How Is A Car Accident Claim Settled If The Other Driver Did Not Have Sufficient Insurance?

20 November 2015
 Categories: Law, Articles


Getting into a major car accident can be an overwhelming and frightening experience, and trying to settle the case afterwards can be time-consuming and frustrating. You may run into even more problems trying to settle the case if the other driver did not have enough insurance, or if he or she did not have any insurance. In a situation like this, you will need to hire a car accident lawyer for help. Here are three things to know about car accident settlements.

The At-Fault Driver Is Responsible To Pay

In a normal situation where two cars are involved in an accident and both have adequate insurance coverage, settling a car accident claim can be relatively easy. Problems can arise, though, if the at-fault driver does not have a sufficient amount of insurance.

In all accidents, the person responsible for causing the accident will be obligated to pay the settlement amount. While the actual person does not pay the claim, his or her insurance will. This is what insurance is for, and this is why most states require all drivers to carry car insurance policies.

Unfortunately, some people still drive without having insurance coverage. Others drive with policies that are considered bare bones. In other words, they carry the minimum amount of coverage their state requires them to have. In situations like these, the at-fault driver will not have enough insurance coverage to pay the full value of the claim.

Your Insurance Company May Have To Pay

If you are in a situation like this, it may take longer to settle your claim, simply because cases where drivers do not have adequate insurance coverage are harder to settle. Luckily, if you have car insurance, you will most likely have coverage for:

  • Uninsured motorist vehicle – This coverage is designed to kick in if the at-fault driver did not have any car insurance at all. When you have this coverage, your insurance company agrees to insure you for a certain amount of money to protect you if you are involved in an accident with someone that did not have insurance.
  • Underinsured motorist vehicle – This coverage is similar; however, it is designed to protect you if the at-fault driver had insurance, but the insurance was not enough to cover all the damages you incurred from the accident.

While these two types of coverage are relatively basic, not every car insurance policy has them. If your policy did not offer this type of coverage, you may have a difficult time recovering money for your settlement.

How This Works

After an accident like this occurs, your attorney will first look into the other driver's insurance to find out what his or her coverage was like. If the driver had some coverage, the attorney will try to get as much of it as possible; however, the attorney can only go after the amount that is equal to the damages you are entitled to.

For example, if your case is worth $50,000 and the other driver has $100,000 in coverage, your attorney can only go after $50,000. On the other hand, if your case was worth $200,000 and the other driver had $100,000 in coverage, your attorney will seek the full $100,000 from this person's insurance company.

To compensate for the remaining amount not covered under the at-fault driver's policy, your attorney will work with your own insurance company to try to obtain the remaining balance you are entitled to.

If you need help settling a car accident case you were recently involved in, contact an accident lawyer like Richard M Altman today. He or she can help you get the money you are entitled to after your accident.