Having auto liability insurance is mandatory for every driver in almost every state in the U.S. Motorists are required to meet the minimum state requirements of insurance in order to operate a vehicle on American roadways. However, not all motorists follow the law diligently. In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council, 1 in 7 motorists in the United States does not have auto insurance. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you should know about your options for suing the responsible party and getting compensation for your damages.
Suing an Uninsured Motorist after an Auto Accident
In most cases, filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver is generally not a good idea, if you think of the situation from a financial standpoint. Typically, such drivers do not have a lot of money or assets, which makes suing them pointless as they may not have enough money to pay for your damages. Even if you win the case against the responsible party, you are probably going have to a difficult time in collecting the settlement amount. If you take the uninsured motorist back to court for not paying the damages, the judge may order an investigation and declare the driver to be unable to pay the compensation.
A possible way out of the situation is that the court may arrange a payment plan where the defendant will make small payments on a weekly or monthly basis. However, keep in mind that you will have to pay your attorney a portion of the payment as fees for their legal services. The entire process can be very unsatisfying for you and your attorney. In the worst scenario, if the defendant is unable to make even those payments, you may have to take them back to the court and go through the legal process all over again.
Suing an uninsured motorist after an auto accident only make sense when they have adequate assets that may be hidden away to pay for the damages you sustained.
Making a Claim with your Insurance Provider
The best way to cope with such a situation is to file a claim with your own insurance provider. The important thing to remember when considering this option is that most insurance companies have put strict deadlines for filing an uninsured motorist claim. If you have been in an accident, you need to inform your insurance provider that you will be making a claim on your auto insurance policy as soon as possible.
Another challenge you may face is that your insurance company may try to minimize the claim amount and you may not agree on the settlement amount. A panel of arbitrators will be called to review your case and make adjustments to the settlement amount based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Whether you are planning to file a lawsuit against the uninsured motorist or file a claim against your insurance policy, it is best to hire an experienced auto accident attorney to help you with your case. Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.