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What Happens If the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Car Insurance?

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The claim process after a car accident can be a headache. Gathering the details of the crash, determining fault and liability, and getting a payout from the at-fault driver’s insurance company can be overwhelming, especially when you sustained injuries patrick reganand must give your attention to recovery, as well. When a driver is uninsured the challenge can grow, and so can your questions. It is important that you speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to understand your legal options. Call Regan Zambri Long PLLC today for a free case review.

You may be wondering how your bills will be paid if you’ll get any compensation, or if the at-fault driver will get off without taking responsibility. Though it may take more legal leg work, an uninsured or under-insured motorist is financially responsible for the injuries and damages he or she causes.

If you or a loved one has been injured or involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you are entitled to compensation. A car accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long PLLC can help you make your claim and recover your dues.

Understanding Fault and Insurance Claims

One of the first factors in collecting compensation after a car accident is knowing your state’s approach to fault. Some states, including Washington, DC, are no-fault states when it comes to car accidents.

What this means is that your car insurance policy covers your medical bills. The amount you are compensated hinges on how much coverage you carry. You can only bring a personal injury suit against the other driver if your injuries are severe. To recover compensation for vehicle damage, you will file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance provider.

Other states, including Maryland and Virginia, adhere to more traditional at-fault standards, meaning that the person at fault for an accident is the one whose car insurance will pay the bills (up to the policy coverage limits).

In at-fault states especially, it is important to know what the state’s negligence standards are. Both Virginia and Maryland follow pure contributory negligence standards, meaning that if you contributed to the car crash in any way, you are not eligible to claim compensation.

What if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

Female,Motorist,Involved,In,Car,Accident,Calling,Insurance,Company,OrAlthough carrying car insurance is required in nearly every state, in 2019 about 12.6 percent of all drivers were uninsured, according to data collected by the Insurance Information Institute. Twenty-one states had higher uninsured motorist coverage rates, including Maryland (14.1 percent) and the District of Columbia (19.1 percent). Twenty-nine states had lower rates, including Virginia (10.5 percent).

When dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver who is at fault for an accident, compensation may be claimed in several ways.

Your own insurance company will provide some compensation if you purchased uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage. With this coverage, your insurance will help cover medical bills and vehicle repair costs even though you weren’t responsible for the accident.

You may also be able to bring a lawsuit against the liable, uninsured driver, depending on your state or the severity of your injuries. At-fault states such as Maryland and Virginia allow you to personally sue a negligent driver at will. No-fault states such as DC limit personal injury claims to severe accidents.

An experienced car accident attorney will be invaluable for a personal injury claim so you can maximize your compensation and stand the best chance of winning your case.

What if I Don’t Have Insurance?

If you are involved in an accident and you don’t have car insurance, the first thing you should expect is to pay a fine as an uninsured driver.

Man holding his head looking at computer and paperworkMost states have mandatory insurance requirements. Virginia allows residents to pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee in place of carrying insurance, but if a motorist chooses to purchase insurance, the commonwealth has minimum policy requirements like most other states. Only New Hampshire and Iowa do not have mandatory insurance requirements or waiver fees.

In a no-fault state like Washington, DC, you will be responsible for your own medical bills unless your injuries are severe enough to file a personal injury claim against the other driver.

In at-fault states like Maryland and Virginia, you will need to file a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance to claim compensation. You will want to hire a qualified car accident attorney to help you make sure you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

If you are the at-fault driver and you are uninsured (or under-insured) you should expect to pay compensation to the other party out-of-pocket, in addition to any fees and fines for violating your state’s car insurance requirements.

What is the Difference Between Uninsured and Under-Insured?

An uninsured driver does not carry any insurance policy to cover medical bills and property damages. This driver would be responsible for paying his or her own medical bills in most no-fault states and could be held personally responsible for the other driver’s bills if found to be the at-fault driver.

An underinsured driver carries a policy, but it is insufficient to cover the accident. Determining how much coverage to carry is a balancing act for drivers. In 2019, the average cost of an insurance policy was about $1,070, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Many drivers choose a policy that meets the state’s minimum requirements, however, the minimum policy may not be enough to cover every accident. In this case, the under-insured driver could be personally responsible for paying additional compensation to the other driver.

Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia all have minimum policy requirements that include uninsured motorist coverage. Maryland and Virginia have minimum policy requirements that include under-insured motorist coverage as well.

Will My Car Accident Attorney Deal with Insurance Companies on my Behalf?

Regan Zambri Long’s compassionate car accident attorneys know that a car insurance claim can feel impossible in the aftermath of an accident. That’s why our team is committed to handling as much as possible on your behalf, so you can focus on the important work of recovery.

Your experienced lawyer will manage the paperwork and correspondence with the insurance companies and keep you up-to-date with the relevant and important information. We will walk beside you through every step of the claim process and fight for your best interests.

Although hiring an attorney is not required after a car accident, it will often be in your best interest—especially if you have been seriously injured or the other driver is uninsured or under-insured. Legal processes can get complicated quickly, even when things seem straightforward on the surface. An experienced car crash lawyer will help you determine and prove negligence, calculate the cost of your injuries and damages, and fight to hold the liable party accountable for his or her actions.

Let Regan Zambri Long Represent You

Choosing the right personal injury lawyer to represent you after a car accident can feel as overwhelming as the prospect of filing your claim. Regan Zambri Long’s team has decades of cumulative experience that we will bring to bear on your case, whether in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia. Our compassionate team will fight on your behalf and let you focus on recovery and healing.

We work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay anything until we’ve won a recovery or verdict in your favor. An uninsured motorist claim can be complicated, but your legal team shouldn’t be. Schedule a free case evaluation with us today and take the first step toward the compensation you deserve.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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