Every driver knows the drill. After you get involved in a crash with another vehicle, you should exchange insurance information with the other party. Unfortunately, some drivers get a shock when they find out that the other motorist is uninsured. Getting into a crash with an uninsured driver doesn’t automatically mean you can’t recover damages. However, you’ll need to work with a vehicle accident attorney to increase your chances of getting compensation.
In 49 states and the District of Columbia, every driver is legally required to have auto insurance although the amounts vary. New Hampshire is the exception and it has an alternative system in place. However, around 13 percent of motorists in the United States were driving without insurance in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute. A similar percentage was believed to be uninsured in Louisiana.
There’s no foolproof way of calculating how many motorists are driving without insurance. The authorities often only become aware of the vehicle gets involved in a crash. This means there could be even more uninsured vehicles on the roads of Baton Rouge and other cities. One of the reasons for this is that car insurance in Louisiana costs around $2,200 annually. This is the second most expensive coverage in the country.
Meanwhile, Louisiana also has penalties in place for drivers who go on the road without adequate insurance. Drivers face vehicle impoundment, license confiscation, fines, and suspension of the vehicle’s registration. Furthermore, if they get involved in an accident, it’s very difficult to recover damages even if they were blameless. They have to foot the bill for property damage up to $25,000 and injuries up to $15,000. Unfortunately, this is not enough to make drivers comply with the law.
Options If You’re Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
Under normal circumstances, the at-fault driver’s insurer pays for property damage, injuries, and other losses. However, if the responsible party doesn’t have insurance, you need to find an alternative. Usually, that’s your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. Every insurance policy sold in Louisiana must include UM/UIM coverage unless the driver declines in writing.
Alternatively, your car accident attorney in Baton Rouge may suggest that you sue the at-fault driver. This is only recommended if the individual has enough assets to compensate you for your injuries. It would be a waste of time to take legal action against an uninsured driver who has no financial resources.
In some cases, you may be able to claim compensation from a third-party or their insurers. This depends significantly on the facts of the case. One example may be a situation where the driver was using a company car and the employer can be held liable. Businesses are more likely to have the necessary insurance coverage and resources to cover accident-related losses.
Ultimately, the best option is to purchase UM/UIM insurance. This may seem like a waste of money. However, if you get involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll realize just how important it is. This coverage will also help you if a driver has insurance but it’s too little to cover all your losses. In addition, you can claim compensation for your losses if you’re involved in a hit and run accident. When you think about how car accident losses can amount to thousands of dollars, you’ll likely see UM/UIM coverage as a sound investment.
Get Help from an Experienced Baton Rouge Attorney
Car accidents are almost always difficult to handle – emotionally, mentally, and financially. If the at-fault driver is uninsured, dealing with the aftermath can be even more daunting. However, there’s no need to give up if you find yourself in this situation. A car accident attorney in Baton Rouge, LA can support you during the process. They will explain your legal options and help you to make the best decision. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to get compensation.
If you’re ready to fight for the compensation you deserve, reach out to Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers for help. We know how to help your recover your losses even when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. We’ll review your case, identify everyone who can be held liable, and then present evidence to support your claim or lawsuit. Contact Louisiana Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can build a strong case. We work on a contingency basis so we only get paid when we secure compensation on your behalf.