Even though Michigan law states that all drivers must be insured, thousands of drivers try to go without it, and find themselves in tricky situations.
If you’ve been in a car accident with another driver who doesn’t have auto insurance, you may be wondering what your rights are and what happens next. The process for circumstances like these can be confusing, so it’s necessary to understand potential outcomes so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Keep reading to understand what happens if you’ve been in a car accident with an uninsured driver, and how an experienced auto insurance lawyer can help.
What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Though Michigan doesn’t require uninsured motorist coverage, you take a major risk if you drive without it. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you get into an accident with a driver who has no auto insurance.
Underinsured motorist coverage is usually offered alongside uninsured motorist coverage. It protects you if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for the damages or injuries they caused in an accident.
Without these coverages, you could end up paying for medical expenses or vehicle repairs out of your own pocket after an accident with an uninsured/underinsured driver.
What Happens to the Uninsured Driver After an Accident?
In situations involving uninsured drivers, there are a few things to keep in mind:
If They Are At Fault
If the uninsured driver causes the accident, they will have both civil and criminal penalties, including consequences that will impact you moving forward.
The at-fault, uninsured driver could be held financially liable for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, or vehicle damages. Your auto insurance companies may also come after them to be reimbursed for what was paid in benefits.
If You Are At Fault
Michigan is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if you have insurance, you’ll be financially responsible for your portion of the other driver’s personal injury damages; this is, of course, if you’re deemed 50% or more negligent for the accident. If you have no insurance, you may be liable for all damages to the other driver.
Is It Worth Filing a Lawsuit?
Is it worth suing an uninsured driver? This depends on a couple factors. It may or may not be worth it; depending on whether the driver can afford to cover the damages.
Typically, if the driver has assets to cover some or all of your damages, you may sue them. However, it’s possible that if the driver cannot afford the minimum liability coverage, they probably can’t afford to pay you.
However, don’t assume that all uninsured drivers are financially challenged. There may be circumstances where the driver can compensate you. In this case, you may sue them to recover damages.
If you involve an attorney, they can run an asset and credit check on the driver to assess their financial status. If the assessment reveals the driver is financially stable, the attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit.
The matter also works out in your favor if you have uninsured motorist coverage and if the uninsured driver also ran off after the accident.
Regardless, You Need an Experienced Attorney After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver
If you’re feeling confused or scared after an accident involving an uninsured driver, it can be really helpful to enlist the help of a skilled car accident attorney. They can help you understand your rights and the potential outcomes of your situation.
For help with a car accident, contact us today. We can help you by navigating insurance claims, negotiating with the other party’s attorneys, or pursuing legal action. When you contact us, rest assured we’ll put you in touch with an experienced attorney that can help you resolve the situation as smoothly as possible.