You’ve been hurt in a car accident. After a hospital visit and incurring a number of medical bills, pharmacy expenses, and missing a few days of work, you find out the driver who caused the accident has no auto insurance. After learning this frustrating news, you wonder – what happens when you are hit by an uninsured driver? How do you recoup your lost expenses and damages when the driver has no insurance to go after? You didn’t cause the accident, so why are you stuck paying all the bills? These are questions we hear often at Tapalian Law. As Providence personal injury lawyers, we frequently get asked by clients what remedy they have after a car accident caused by an uninsured motorist. Can you sue a person who has no car insurance? Sure, but chances are its not worth your time as drivers who have no car insurance generally don’t have monetary assets either. Even if you are awarded a judgement against the uninsured motorist you will likely not end up collecting the compensation anyways. So, what other options do you have?
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is additional coverage available from your own auto insurance carrier that is there to protect you if you are hurt in a car accident caused by a driver with no insurance, also known as an uninsured driver. Although Rhode Island drivers are required to carry liability insurance to cover another driver’s expenses in the case of a crash, it does not require drivers to elect uninsured motorist coverage. As personal injury lawyers, we see an abundance of clients injured in Rhode Island auto accidents and recommend you do carry this type of coverage for your protection in the unfortunate event you are hurt in a crash by an uninsured motorist. It is distressing to hear the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that 15% of cars in Rhode Island are uninsured, so having uninsured motorist coverage can provide you extra protection in case of an accident.
Difference Between Liability Insurance Coverage and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
All Rhode Island drivers are required to carry liability insurance that, if at fault in an auto accident, helps pay for damage to another’s property or injury to another driver and/or passengers. Unfortunately, this does not mean that everyone does so. The minimum liability coverage limits in Rhode Island are $25,000/per person with $50,000 total per accident for bodily injury coverage. The minimum liability coverage for property damage is $25,000 per accident. Although this is the minimum liability insurance required by the Rhode Island, more comprehensive coverage is offered to drivers. More thorough protection will also increase your insurance costs but may very well be worth it. If you are injured in an accident in which the other vehicle operator is determined to be at fault, and they do carry liability insurance as required by the state, your personal injury lawyer will seek compensation on your behalf from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance carrier. However, if the at-fault driver who caused the crash does not have any liability insurance coverage, you can then seek protection through your own uninsured motorist coverage assuming you have elected this type of coverage. If you have elected uninsured motorist coverage, it will help pay for injuries or property damage due to a hit and run accident or a crash in which the at-fault driver does not have insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is extremely beneficial to have in the unfortunate event you are injured in an accident caused by uninsured driver so that you may seek coverage through your own insurance policy and are not left not only dealing with your injuries but also the stress of mounting medical bills and other expenses.
Getting hit by an under-insured motorist is also a question we hear often at Tapalian Law. We will explore the difference between uninsured motorist coverage and under-insured motorist coverage in a separate Tapalian Law car accident blog.
Contact a Providence Personal Injury Attorney if You Have Been Hit by an Uninsured Driver
If you have been hurt in an auto accident caused by an uninsured motorist, don’t suffer alone. Seek the advice of an experienced car accident injury lawyer like David Tapalian. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other accident related expenses. Do not wait- contact the injury lawyers at Tapalian Law. With main offices conveniently located on South Main Street in Providence, we are easily accessible and available for your questions. We offer a free consultation and there is no cost to hire our firm for your personal injury case. We only get paid if you get rewarded compensation for your case. Call us today at 401-552-5000 or use our easy, online contact form.