What are my Options If I’m in an Accident and Have no Insurance?
Worst case scenario: you were laid off from work and because money was tight you had to decide between feeding your kids or paying your car insurance. You had paid your premiums faithfully for years and never had an accident. Even though you knew it was against the law, you decided you could risk not having auto insurance until you secured a new full-time position. But then the unthinkable happened and you were involved in an accident which was your fault. Since you don’t have a job, you don’t have any health insurance and not only was your car totaled but you were also injured. Do you have any legal recourse when it comes to getting another car and your medical bills taken care of?
The answer is: it depends. First know you will be ticketed for driving with no insurance. This will end up being costly with the majority of the money going to the State of South Carolina for fines and the rest in increased insurance premiums once you obtain another vehicle. Also, by not having auto insurance you lose that built-in safety net that is in place when you’re in an accident and the other driver is either uninsured or underinsured. Obviously none of this is good news and that’s why it’s important to reach out and discuss your situation with an experienced attorney to see if there is any legal recourse available.
Now let’s take the same situation and tweak it a bit. No job, no insurance, same accident, but this time it wasn’t your fault. Obviously you’re in a little better position. Be prepared to still be ticketed and held responsible for all fines, fees and increased insurance premiums. But even with no insurance of your own, if the other driver has proper coverage then their insurance company will be taking care of any damages. Your vehicle will either be repaired or if the adjuster deems it totaled, then a check will be cut for the fair market value. Depending on the age of your car, that may or may not be enough to afford you another car of the same size, age and condition. Because the at-fault driver’s insurance company is trying to pay as little as possible, before you accept their offer, it is important you research on your own what your car is actually worth. If you have retained an attorney to protect your rights, this will be something they handle to make sure you get all the money you deserve.
If you were injured in the accident then the at-fault driver will be liable for covering your medical costs. Depending on the severity of your injuries, long term medical treatment may be required. In a case like this it is paramount that you or a member of your family contact the caring legal professionals at the Dan Pruitt Law Firm. Because of how costly medical care is these days, it is entirely possible the other driver’s insurance liability coverage could very quickly be depleted, leaving you with astronomical medical bills. Many times, depending on circumstances, your auto or health insurance could cover these expenses. But since at the time of the accident you had neither, then other options must be explored. The legal professionals at Dan Pruitt Law Firm have the experience necessary to ensure your rights are protected.
Often life is challenging and we here at Dan Pruitt will never judge any of the choices you’ve made. Please contact us today and schedule your complementary consultation; we’re only here to help.
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.