Is it worth the time to sue an uninsured person for personal injury?
If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you know just how stressful and overwhelming the whole experience can be. But you’re thinking that your insurance or the other driver’s will pay for the damages to your vehicle and any medical treatment if you’ve been injured.
However, what happens if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance or is not carrying enough insurance? Is it worth it to file a personal injury lawsuit against someone without insurance even if they’re responsible for your injury?
Perhaps the most important consideration in a case like this is whether the person being sued, or the defendant, will be able to pay damages if the person bringing the suit, or the plaintiff, wins. If the defendant doesn’t have the money or other assets and doesn’t have insurance to cover the accident, is suing him or her really worth the time and hassle that is involved?
When filing a lawsuit is worth it
Almost every state requires that car owners purchase some sort of car insurance, and almost every state requires insurance companies to offer underinsured or uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage. In addition, there are approximately twelve states plus Puerto Rico that have “no-fault” insurance laws. In these states, the plaintiff’s insurance company reimburses them for damages without the need for a lawsuit. In some no-fault situations, a lawsuit isn’t even permitted.
If the plaintiff has UIM coverage, their insurance company will pay damages up to the limits of the UIM coverage. However, the plaintiff may need to enter into arbitration or file a lawsuit with their insurance company in situations where the company disagrees that UIM coverage was triggered by the accident.
Under no-fault laws, the plaintiff can sue the defendant if they caused the plaintiff serious injuries, including disfigurement or if lost income, medical bills, and other economic damages, such as car repairs, are over a specified limit.
Getting more information
If you’ve been in a car accident where an uninsured motorist was at fault, and the accident resulted in injuries, you may be able to recover damages directly from your insurance company without filing a lawsuit against the defendant. However, it’s very important that you check your insurance policy coverage limits. And, do you live in a no-fault state that allows you to sue the other driver if you’ve suffered serious injuries and/or have incurred medical bills over a certain amount?
It’s a good idea to look into personal injury lawyer services. Determining the sources of recovery from an uninsured driver can be rather complicated, so it’s in your best interest to hire a lawyer who can determine whether the defendant has the assets that make it worth filing a lawsuit.
Gregory A Yates, Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, has been practicing law for over 30 years and has an excellent record when it comes to jury verdicts, awards, and settlements. During the discovery process, he can request information that pertains to your lawsuit, such as the bank records of the defendant, to help prove your case.
Contact Gregory Yates to schedule your free consultation