When you are involved in a car accident, the financial impact can be quite severe, especially if you have suffered injury. However, it can sometimes be comforting to know that car insurance coverage—your own or the other driver’s—will instantly help pay for medical care and property damage.
But in some cases, the other driver may not have any (or enough) car insurance. So what do you do?
Check Your Current Car Insurance Policy
If you are involved in a crash where the at-fault driver is uninsured or does not have enough insurance to cover the costs of your injuries and damages, your own car insurance may be able to help. While damages to your vehicle may be covered under your collision policy, the costs of injury may be available through uninsured motorist (UM) and/or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage typically may not exceed the amount of your standard liability coverage. For example, if you’ve got $65,000 in total liability coverage per accident, you cannot often carry more than $65,000 in UM coverage.
File a Lawsuit
If you do not have UM or UIM coverage, or the coverage is not enough to pay for everything, you have the option to file a lawsuit against the other driver. Oklahoma is considered an at-fault state, which means that motorists face financial liability after an accident if it is determined they are to blame.
In a no-fault car insurance state, on the other hand, filing a lawsuit may not be an option. In these states, each driver or his/her insurance is responsible for his/her own injuries or damages, no matter who was at fault for the crash.
Keep in mind, even if you are successful in proving that the other motorist was at fault for the accident, and you obtain a judgment against them, you may not actually be able to collect anything. Many people who do not have car insurance, or have a limited amount, do not have much money or many assets, so attempting to collect on the judgment could result in inaction.
Speak with an Attorney
If an uninsured or underinsured motorist crashes into you, it is wise to report the collision to your auto insurance company and determine how your coverage applies. However, if you’ve suffered serious injuries that cannot be covered by your insurance policy alone, you must talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about our legal options.
Some people attempt to deal with insurance providers on their own and end up receiving a settlement that is far less than their injuries and losses even merit. Since the insurance company will have lawyers representing their interests, you should too.
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Dan Davis and request a free consultation with our Oklahoma City personal injury attorney today.