. However, if your injuries are serious, you may require damages above these limits. In addition, there are exceptions to this rule, such as when the at-fault driver was intoxicated.
Recovering Compensation When Both Drivers Are Uninsured
Suing the at-fault driver may be the best option for recovering compensation. If there is evidence that the driver has a good job or assets that could cover your costs, a lawsuit against them may be the best option. Your attorney can help you decide if this is right for you.
In other cases, you may need to file a claim based on your health insurance to try to cover your medical bills. Health insurance companies do not like to pay for car accident injuries, but may if they are the last remaining option to ensure your bills get paid. You should not avoid getting medical treatment because you are unsure how you will pay for it.
An Attorney Can Help You Decide What to Do
If you were uninsured when your accident took place, you do not want to try to prove your damages and recover compensation on your own. You may need to sue and can get help from an attorney who can present your argument to the judge and jury carefully and effectively.
A traffic collision attorney can help you weigh your options and decide on a plan to pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses today.
Connect With a Lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC Now
The Morris Bart law firm provides complimentary initial consultations for car accident victims in the areas we serve. We will sit down with you to discuss your crash, your legal options if you were uninsured, and other circumstances that could affect your rights or the outcome of your case. If we work together, we will not charge anything upfront. We are a contingency-fee firm.
Call (800) 537-8185 to speak with a lawyer for free today.
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