Protecting the Rights
of Injury Victims

Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

What happens if an at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance?

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury |

A car accident can complicate your life in many ways. It’ll likely result in the accumulation of significant medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, and your injuries might knock you out of work, thereby leaving you without the financial resources you need to make ends meet. Tack that onto the emotional, physical, and psychological harm that you suffer and the whole experience can be overwhelming, frightening, and frustrating.

For many accident victims, relief is on the way. These individuals can recover compensation from their own insurance company, turning to the at-fault driver’s insurance company if their damages are severe. Florida law requires every driver to carry a certain amount of insurance coverage, which should guarantee you some relief.

However, studies have shown that millions of drivers operate their vehicles without any insurance at all, which threatens to leave you without the financial support that you need. What are you to do if you’re injured by one of these drivers?

What to do after an accident caused by an uninsured driver

As alluded to above, Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that you have to turn to your own insurance company first after being involved in a car accident. But if your damages are so severe that your insurance policy won’t adequately cover your losses, then you may need to turn to the other driver.

But if they don’t have insurance, then you’re going to have to find other ways to cover your damages. This includes doing the following:

  • Utilizing your own uninsured driver coverage: Your insurance policy might have an uninsured driver provision that provides you with additional coverage in these situations. If so, this is your first stop and the most likely way for you to recover what you need after your accident.
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit: If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, then you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused your accident. The problem here is that most uninsured drivers don’t carry coverage because they can’t afford it. This means that they have very few resources to pay for your damages. That shouldn’t deter you from taking action when warranted, though.
  • Seeking wage garnishment: Even if an uninsured driver is unable to pay you for your damages in one lump sum after judgement is levied against them in a personal injury lawsuit, you might be able to obtain a court order allowing you to garnish their wages. This will give you some support each month until the full judgment is paid.
  • Pursuing liquidation of assets: When an uninsured driver lacks the money to pay a judgment, you can check to see if they have other assets that they can sell in order to pay you what you’re owed.
  • Consider other parties who can be sued: Many accidents involve multiple vehicles. In these circumstances, there may be more than one party at fault. As a result, you might be justified in taking legal action against multiple parties. While that might include an uninsured driver, it could also include one or more drivers who are insured and are therefore better able to cover your losses.

Do you need help addressing your car accident damages?

The damages stemming from your car accident can touch nearly every aspect of your life. But through swift and thorough legal action, you might be able to alleviate the financial and emotional strain that’s been unfairly thrust upon you.

To achieve the outcome you want, though, you’ll need to understand the law, gather evidence that supports your claim, anticipate the defense’s arguments, and craft your own persuasive legal arguments. Although that can be daunting, you can put your mind at ease by getting to work now and asking the right questions when they come up.

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