You get involved in a wreck with another driver who runs a red light. After the crash, you go over to the driver to exchange insurance information. You know that this is one of the most basic steps to take after any car wreck.
What you discover, however, is that the other driver doesn’t even have insurance. It’s illegal for them not to carry any type of coverage, but they did it anyway. Now what are you supposed to do?
How common is this?
One of the first things to understand is that this is actually fairly common. By some estimates, roughly 13% of drivers don’t have any insurance at a given time. In some cases, this may just be because the policy lapsed and they didn’t realize that it had happened. But there are also cases where people are simply on a tight budget and they opt not to get insurance intentionally.
Do you have uninsured driver coverage?
The second thing to consider is whether or not you have an uninsured driver coverage policy on your own insurance plan. This may have been mandated in some areas, or it’s an additional type of coverage that you can add to your own policy. If you do have uninsured driver coverage, then your insurance company should work to provide you with the compensation that you need.
If you do not have this type of coverage, however, then you’ll need to seek that compensation from the driver who caused the wreck. This means going to court and showing that they were at fault in the crash, either because they did something intentionally reckless or because they were simply negligent. In this example, they ran a red light, so the police report itself should be able to establish both fault and negligence.
However, seeking compensation from someone who didn’t even buy car insurance can be very complicated. You could have extensive medical bills and you may have lost wages while you were out of work. This doesn’t even consider things like the damage to your car, but it’s clear that the car wreck is going to be a very expensive situation. You must know what legal options you have.