If you’re hurt in a car accident and learn that the driver responsible for the crash did not have insurance, don’t lose hope. Though your options for collecting damages will be more limited, there is still a chance that you can recover at least some compensation. It is a good idea to consult an accident attorney for advice and assistance with collecting evidence and pursuing your available options.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Car insurance companies in the DMV offer uninsured motorist coverage as part of their recommended policy plans. Motorists are not required to buy this coverage, but it is strongly encouraged. So one of the first things you should do is check your car insurance to see if you have this type of coverage.
If you do, your insurance company should pay benefits if all the required conditions are met. Insurance companies can be reluctant to pay even when they are supposed to, so if you have uninsured motorist coverage and your claim is denied, you may want to talk to an attorney about options for enforcing the terms of your policy.
Insurance Does not Affect Liability
One matter that is important to understand is that having or not having insurance doesn’t matter when it comes to determining who was at fault for an accident. That is a separate inquiry based on the facts of the situation.
If someone failed to do something they should have done, such as signal a turn, or they do something they should not have done, such as texting while driving, and that action or failure triggered the accident, then that person is liable. If they don’t have insurance, they are still liable, but they will have to pay directly rather than having a claim paid by the insurance company.
Filing a Lawsuit
A car accident lawyer can still file a lawsuit on your behalf if you were injured by another person’s negligence in a car accident. Instead of expecting an insurance company to defend the claim and pay damages, you will be seeking damages directly from the driver. Sometimes this works better than others, depending on the resources of the at-fault driver.
If the actions of a third party contributed to the cause of the accident, your attorney might also file a claim against that person. For instance, if one vehicle blew a tire because of debris dropped from a construction vehicle, it might be possible to seek compensation from the construction company.
DC Uninsured Motorist Fund
Passengers and pedestrians injured in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist in DC may be eligible to recover compensation through the city’s Uninsured Motorist Fund. To do so, they must file a claim with the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking within 45 days of the accident. The driver, unfortunately, or anyone who owns a registered vehicle, is not eligible for compensation from this fund.
Find Out How Johnnie Bond Can Help After Your Accident
At Johnnie Bond Law, our team is dedicated to helping accident victims in any way possible. We want to help you find the right medical care. We want to help you find the resources to complete your recovery. And we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, contact us today to learn how we can assist.