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An uninsured driver struck me. How can I recover if they had no insurance?

If you are involved in a car accident and suffer injuries, but the person causing the accident either runs away or does not have insurance, you may not know what to do.

Many people have asked whether they can get compensation for car repairs, medical treatment, and pain and suffering in this type of situation. They also want to know who is responsible to pay for these damages.


The Short Answer

In this type of situation, you may be entitled to get compensation through your own insurance carrier or through uninsured insurance funds, which are established by the government. It is always best to have an experienced attorney to help you every step of the way to get you through this process, as underinsured and uninsured motorist claims can be complicated.

An experienced attorney will work with you and obtain the police reports, witness statements, and photographs of the scene as necessary to try to find the person who caused the accident if they run away from the scene or find some alternative source of insurance coverage if the at-fault driver cannot be found.

The bottom line is even if the at-fault driver is unknown, you may still be entitled to compensation. Call a lawyer today to discuss your rights.

The Long Answer

Uninsured Motorist Coverage is a type of coverage that is separate from collision, liability, and comprehensive coverage and is carried on most policies. This coverage is also separate from medical payment coverage, which provides benefits for medical treatment.

This coverage is required by law in most states, and part of your premium that you pay gives you that coverage. The coverage exists to protect drivers in scenarios like the one above, where the at-fault driver has no insurance or no ability to pay for damages they have caused.

Each state provides different remedies for victims of an uninsured driver and defines an uninsured driver in a different way. Additionally, each state provides different remedies for victims of this type of accident. For example, Maryland has set up a MAIF Insurance Fund, in which victims can assert a claim if their case meets certain criteria. Whereas, in Virginia, a victim is permitted to sue the uninsured driver even if they cannot find them by naming them as a John Doe in the lawsuit.

In this John Doe situation, the victim must then serve their own insurance company with a lawsuit that is filed against John Doe and give them the chance to defend the case. The reason their own carrier needs to be served and would even want to defend a case for a John Doe that can’t be found is that if a jury finds the John Doe to have caused the accident and the injuries, then the victims’ insurance carrier would be responsible to pay those damages.

So in Virginia, making a claim against the John Doe has the same effect that suing the insurance company directly for breach of contract would have in Maryland.

The bottom line here is UM/UIM claims can be complex, especially if they need to be litigated. You should not attempt to navigate these tricky waters without experienced counsel at your side.

If you want to know more about this subject, check out the links below:



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