uninsured motorist accident

Imagine you’re driving home after a long day at work, when out of nowhere, another car crashes into yours. You’re left with painful injuries and your car is wrecked. To make matters worse, you discover that the other driver doesn’t even have insurance.

You’re stressed and feel like there is no hope. Can you even take legal action against the uninsured driver? Are there other ways to seek compensation for your damages?

Many of our clients started out in your shoes. Instead of giving up, they decided to give us a call. Our car accident lawyers in Myrtle Beach at Joye Law Firm have helped tens of thousands of South Carolinians recover the money they are owed from insurance providers, including people hit by uninsured drivers. Keep reading to explore the key factors to consider when deciding if and how to sue an uninsured driver. Afterward, you’ll have the information and support you need to make an informed decision about your options.


Dealing With a Car Accident With an Uninsured Driver

Accidents involving uninsured drivers are an unfortunate reality. According to the Insurance Information Institute, approximately one in ten South Carolina drivers is uninsured.

Since they don’t have insurance to cover the damage they cause, wrecks involving an uninsured driver can have severe financial and legal consequences. Without insurance, the at-fault driver may leave you on the hook for medical bills, property damage, and lost wages resulting from the crash.

Legally, the at-fault driver’s lack of insurance can create liability issues in the case. This can make obtaining compensation for damages more challenging.

Factors to Consider Before Suing an Uninsured Driver

The severity of the accident and the extent of your injuries should be the primary consideration when contemplating legal action. If you suffered significant damages or injuries, pursuing a claim may ensure you receive the compensation necessary to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs.

While the financial status of the uninsured driver is a factor to consider, it should not discourage you from exploring all of your legal options.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you identify potential sources of compensation, such as the driver’s personal assets or your own uninsured motorist policies.

While the legal process may require time and effort, it is worthwhile when your health, financial stability, and sense of justice are at stake. A skilled South Carolina attorney from Joye Law Firm can handle the legal legwork, allowing you to focus on your recovery and move forward with your life.

Alternatives to Suing an Uninsured Driver in South Carolina

Insurance company ImageUninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides protection when an accident involves a driver who has no insurance, or if your damages exceed their available coverage. It can cover damages and medical expenses that the at-fault driver’s insurance typically covers. Under South Carolina law, when you purchase mandatory liability insurance coverage, you automatically purchase uninsured motorist coverage for the same amount.

Personal injury protection (PIP) or MedPay coverage is not mandatory in South Carolina. However, because South Carolina’s mandatory liability coverage is so low, this type of policy can be a lifeline after a collision with an uninsured driver. This type of policy can cover medical expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of fault. PIP can cover lost wages, too. Some PIP policies also include death benefits, which can be applied to funeral expenses. This type of policy does not cover any sort of property damage.

Collision coverage, optional in most states, can cover the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged vehicle after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

In rare cases, your attorneys may opt to negotiate a settlement directly with the uninsured driver. This can be an option in situations where the at-fault driver takes responsibility for the accident and has the financial means to pay for their actions.

When Suing an Uninsured Driver for Damages Is Worth It

In some situations, it may make sense to take legal action against an uninsured driver. In cases involving severe injuries or substantial property damage, the potential compensation may justify the costs and efforts involved in a lawsuit.

You have a better chance of recovering damages through a lawsuit if the uninsured driver ons valuable assets, such as property or investments. In these cases, you can enforce a judgment and collect the awarded compensation.

In instances like those involving drunk drivers, the desire to hold the uninsured driver accountable for their actions and deter future bad behavior may be the driving factor in your decision to sue.

7 Steps to Take After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver

Here’s how to protect your rights and set the stage for potential compensation in the hours and days following an accident with an uninsured driver.

  1. Seek medical care: Get a thorough medical evaluation immediately or as soon as possible after the accident. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal bleeding, may not appear right away. Seeking prompt medical care ensures your well-being and documents any injuries related to the accident.
  2. Start gathering evidence: Begin compiling all the evidence related to the accident, including photos or video of the vehicle damage, witness statements, and medical records. Keep a detailed journal of any pain, discomfort, or emotional distress you experience in the days following the accident. You may need this evidence to pursue legal action.
  3. Return the FR-10 and get a police report: If you contacted law enforcement after the accident, the responding officer would have provided you with an FR-10 form. You must complete the document and return it to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles within 15 days of your accident. You’ll also want to obtain a copy of the official police report. Review the report for accuracy, and make sure it clearly states that the other driver lacked insurance. If you notice any discrepancies, ask the police department to amend the report. If police were not contacted after the wreck, complete a F-309 Traffic Collision Report with the SC SMV as soon as possible.
  4. Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance provider about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with the details of the incident, including any documentation you gathered. Discuss your coverage, options and inquire about the next steps in the claims process.
  5. Assess your insurance coverage: Review your auto insurance policy to determine what coverage you have. Uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection (PIP)/MedPay, and collision coverage can help in accidents with uninsured drivers.
  6. Research legal options: Begin researching your legal options. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney who focuses on cases involving uninsured drivers. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations to explain your rights and the viability of pursuing legal action.
  7. Be cautious when communicating: If the uninsured driver or their representatives contact you, be careful about what you say. Avoid admitting fault or downplaying your injuries. Instead, direct them to communicate with your insurance company or attorney. Stay off social media – anything you post online could be used against you. Be cautious!

Taking these proactive steps can protect your rights and set the stage for receiving the compensation you’re owed.

How to Find Out if Someone Has Car Insurance

Discovering that the driver who caused your wreck is uninsured can significantly affect how you seek compensation.

Here are some ways to tell:

  1. Ask for proof of insurance: At the accident scene, ask the other driver to provide their insurance information, including the name of their insurance company and policy number. If they cannot provide this information, it may indicate that they are uninsured. But don’t take their word for it. The at-fault driver may deny having insurance in an attempt to conceal the wreck from their insurance company.
  2. Check the police report: If the police are called to the accident scene, they will typically include the insurance information of both drivers in the police report. Obtain a report copy and verify the other driver’s insurance status.
  3. Call a lawyer who can investigate your accident and determine the other driver’s insurance status: Your attorney can verify whether the policy is active and if it covers the date of the accident.
  4. Consult your own insurance company: Notify your insurance provider about the accident and share any information you have about the other driver’s insurance status. Your insurer can verify the other driver’s coverage and guide you through the following steps.

If you discover that the other driver is uninsured, don’t panic. You may have options for seeking compensation through your own uninsured motorist coverage or by pursuing legal action against the driver.

Remember, even if the other driver is uninsured, follow the appropriate steps after an accident, such as contacting law enforcement, seeking medical attention, and documenting the incident. By taking these measures and working with your insurance company and legal professionals, you can protect your rights and explore your options for recovering damages.

The Legal Process of Suing an Uninsured Driver

If you decide to sue an uninsured driver, it is essential to understand the legal process involved. Your attorney will first uncover any potential policies and negotiate with those providers. If they do not receive an offer that provides the compensation you deserve, they will file a lawsuit in the appropriate court. This typically consists of drafting and submitting a complaint that outlines the details of the accident and the damages sought.

Case managers in Columbia SC

Your attorney will work with you to gather evidence and documentation to build a solid case. This may include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and other relevant information supporting the victim’s claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can compile and present this evidence effectively.

To succeed in a lawsuit against an uninsured driver, your lawyer must prove that the driver’s negligence directly caused the damages and injuries you sustained. This involves demonstrating that the driver breached their duty of care and that the breach resulted in the accident.

The potential outcomes of a lawsuit against an uninsured driver can vary. Sometimes, negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation may reach a settlement before the case goes to trial. If the case proceeds to trial, a judge or jury will determine the uninsured driver’s liability and the amount of damages you will recover.

Protect Your Rights: Just Call Joye After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver

Deciding whether to sue an uninsured driver after an accident requires careful consideration of multiple, complex factors.

The dedicated team of car accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm understands the complexities of these cases, and knows what you’re going through. Since 1968, we have been helping victims of collisions involving uninsured drivers, and we’re committed to helping you navigate the legal process with compassion and skill, no matter where your wreck occurred in South Carolina.

Contact Joye Law Firm today for your free consultation and explore your legal options. Our attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your situation, provide personalized advice, and help you make informed decisions that best protect you and your family. We proudly serve clients from the Lowcountry to the Upstate with offices in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Clinton and Summerville.

Don’t face the aftermath of an accident with an uninsured driver alone. Just Call our personal injury attorneys in Myrtle Beach at (888) 324-3100 for the support and guidance you need.

About the Author

Since 1968, the South Carolina personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys of Joye Law Firm have been committed to securing compensation for accident and injury victims. Our compassionate and dedicated lawyers have over 300 years of combined litigation experience, and many of them have been recognized as South Carolina Super Lawyers. For many years, our South Carolina personal injury law firm has been listed with an AV rating in the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell legal directory.

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