Know Your Rights When Hit By an Uninsured Driver
If you’re injured in an accident, you may assume that everything with your medical bills and pain & suffering will be covered. You will likely be counting on the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to cover your injuries and costs. But what happens in the event that the at-fault driver does not have insurance? In this post, we’ll help you understand your rights when hit by an uninsured driver.
Learn more below, and contact the Marc Brown Law Firm to speak with an experienced car accident attorney today.
South Carolina Car Insurance Requirements
In South Carolina, all drivers are required to carry motor vehicle insurance. Both property damage liability insurance and bodily injury liability insurance are required in our state. The state mandates that drivers carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and at least $25,000 for property damage costs per accident. When a driver fails to meet these minimum coverage requirements, they are breaching the law.
In addition to liability insurance coverage, drivers are also required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Who Pays If I’m in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
If you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may initially feel at a loss when it comes to knowing what to do next. Because South Carolina is an at-fault car insurance state, you may not even know whether you will be compensated for your injuries at all since the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. However, there are still a few potential sources of coverage available, including:
Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you have proof that the driver who hit you was to blame for the crash, you may be able to bring a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver for damages. However, note that this may prove futile. If the other driver didn’t have insurance, it may be because they didn’t have the means to purchase insurance in the first place, which means that even if you win your lawsuit, you may not be able to cover a meaningful compensation award.
Filing a claim against your uninsured liability coverage. As stated above, uninsured liability coverage is required in the state of South Carolina. Drivers must carry uninsured motorist coverage equal to the minimum amounts of liability coverage (25/50/25), although your actual uninsured liability coverage limits may be more than the minimum amount. This means that your own insurance coverage can be used to pay for your damages after an accident, even if the other driver was to blame. This coverage can also be used in hit-and-run accidents.
Other sources of compensation. In addition to the above, other potential sources of compensation might include other types of vehicle insurance coverage you carry, such as collision coverage, as well as your health insurance. If anyone else was involved in the accident or caused the accident, it may be possible to bring a claim against that party as well.
Attorney Marc Brown can review your case and help you determine the best plan of action to recover your damages. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Steps to Take After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
If you’re involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, one of the best ways to protect your rights is to know what steps you need to take:
Get the other driver’s contact information. Get as much information from the other driver as you can while you are at the scene of the accident, including the driver’s vehicle make and model, license plate number, and color. Be sure to get the driver’s name and contact information at the minimum. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, write down as much as you can about the vehicle involved.
Get evidence at the scene. If your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, you should gather as much evidence as possible while you are still at the scene. Even if you end up filing a claim with your own insurance company, you’ll still need evidence.
Seek medical treatment and repairs. The fact that the other driver doesn’t have insurance shouldn’t stop you from seeking medical treatment for your injuries or making sure that your vehicle gets repaired. In fact, seeking medical treatment after a crash is one of the most important things you can do.
Contact an attorney. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, then your claim will probably be more complicated than it would be otherwise, and your right to recover your full compensation award may be in jeopardy. An experienced car accident attorney like Marc Brown can investigate your case, identify all potentially liable parties, build your claim, calculate your damages, negotiate your settlement, explain your rights, and more.
Why Work with the Marc Brown Law Firm?
At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we have experience handling car accident claims and uninsured motorist cases. More than our experience alone, we are passionate about what we do, and our passion is evident in our work and the zeal with which we represent our clients. When you work with us, we’ll treat you like family, always putting your needs first.
We always offer consultations free of charge and we will come to you. We also work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid unless we win compensation for you. If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver, know that you are not alone. We are here to help you.