There’s no such thing as a good car accident, but getting into an accident with an unlicensed or uninsured driver makes a bad situation worse for a variety of reasons. It’s important to work with an experienced auto accident attorney if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or unlicensed driver so that your rights are protected.
Ultimately, an unlicensed driver is the lesser of the two evils because, in many cases, the driver is driving a car that is insured and therefore the owner of the car will be responsible for any claims filed due to the accident.
However, that doesn’t mean an unlicensed driver won’t suffer repercussions. Unlicensed drivers can be ticketed, fined, or have their ability to obtain a license suspended. An unlicensed driver can still be charged or sued in civil court if found in fault in an accident.
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According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately 14% of the driving population is uninsured. In Illinois, insured drivers are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, so you are protected in the case of an accident with an uninsured driver. However, it is in your insurance company’s best interest to be economical in handling your claims rather than providing you with compensation that is fully in line with the suffering or damage you experienced in the collision. Having an auto accident lawyer advocate for your rights with your insurance company will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
What To Do After an Accident
Even if other motorists in an accident are uninsured or unlicensed, it’s important to take down their names and contact information if possible. Also, be sure to take pictures of the scene and note license plate numbers since, if a driver is driving a friend or family member’s car, the owner of that car can be held liable. Make sure you or any other injured parties get the medical attention they need immediately.
When you’re ready, reach out to one of Kryder Law’s experienced auto accident attorneys. Our lawyers are familiar with the intricacies of insurance law and can help you understand your rights. If you deserve compensation, we’ll do our best to make sure you are appropriately compensated for any loss you’ve suffered. Start your free case evaluation today.
Your Insurance Coverage in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, your insurance should still cover you in the accident. Regular car insurance always covers you unless there is a clause in the contract, usually addressing fault, that says otherwise. However, your regular insurance may not be enough to cover everything. That is why many people purchase UIM (uninsured motorist) insurance that is designed specifically to cover you if the other driver is under or uninsured. It works like a supplemental insurance plan to extend your coverage.
UIM is not a requirement in every state, although some states do require it. Other states make UIM unusable with the laws that they have regarding fault and insurance standards. It is a good idea to get UIM if you live in a state where you can use it and there are uninsured drivers on the road. It is often more affordable to have UIM than to be caught in an accident without it.
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How to Seek Compensation from an Uninsured Driver
If the other driver in an accident is not insured, then you may be able to file a lawsuit to seek compensation. However, this depends almost entirely on where you live. Most states fall into two categories: negligence states and no-fault states. In negligence states, you have a higher chance of being able to file a lawsuit and win. This is especially true in states where drivers are required to have insurance. Since the other driver was uninsured, he or she was being negligent and can be held responsible.
If you live in a no-fault state, the chances of filing a lawsuit or winning a lawsuit are much lower. This is because no-fault states require each driver and insurance company to cover their own issues. So, your insurance company will cover your costs and have nothing to do with the other driver. In many of these states, the laws also prevent you from filing a lawsuit that would conflict with the no-fault laws.
Who’s At Fault?
One of the keys to figuring out how your insurance will work is in an accident is determining who is at fault. Insurance works a bit differently depending on who is at fault. If the other driver is at fault in a negligence state, then that driver is responsible for their costs and yours. So, your insurance company will likely cover you, then try to get compensation from the other company. If you are at fault, you may be responsible for the other driver’s costs. Your insurance company may cover some of the costs, but also may not, depending on the situation.
Another thing to consider before filing a lawsuit is the condition of the other driver. If the other driver is uninsured and at fault, you can try to file a lawsuit to collect compensation. However, that person may not have the assets or money to pay the judgment. If this is the case, then you won’t be able to collect on the judgment from your lawsuit regardless of if you won or not. You should consider this before filing as it could save you a lot of time and effort.