According to recent statistics, about 10% of motorists in Virginia have no car insurance. This is quite tricky considering the number of accidents that are reported daily in the State. So, what happens if you have an accident and the driver does not have insurance or is insured, but it’s not adequate?
Following an accident with driver who does not have insurance, it is essential to understand the options available for you to be awarded compensation. Virginia is one of the many US states which are yet to adopt the “no-fault” insurance laws. The state, however, recognizes the contributory negligence rules which allow you to receive compensation in proportion to your fault.
This means that if you are 30% at fault for your accident, you can only receive 70% from the other at-fault party. Still, the first thing you are required to do following an auto accident is to contact your insurance company.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
Uninsured Motorist Coverage has been a saving grace for most accident victims of this nature. UIM is an extra package that you can purchase besides your liability coverage. However, UIM is typically below your average liability insurance coverage. For instance, if you have standard liability coverage of $90,000, you can receive a reasonably lower amount than that, but it can cover a substantial part of your medical bills.
Similarly, there is the underinsured motorist cover though it is typically unsustainable. Underinsured motorist coverage may not sufficiently compensate for all your damages.
Most insurance companies have a specific time limit for filing for uninsured or underinsured motorist claims. The time can be as short as one month, so you will need to take immediate action following an accident to make sure you don’t miss out on the UIM and underinsured coverage.
Another alternative that can be reliable in such desperate circumstances is collision coverage. This is yet another coverage you can purchase alongside your liability coverage and UIM. However, collision coverage is only limited to property damage. It can only pay for damages to your car following a hit and run or an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Filing for Compensation
In a traditional negligence state such as Virginia, you have the legal right to sue the negligent driver for your damages. Unfortunately, even if you have a successful claim and you win the case against the at-fault party, there will be little or nothing in it for you. This is because uninsured or underinsured people are typically low-income earners who may not have much cash or assets.
In the end, you stand to lose your time and money should you bring a case against them. On the other hand, if they happen to have some assets that you can claim, you are entitled to compensation as follows:
- Up to $25,000 for physical injuries and death of one person
- Up to $50,000 for compensation for physical injuries and wrongful death of more than one person
- Up to $20,000 in compensation for property damage.
The smart thing to do after an accident with driver who is not insured is to contact your insurance provider immediately. This will help you establish which are available and accessible to you. However, if the situation becomes complicated, then it’s time to contact your car accident attorney and let them matter the legal way. For additional information on dealing with a driver of the other vehicle who is not insured after your car accident: https://www.ruttermills.com/virginia-car-accident-lawyers/uninsured-motorist-accident-lawyer/
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