Being injured in a car accident is bad enough. Finding out that the at-fault does not carry liability insurance makes the situation even worse. You may even wonder if it is worthwhile talking to a Greenville car wreck attorney at all. After all, what can a lawyer do if the other driver is uninsured?
As we will show here – a lot. There are various ways of recovering at least a part if not all of your damages.
1. Filing a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Policy
In South Carolina, all drivers are required to carry auto liability insurance. It has three components:
- Liability insurance for bodily injury – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Liability insurance for property damage – $25,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist coverage – in equal value to the minimum insurance for liability coverage: 25/50/25.
Additionally, your insurance carrier is required to offer underinsured motorist coverage, which is optional.
Thus, the first thing your lawyer will instruct you to do is file a claim against your uninsured motorist coverage. Many drivers are worried that, by doing so, their monthly premiums will increase.
This is not the case if you file your claim in good faith and have all the necessary evidence to prove:
- That the other driver was more at fault for the accident than you
- That you suffered injuries
- That the injuries resulted in quantifiable economic damages.
2. Identifying a Third Party Who Is Also Responsible
A skilled Greenville car accident lawyer may identify another party who played a role in the accident. This would not be immediately apparent to you, especially as you are in pain and worried about the severity of your injuries.
However, by examining the police report, witness statements, photos and videos, the attorney may find that the accident was caused by:
- Another car which the uninsured driver tried to avoid hitting when they crashed into your car
- Debris and potholes on the road
- Vehicle malfunction, causing the uninsured driver to lose control over their vehicle.
In this case, the attorney will file your accident claim against the relevant third party and their respective insurers.
3. Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Driver
If your damages exceed your uninsured motorist coverage, the only option for recovering the difference is to sue the driver directly. An experienced lawyer will tell you that this option does not guarantee success.
First of all, you can never be sure of winning your case in court. The judge and jury may not find your evidence persuasive enough to pronounce a judgment against the other driver.
Secondly, the at-fault driver may not own valuable assets. They may make the minimum wage. This is often the main reason why people risk driving uninsured, despite the severe penalties. Thus, even if you win your case in court, you may not be able to collect the damages awarded to you.
What to Do After an Uninsured Driver Hits You
Given the difficulties in recovering damages after a crash with an uninsured driver, your actions after the accident are of paramount importance. Your Greenville car wreck lawyer will need solid evidence to present to your insurer or in court.
Here is what you must do after the crash:
- Call the police and report the accident.
- Document the scene. Take photos and videos showing your injuries, damage to both cars and the position of the vehicles after the crash. Do not overlook any element, such as skid marks or debris on the road.
- Get the other driver’s name and contact information. If possible, take a photo of their driver’s license. Do not argue with the driver or get into an altercation with them, no matter how upset you are.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash. Ideally, you should ask for an ambulance at the accident scene and allow the EMT crew to take you to the nearest hospital
- Do not talk to an insurance adjuster without legal representation.
- Contact an experienced lawyer and schedule a free case review.
Call a Dedicated Greenville Car Wreck Attorney
An accident with an uninsured driver leaves you with limited options to recover damages. Although you carry uninsured motorist coverage, it is not always sufficient to pay for all hospital bills and recover lost wages.
An experienced Greenville car wreck lawyer may find unique circumstances in your case, which allow you to file claims against other parties, or even sue the driver directly. After handling many similar cases, we know what to look for in the available evidence and facts of the case to offer you a reliable legal opinion.
Since we offer each new client a free case review, you have nothing to lose by scheduling an appointment, so call us at 864-310-7897!