What Happens If You Are Injured by an Uninsured Driver?
In Pennsylvania (and elsewhere), the risk of encountering an uninsured or underinsured driver is rather high. According to a report conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, roughly 13 percent of motorists across the United States at-large lacked insurance coverage altogether, not accounting for a significant portion of motorists who have minimal insurance coverage that would likely be inadequate to cover all losses sustained in a serious motor vehicle accident.
Uninsured and underinsured motorists expose injury victims to a substantial damage recovery problem. If the defendant does not have adequate insurance coverage to resolve your various losses, then you could be left without the means with which to be compensated — for example, if you have $100,000 in medical expenses, and the defendant-driver only has $50,000 in total insurance coverage, then you may be forced to resolve the difference on your own (out-of-pocket).
If you find yourself involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, don’t be alarmed. All is not lost. With the assistance of a qualified attorney, there are alternative strategies that can be pursued to maximize the possibility of a full recovery, even in situations where the defendant-driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Obtaining a Lien on Personal Assets
It’s possible — though administratively challenging — to sue an uninsured or underinsured defendant and obtain a successful verdict or settlement, and thereby secure a lien against their personal assets to compensate you for your losses. This is a realistic choice in situations where the defendant-driver has significant personal assets, but for whatever reason did not obtain adequate insurance coverage. Depending on the circumstances, if the defendant does not have sufficient personal assets to cover your losses, you might even be able to garnish their wages.
Pursuing Other Liable Defendants
More commonly, you may be able to bring an action for damages against other liable defendants who have adequate insurance coverage or personal assets to cover your various losses. In many motor vehicle accident scenarios, there are multiple defendants who contributed to your injuries (though the driver is the obvious defendant). For example, if you are injured at a crosswalk, then you might not only have a claim for damages against the defendant-driver, but also against the city for failing to maintain a reasonably safe crosswalk for pedestrian traffic.
Claims against other liable defendants can be somewhat difficult to litigate, as each defendant is likely to argue that they are “less liable” for the injuries at-issue than the others, which can further complicate the dispute and extend the proceedings. It’s therefore critical that you work with an attorney who has extensive experience handling such claims.
Contact a Seasoned Doylestown Accident Lawyer for Assistance With Your Claims
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in which the defendant-driver was uninsured (or underinsured), then you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of having no adequate means by which to be compensated for your losses. Fortunately, what may initially seem a “lost cause” can lead to significant recovery, given further investigation of the facts of the case — for example, you may be entitled to bring an action against the manufacturer of the vehicle, or perhaps even the employer of the defendant, depending on the circumstances.
Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC was founded in Pennsylvania over 30 years ago, in 1985, with the intention of providing comprehensive, individualized legal advocacy to those who have suffered injuries due to the negligent or wrongful misconduct of another. We believe that a negotiated settlement — if possible — can lead to a positive result for all involved, but when negotiations break down, we are ready and willing to aggressively represent your interests at trial. This approach gives us a substantial competitive advantage during early engagements with opposing counsel, helping us to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
Call (215) 348-2088 or submit an online case evaluation form to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Doylestown accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC today.