What Happens After a Car Accident if the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Every driver in Utah is legally required to carry auto insurance. The government requires this to ensure that injured accident victims have some way of collecting damages when they are severely injured in an accident. However, some drivers attempt to save themselves from paying insurance premiums by simply ignoring the rules. Other times, drivers may accidentally allow their insurance to lapse, or may be behind on payments and lose coverage. If you are injured in an accident, and the at-fault driver does not have insurance, there may still be paths to recovery. Talk to an experienced Utah car accident injury attorney, like Salt Lake City’s Darwin Overson, for help recovering compensation for car accident injuries.
Utah Car Accident Without Insurance
One of the most important parts of being able to receive compensation for your injuries is that there must be someone who can pay for your injuries. Utah requires every driver to carry no-fault car accident insurance. This means that in minor crashes, your own car insurance will cover your injuries. In cases where damages are more than $3,000 or the injuries are very severe, such as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries, the other driver’s insurance will pay for the damages. Since every driver must carry insurance, this usually means someone can cover your injuries through their insurance.
If the driver that caused your accident does not have their own insurance, there may still be coverage in some cases. First, if the accident is somewhat minor or caused minor injuries, your own insurance may be enough to cover your needs. Since your no-fault insurance must have “personal injury protection” (PIP), it can cover your own injuries in more minor cases. Second, your policy may have protection for uninsured/underinsured motorists (“UM/IUM coverage”). This option is available on many insurance policies, and covers you in case the other driver has no insurance or too little insurance coverage. In these cases, your own insurance will step in and cover your injuries, even if they go over the limits of your PIP coverage. While this may require an additional premium, it may ultimately make the difference if you are hit by an uninsured driver.
If you do not have insurance, but you were the victim in a car accident, you may still be able to recover compensation. Some states have what’s called “no pay, no play” laws. In those states, drivers who do not have their own insurance cannot recover against another driver’s insurance, even if the other driver was at fault. Luckily, Utah’s laws still allow uninsured drivers to recover against the at-fault driver’s insurance when they are the victim in a car accident. You may face penalties and tickets for driving without insurance, but you can still file against the at-fault driver’s insurance after a car accident.
Suing for Car Accident Injuries Without Insurance
In many car accidents, insurance will be enough to cover injuries and vehicle damage. However, other accidents have more complex facts or serious injuries. In these crashes, car insurance companies may sometimes deny the facts, blame you for the crash, or refuse to pay certain damages. When insurance refuses to cover injuries, taking the at-fault driver (and their insurance company) to court may be the only option you have. If the other driver did not have insurance, you may still take them to court and sue them, directly, for the damages you need.
Insurance exists to make recovering compensation for an injury simpler. Rather than going to court, insurance allows you to request compensation, show the company some proof of the damages you need, then the company sends you a check. However, the law still allows you to take many car accident cases to court and directly sue the responsible parties.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, courts can still hold them personally accountable for the injuries they cause. Courts can order direct payments, can garnish wages to cover damages, and may even attach the defendant’s real estate or other property to the case to ensure there is some money available to pay for your injuries.
Talk to an attorney about your options. In some cases, the defendant driver is simply too poor to be able to cover your injuries. In these cases, it may be more beneficial to pursue a case against your own insurance company, another driver who was involved in the crash, or other potentially responsible parties.
Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer
Darwin Overson of Overson Law, PLLC has practiced personal injury law in Utah for decades. If you were injured in a car accident, and the at-fault driver did not have insurance, talk to an attorney about your options. Because the path to recovering compensation may be more complex, it is vital to have a car accident attorney on your side. For your free consultation on your case, contact our Salt Lake City personal injury lawyer today at (801) 895-3143.