Nearly 14% of all drivers do not have any type of insurance. The Insurance Research Counsel believes that number will rise with the growing population. As you can imagine, uninsured drivers have injured many of my clients. With more than 5.5 million car accidents last year, it is easy to figure that more than 770,000 of those were with uninsured drivers.
So, What Should You Do?
First, you need to determine if the person who is responsible for the auto accident, truly does not have any insurance. We have them sign affidavits that make them swear under oath that they do not have any insurance that would be applicable to the accident. A sample affidavit is below:
- The total of all available limits of all applicable liability insurance coverage or indemnity agreements—in any form and from any source whatsoever, including but not limited to primary insurance, excess insurance, umbrella insurance, business insurance or homeowners insurance—issued to me, _____, or to any other named insured, which insure or stand to indemnify me for any liability arising from an accident that resulted in the injury of ____ is limited to and equals $______________.
- I have contacted each and every company issuing an insurance policy or indemnity agreement that covers me for any purpose, and I asked them for a complete list of insurance policies and indemnity agreements that cover me for any purpose. Based on these communications, the following is a complete list of all insurance policies and indemnity agreements that provide liability coverage to me:
- I have contacted each and every company issuing an insurance policy or indemnity agreement that covers me for any purpose, and I have discussed with them an incident that resulted in the injury of _________. Based on these communications, I am aware of no insurance policies or indemnity agreements applicable in any way to the aforementioned incident, except for the following:
- I understand that _________ will reasonably rely on my statements regarding applicable insurance coverage or indemnity agreements when deciding whether to settle his claims against me and when deciding whether to release me from any further liability arising out of an incident that resulted in the injury of ___________.
The reason that we request all of the insurance policies is because we need to be certain that there isn’t insurance. At times there may be a policy that covers that isn’t an auto policy but maybe an umbrella police or some type of business or homeowners policy. I want to look at every single policy before I determine if there is insurance or not.
Second, if the person does not have any insurance you will need to determine if the person has assets. If the person that hit you is extremely well off or has a business, then you may be able to get compensation from them through those personal assets. As a practical matter, drivers who don’t have car insurance rarely have the means to pay for your injuries out of pocket. So even if you have been in an auto accident and its not your fault, it may be difficult to get the person to pay out of their own pocket.
Third, notify your insurance company. If you have been following our blog for any length of time, you will know that I promote getting uninsured motorist coverage. The reasons that I am such a believer in uninsured motorist coverage is because of the 11% of drivers who don’t have insurance that are out there driving. If you have uninsured coverage you can make a claim to your own insurance company and have them pay for your injuries.
Some insurance companies have very strict deadlines on when you have to notify them of the accident. If the other driver tells you that they do not have insurance then you need to notify your insurance immediately. Read my blog post about Do’s and Don’ts of Insurance before you do that.
Fourth, you should hire an attorney. If you have to make a claim to your insurance company, or look at personal assets, or determine what coverage is available, you will need to talk to an attorney. Insurance policies are complicated and sometimes over 100 pages long. Auto accident policies are more difficult than homeowner’s policies.
If you have been hit by a driver who does not have insurance, feel free to give my office a call and I can help guide you through the process of your car accident. It is important to move quickly that way your insurance company is properly notified.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.