Although South Carolina laws impose that all drivers carry minimum liability insurance, not all do. It is not unusual for car accident victims to find out that the driver they collided with is uninsured or underinsured. When they do, many give up their right to compensation, thinking that they have no way to recover their losses. The best strategy in such cases is to consult a Greenville car accident attorney so they can help you recover losses if the driver at fault is uninsured.
Indeed, the lack of or insufficient insurance makes recovery more difficult. However, there are still options available, and we will review them in the following lines. If given a chance, an experienced South Carolina auto accident lawyer will analyze these options taking into account the specifics of the case and determine the best course of action.
Recovery Options Greenville Car Accident Lawyers Consider When the Party at Fault Is Uninsured
1. Filing a Claim with the Victim’s Insurer
Under South Carolina law, drivers have the obligation to carry liability insurance coverage of at least $25,000/accident for property damage and $25,000/person and $50,000/accident for bodily injuries. Besides this type of coverage, insurers are under the obligation to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as well.
Many include it in their policies without even letting the insured know. This means that, unless the insured specifically opted out, they carry it and can seek compensation from their own insurer. The process is similar to the one to be followed when claiming compensation from the insurer of the party at fault. Besides accident fault and consequences, the claimant will also have to prove that the other driver was uninsured or underinsured.
2. Filing a Lawsuit Against the Party at Fault
Accident victims can seek compensation from their tortfeasors in civil court. However, many car accident lawyers prefer to avoid this alternative for several reasons. On one hand, if the lawyer could not afford minimum liability insurance, chances are they have no money and recovering from them will be impossible.
On the other hand, court trials are lengthy and more cumbersome. They take more time to be finalized and require a higher standard of evidence. Under the circumstances, it is important to carefully assess recovery options before filing the lawsuit.
3. Recovery from a Third Party
Sometimes, there is more to a car accident than meets the eye, and other factors besides driver negligence play an important part. Some of these factors could justify action against a third party. Here are some common examples:
- Driver at fault on duty – It may be possible to seek compensation from their employer. This is especially true when the accident is caused by a commercial vehicle or a taxi, as special requirements apply.
- Rideshare company driver – Uber and Lyft are the most popular rideshare companies in South Carolina. They carry insurance coverage of over $1million. It is important to note that access to that coverage depends on the driver’s status in the app. If the driver was offline, recovery from the rideshare company is out of the question.
- Third-party at fault for the accident – Sometimes accidents occur not because of the drivers’ actions but because of the road conditions, of the poor service their vehicle received, or of some defective parts installed on it. In such cases, the party at fault or their insurer should answer, be they the road administrator, the repair shop, or the parts supplier/manufacturer.
It is important to note that, in all these cases, recovery will depend on the accident victim’s ability to support their case with evidence. The necessary evidence is easier to obtain for an experienced Greenville car wreck attorney familiar with the requirements.
Also, any legal action, be it an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit, needs to be filed within a specific timeframe. Delays could cost accident victims their right to compensation. To avoid them, it is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible and start working on the case early. Investigations and formalities take time as well, and rush is never a good advisor.
Get Help with Your Uninsured Motorist Case from a Knowledgeable and Dedicated Greenville Car Accident Lawyer!
Recovering your losses from the party at fault is uninsured can be difficult. However, you should not give up without a fight. Schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys in Greenville and let us review your case! We will find the best solutions available and advise you on how to pursue them in order to recover your losses.