Ideally, all motorists carry insurance to cover accidents for which they are at fault. In reality, not all motorists have insurance for one reason or another. If you should happen to have the misfortune of being hit by one of the many uninsured drivers, there are options available.
- Cash from the Driver – Now that would be ideal! However, if the motorist had that kind of money, he or she would probably be carrying insurance. Many people must make the choice between food on the table and auto insurance, and they choose the food. This is not a legal option, but it does happen.
- Payment Arrangements – This can be accomplished through a small claims or civil court if you believe a court order would be beneficial to insuring the at-fault driver pays for the expenses related to the accident. This can be costly if the defendant does not pay and you have to return to court. Seeking the counsel of a professional attorney, such as the friendly folks at Litster Frost, is a great way to make sure you are exercising all your legal rights.
- Your Own Insurance – Your policy may include a provision for underinsured or uninsured drivers. This is a wise option when setting up a new policy. If you have not done so already, you can add this portion now and save yourself a lot of time and anxiety in the future. This option will often pay the difference between the total cost and what the other driver cannot pay. Even if he or she pays cash, you do not have to be stuck with the rest of the bill.
- Idaho Transportation Department Action – If you have obtained a judgment against a driver for damages to body or property, and the defendant fails to pay, the ITD can help. Upon receipt of a certified copy of the unpaid judgment, they will issue an Order of Intent to Suspend to the driver. This will suspend the driver’s license and driving privileges until he or she pays the judgment or payment agreement is executed. At this time, the driver must file proof of financial responsibility (proof of ability to pay damages arising from liability equal to the minimum standards in Idaho) with the department and pay a reinstatement fee. If the driver is a minor, you may file against his or her parents; if the vehicle is owned by another person, you may file against the owner. Even if the owner is from out-of-state, you can take this action and Idaho will help you. You can find out more about this from the ITD website.
In the event that you need assistance with filing claims, recouping losses from underinsured or uninsured drivers, call Litster Frost today for professional help with the matter. There is no need for any more anxiety or suffering. Let us help you make sure you know exactly the best legal action, and go back to driving safely.
If you were injured in accident with an uninsured motorist, you might be worried that your insurance premiums will go up if you ask your own insurance company to pay, or your damages might be higher than your uninsured motorist coverage. While it may be a little bit harder, you can still hold an uninsured motorist responsible for the harm they caused you.
Our firm is dedicated to helping people who were injured by irresponsible drivers. As your attorneys, we are the only party in a personal injury claim who has an interest in seeing you receive complete compensation to the extent of the law. Whether you’re having difficulty getting your own insurance company to honor the claim or need to find a way to recover from the uninsured motorist, we will guide you every step of the way. Call us now to find out what your case might be worth.
What Should Happen After You’re Hit By An Uninsured Motorist?
Idaho has an uninsured motorist problem. Even though all drivers in Idaho are required by law to carry auto insurance, the fact is that many simply don’t. The Insurance Research Council estimates that eight percent of Idaho drivers are uninsured. This is slightly better than the national average of 12 percent, but it still means that nearly one out of every ten drivers has no car insurance. The next time you’re driving down I-84, think about how many cars are around you and how likely it is that the driver next to you doesn’t have a dollar in insurance coverage.
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company should take care of everything. Your insurance company should apply your uninsured motorist coverage to your claim and then try to recover its own costs from the uninsured driver. However, because this may be an expensive process with no guarantee that the insurance company will be reimbursed, insurance companies may try to unfairly deny or limit a claim.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Include?
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it’s meant to act as a replacement for the other driver’s insurance policy if an uninsured driver causes an accident. It will cover property damage and injuries up to the policy limits. However, like general car insurance, uninsured motorist coverage may not cover everything.
- It may not cover lost wages or extended medical rehabilitation after a serious injury.
- The policy limits may be too low even if none of your losses are excluded. Your uninsured motorist coverage can only be as high as your own liability limits. If you decided to carry low liability limits because you have few assets, believe you’re a safe driver, or have an umbrella insurance policy, your uninsured motorist coverage may not be high enough.
- Unlike liability claims against you, your umbrella insurance policy generally won’t cover your own losses if you’re injured by an uninsured motorist.
- Uninsured motorist coverage is optional and you may have said no to it to reduce your insurance premiums without realizing its importance.
What Do You Do If Your Insurance Company Won’t Honor Your Uninsured Motorist Claim?
If you paid your premiums, you have the right to have your insurance company honor the contract they signed when they took your money. If they refuse your claim, try to get you to settle for less, or if you just aren’t sure if they’ve made a fair offer, call an attorney immediately.
Having a lawyer advocating on your behalf shows the insurance company that you’re serious about receiving the full compensation you’re entitled to and may encourage them to quickly reach a fair resolution. If the insurance company still won’t honor your policy, you don’t have to accept their decision and can take them to court.
What If You Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage Or The Limits Are Too Low?
While dealing with your own insurance company may be the easiest path, you also have the right to recover directly from the uninsured driver. You may be able to make a claim against any other insurance policies they have, have a judge garnish their wages, or have a judgment entered against them.
It is a myth that it is never worth pursuing a claim against an uninsured motorist. While many uninsured motorists are having financial difficulties, some are not and even if they are, they are not always permanently judgment-proof. The health consequences and other effects of a serious injury are long-lasting, so be sure you’re taking a long-term view when you decide whether to pursue a claim.
What Should You Do When You Find Out the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
Call an attorney as soon as possible if you find out the driver who hit you is uninsured. Generally speaking, the faster you act, the more rights you have and the less risk there is of harming your claim. Let us guide you through each step of the process of seeking full compensation and dealing with your medical bills in the meantime. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation and to find out what your case is worth. Litster Frost Injury Lawyers are Boise based and work with clients everywhere throughout Idaho.