Getting in a car accident is never a good thing. Even if you and your passengers are not injured, you still have to contend with the damage or loss of your vehicle, missing time from work, finding a reputable repair facility to fix your car, and dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. But what if the other driver was uninsured? Everybody knows that having the automotive insurance coverage that is mandated by the state of South Carolina is not only the legal thing to do, it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately however, for various reasons, not every motorist on our streets does the responsible thing.
The ALIR System
In South Carolina, the Department of Motor Vehicles has an electronic system in place to assist in monitoring the status of people’s automobile insurance. The Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System (ALIR) is a database that insurers and the state use to track insurance violations and help to get uninsured motorists off of the roads more quickly than in the past. This is a very helpful system for responsible drivers, but there are a few things to keep in mind to prevent potential issues.
- If you change insurance carriers, make sure that your new underwriter is aware that they must provide notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 20 days of your new policy coming into effect. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that you are currently in the ALIR system, and failure to do so can result in a citation for driving under suspension, which carries with it the possibility of being arrested.
- If you sell a vehicle, make sure that you report the sale to the state before you cancel the insurance policy. Otherwise, you may be required to pay a fine for the time the vehicle was still listed as belonging to you, but was uninsured. (Always get a bill of sale when you sell a vehicle—this is as simple as a written note stating that on this date you sold a car, VIN number and license plate number, for the purchase price, “where is, as is,” to the buyer’s name, driver’s license number, and address, signed by both you and the buyer.)
- If for some reason you are cited for driving under suspension, the courts will suspend both your driver’s license and vehicle registration until you pay a $550 reinstatement fee. So it is important to make sure you don’t accidentally let your coverage lapse.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You may not realize it, but in South Carolina your automobile insurance is required to include uninsured motorist coverage to help protect you if you are in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance. What is covered by these policies depends on your specific insurer, but it will at least mitigate your damages somewhat. However, the amount you will receive from an uninsured motorist policy is reduced by a number of factors, based on both the circumstances of the accident and payments you receive from other sources.
Contact an Experienced Greenville Auto Accident Lawyer Today
Working with the insurance companies after a traffic accident can be a complicated and time-consuming task. The insurance companies may be interested in paying you the least amount of money possible for your damages, or even denying your claim entirely. Having an experienced attorney on your side will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. If you or a loved one has been in an automobile accident in or around Greenville, South Carolina the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm is here to help. Get an experienced auto accident attorney on your side. Contact our office today to set up a no-cost consultation.