After an auto accident, most drivers exchange insurance information to assist in processing claims for injuries and property damage. However, it’s possible to be in a crash with an uninsured driver. If this happens, you may still be able to receive compensation and recover damages. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you collect on claims with a driver who has no auto insurance.
How Many Drivers Are Uninsured?
By law, every driver is required to have a valid auto insurance policy. However, many drivers ignore their state's insurance requirements and drive with no coverage at all. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 12.6 percent of all drivers in the United States are uninsured, and 13.9 percent of Louisiana drivers do not have a valid insurance policy. However, this statistic is calculated based on insurance claims from motor vehicle accidents. The actual number could be significantly higher, since not all uninsured drivers will be involved in auto accidents.
If You’re Involved in an Accident With an Uninsured Driver
Normally, the at-fault driver's insurance carrier pays for accident related damages. However, when you are in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you will likely seek to have your claim paid by your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage or by suing the other at-fault driver directly.
Louisiana state law mandates that every auto insurance policy sold in the state must contain uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, unless the driver declines the coverage in writing. Under the terms of this coverage, you can receive the difference between the amount the at-fault driver can pay and what you would be entitled to if that driver was properly insured.
Seeking compensation from the at-fault driver is sometimes a good option, depending on the circumstances. Pursuing legal action against a low income uninsured driver with no assets would likely be a waste of your time and resources, but an underinsured driver who owns his own home and has sizable investments would have the resources needed to adequately compensate you for your damages. When you choose to seek compensation from the driver himself, you need the services of a car accident attorney to handle the details of your lawsuit.
How We Can Help
The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are committed to helping Louisiana residents resolve their claims involving uninsured or underinsured motorists. Complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation at one of our six office locations.