Uninsured Driver: What Happens if One Hits You?

Many people are not sure what to do after they find out that they were hit by an uninsured driver. They contact a Greenville car crash attorney with very little hope of recovering anything. However, they have the pleasant surprise to find out that there are viable options for collecting compensation for their economic damages, such as the cost to repair the car, hospital bills and lost wages.

In some cases, an experienced car accident attorney in Greenville can find ways to collect compensation for non-economic damages, as well. It all depends on the circumstances of each of the drivers involved in the crash. The reality is, an experienced lawyer can find a third party liable for the crash, which the injured motorist would not have even considered. This is why it is always a good idea to bring your case to our law firm for an initial evaluation, no matter how hopeless the situation may appear to you.

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Drivers in South Carolina?

Driving without insurance is against the law in most US states, including South Carolina. As soon as a driver registers a vehicle with the South Carolina DMV, their name is added to the Automobile Liability Insurance Reporting system. Thus, the driver is expected to purchase at least the minimum liability coverage from an insurance company.

The liability coverage in South Carolina contains three components:

  • Bodily injury – up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage – $25.000
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) – following the same 25/50/25 rule as the ones above.

Thus, even if there are no other remedies available after being hit by an uninsured driver, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company, relying on the UIM coverage.

Here Are Some Scenarios after a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver

As your Greenville car crash attorney will tell you, no two accidents are similar in terms of circumstances and outcomes. However, in our experience, most of the cases involving an uninsured driver have one of the following solutions:

1. The Lawyer Helps You File a Claim against Your Own Insurance Policy

We will assist you in the process of filing an insurance claim against your UIM coverage. If you suffered severe injuries, requiring a long stay in hospital, we may find creative solutions to obtain a larger compensatory amount.

One of these solutions is stacking UIM coverage policies for all the vehicles your family owns – provided that you are the policyholder for all the vehicles. Insurers are not happy to oblige without persuasion – and that is why you need a skilled car accident attorney in Greenville. It is important to remember that, just because the law gives you the right to seek this type of compensation, it doesn’t mean that insurance companies will make it easy for you.

2. Sue the Uninsured Driver for Damages

Another option of recovering damages from an uninsured driver is by filing a personal injury lawsuit against them. However, your Greenville car crash attorney will only recommend this step after serious thought.

The problem is this: most uninsured drivers did not simply forget to renew their policy. They don’t have it because they don’t afford it. Yes, it is illegal to drive without insurance, but they must make ends meet and they take the risk. And you also take a risk if you sue them. The court may award you a settlement for your damages.

But how do you collect it? If the driver doesn’t own any valuable assets which can be seized and sold, the only other option is garnishing their wages. And this means waiting years until you finish collecting the entire compensatory amount – especially if the uninsured driver earns the minimum wage.

3. Identify Other Liable Parties to Pay for Your Damages

A skilled car accident attorney in Greenville will investigate the crash carefully to identify all the potential liable parties. Here are some situations where you can get compensations from other persons, businesses or government entities:

  • The uninsured driver was on the job when they caused the crash
  • The main cause of the crash was poor road condition (potholes, missing guard rails, missing or damaged speed limit signs)
  • The crash was caused by a defective part in the driver’s car.

Proving liability in each of these circumstances is difficult, but not impossible for a seasoned Greenville car crash attorney.

4. Get Compensation from MedPay

MedPay is an optional type of coverage – the version of personal injury protection (PIP) available for South Carolina drivers. As its name suggests, this type of insurance policy only covers medical expenses – you will not get compensation for lost wages or other economic damages.

However, compared to PIP policies in other states, the average MedPay cost is very low – $768 per year. Thus, it is a good idea to consider purchasing it.

Do You Still Get Compensation If You Were Partly At Fault?

Even if you have to file a claim against your policy after a crash with an uninsured driver, you still have to prove that you are eligible to do so. In South Carolina, the contributory negligence principle applicable to personal injury cases states that you have to be equally or less at fault as the other driver (so 50% or less at fault).

An experienced car accident attorney in Greenville will determine the exact circumstances of the crash and present them in a manner that leaves no room for doubt.

Let an Experienced Car Crash Law Firm Help after Being Hit by an Uninsured Driver

You are obviously in shock and pain after a car accident, thus you are not in the best position to handle your claims process. And it appears even more difficult to consider getting any compensation once you realize that the other driver does not have insurance.

Yet, this is not the end of the road – not if you let an experienced Greenville car crash attorney handle your case. At Hernandez & Cabra, we have over 20 years of experience in personal injury law and the determination to help every client find justice. We also speak Spanish, so we are able to help people for whom English is the second language. Do not waste time after your crash, get in touch with us for a free consultation: 864-310-7897!