Being involved in an automobile accident is a very traumatic and painful experience. Being involved with an uninsured motorist who is at fault for the incident equally damages the victim. United States drivers in most states are required by law to carry a certain amount of coverage to pay for damages inflicted on other people in an accident. The problem is that a multitude of drivers tries to cut costs by not carrying insurance. Nationwide statistics state that the average amount of uninsured motorists throughout the United States is 15 percent of the drivers. The amount varies between states. Twenty six percent of Mississippi drivers do not have insurance, while 4 percent of Maine drivers are without insurance.
Options for Victims of Uninsured Motorist Accidents
A person who is involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist has a few options that he or she may choose. The first option is going through his or her own insurance company. Some states have no fault laws that allow a person to go to his or her insurance company for compensation after an injury from an uninsured motorist. The fault of the driver is irrelevant in these states.
In other states, the insurance provider of the person who is at fault for the accident will pay for the damages and bodily harm. However, the faulty driver has to have insurance coverage for this option to work properly.
Auto insurance companies also offer special uninsured motorist coverage that covers drivers in cases of collisions with uninsured motorists. If an injured driver opted to purchase this insurance, then the insurance company can help to pay for the person’s medical bills and repair bills. Unfortunately, not all drivers consider taking this special insurance due to budgeting and bill trimming. Therefore, many drivers are left with the last option, which is suing for personal injury.
Personal Injury and Automobile Accidents
Any time a driver causes an injury due to neglect, an injured driver may sue for personal injury. Driver neglect comes in many forms. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes for automobile accidents. The distraction could come from attempting to talk or text while driving, turning the head to speak to a passenger, or engaging in something superficial, such as applying makeup while driving. Neglect can also be ignoring a traffic sign or light, improper turning, speeding, drunk driving, road rage and other instances. If a victim can prove that an uninsured driver caused the accident by acting neglectful, the courts may award that person a settlement. Having a skilled personal injury attorney will improve the chances of a successful judgment.
A personal injury attorney can request two types of damages for the victim. Compensatory damages would cover the person’s medical treatment, repair expenses, work wages and household bills. A judge who sees a large amount of neglect may also award the victim with punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the other driver for the neglect. These damages are generally added to compensatory damages and not awarded by themselves.
It is quite possible for an injured driver to receive compensation from an uninsured motorist. The best protection against this situation is to purchase additional coverage through the auto insurance company. However, personal injury attorneys are always available to offer reliable services for an injured driver.