Is It Worth Suing an Uninsured Driver?

An elderly man behind the wheel engaged in a heated dispute over fault for a car collision with a younger male driver.
Is It Worth Suing an Uninsured Driver?

When a driver lacks insurance, you may have little option but to sue them for the compensation you deserve. You should also consider whether your own auto insurance covers your accident-related losses.

An experienced car accident lawyer will identify your best options and handle every step of your case, including helping you determine whether it’s worth suing an uninsured driver.

Uninsured Motorists Expose Themselves to Financial Liability

An elderly man behind the wheel engaged in a heated dispute over fault for a car collision with a younger male driver.

Despite these laws in 48 states and the District of Columbia requiring drivers to carry certain auto insurance policies to lawfully drive their vehicles, an estimated 14 percent of motorists lack adequate auto insurance.

These motorists don’t have the financial protection that auto insurance provides and deprive would-be accident victims of the financial protection insurance provides. They also expose themselves to a higher likelihood of a lawsuit because they lack an insurance company’s protection.

When a driver hits you and does not have coverage, you should consult a car accident attorney immediately to know possible courses of action. Often, you are well within your rights to pursue compensation from an uninsured motorist that insurance would likely have covered if they had abided by the law.

The Driver May Not Be the Only Liable Party

Maybe the uninsured motorist is not solely liable for an accident. For example, if an uninsured motorist was working at the time of your accident, you can hold their employer liable for accident-related damages.

Your attorney will complete an in-depth investigation of your accident. They will establish liability, evaluate insurance policies, and explain your options for seeking compensation.

Insurance Is a Key Consideration When Deciding to Sue an Uninsured Driver

When you are in an accident with any motorist, the first step is typically to review applicable insurance policies.

If the motorist who caused your accident is uninsured, they have no insurance policy to review—therefore, you will turn to your own insurance.

In particular, your lawyer will identify whether you have:

The amount of your coverage may determine whether you choose to sue the uninsured motorist. Auto accident lawyers regularly evaluate insurance policies and deal with insurance providers. Even if an at-fault motorist lacks active insurance, you may need to engage in a claims process.

Motorists Often Lack Insurance Because They Lack Money

A close-up shot captures an Asian woman signing a car insurance document, lease paper contract, or agreement.

When you’re deciding whether to sue an at-fault motorist, you must determine if suing is worth the effort. In some cases, the at-fault motorist does not have auto insurance because of financial stress (though this is never a good reason to go without insurance). In this case, suing the motorist will recover little compensation.

However, a motorist may lack insurance but have the financial means to pay.

A motorist might not have insurance because:

  • They lost track of their insurance status
  • They missed a payment
  • They have license-related sanctions and are not permitted to drive 
  • They consciously chose to go without insurance, thinking they would not crash or police would not catch them driving while uninsured

Your lawyer will evaluate the at-fault motorist. They will weigh all relevant information before advising you to sue the uninsured driver.

What Are the Benefits of Suing an Uninsured Driver?

You may sue an uninsured driver because:

  • You want compensation covering all of your accident-related expenses (including medical bills and vehicle repairs)
  • You need compensation for accident-related pain and suffering
  • Suing is the most logical way to seek compensation for your damages

When you sue, you are not bound to coverage limits. Your attorney will identify the monetary value of your accident-related damages and seek that amount from the at-fault driver (or other liable parties).

Should I Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

At the least, you should consider the value of hiring a car accident lawyer for your case.

Accident victims trust lawyers to handle their cases because:

  • Lawyers have been here before: Experience may be one of the glaring differences between you and a lawyer. While you may have little (or no) experience with uninsured motorist accidents, your attorney may frequently represent victims of such accidents.
  • Law firms have ample resources: Your law firm may work with investigators, paralegals, and experts to create the strongest possible case. Considering that car accident cases often involve costly damages, you should embrace a law firm’s ample resources. The goal is to obtain all the compensation you deserve, and your law firm will invest heavily in that goal.
  • Law firms offer a no-risk proposition: Uninsured driver accident lawyers typically offer contingency fees to clients. This fee structure means you don’t have to pay any upfront fees or costs; your law firm will pay for such expenses. Your attorney will only receive their fee if you get a settlement or verdict. 
  • Recovery should be your priority after the accident: You are the only one who can prioritize your health. While doctors can help, you must decide to follow their advice and place your health above all. When you allow a lawyer to manage your case, your mental and physical health can remain your top priority.
  • Your time may be extremely limited: Accident victims generally have little time to spare for an insurance claim or lawsuit. With a lawyer handling your case, you don’t have to dedicate substantial time or effort to the claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer will handle it.

Your attorney will provide crystal clear guidance that enables you to take the thought out of your case. You may find peace of mind and much-needed rest because you choose to let a law firm handle your case.

How Your Car Accident Lawyer Will Help After Your Collision

A judge sits at a table, beside them a toy car and a gavel, symbolizing the adjudication of a vehicular matter.

You should have high expectations for your lawyer, as it is their duty to earn your case. A capable, professional attorney will take every case-related responsibility off your plate, assisting you by:

Detailing How the Uninsured Driver Has Harmed You

Your attorney will obtain all available proof of your accident-related damages, which may include:

  • Medical records detailing your injuries
  • Medical bills
  • X-rays, MRIs, and any other medical images of your injuries
  • A mental health professional’s diagnoses of your pain and suffering (which may include post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Invoices related to vehicle repairs, temporary transportation, and other accident-related expenses

If you have lost income because of the accident, your lawyer will secure bank statements and employment records showing the nature of the damages.

Securing Proof That the Uninsured Motorist Caused Your Accident

Auto accident lawyers must always document their client’s accident and can do so with:

  • Eyewitness testimony detailing how the collision happened
  • Video of the auto accident
  • An expert’s physical or digital reconstruction of the collision
  • Expert testimony about who is at fault for the accident
  • The police report from the accident

Your attorney will also obtain proof that the motorist lacked insurance, as this is a key consideration in your case.

Calculating Your Case Value

Your law firm will set precise settlement demands for your case. This figure will be the result of calculating your economic and non-economic damages. Your case value will also reflect any damages you’ll suffer in the future.

Negotiating a Settlement with Your Insurance Company

If your insurance policy includes underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company may owe you compensation.

Your attorney will:

  • Review your insurance policy to identify coverages that apply to your losses
  • Provide documentation of your losses to your insurer
  • Present their calculation of losses to the insurer
  • Negotiate for the financial settlement you are entitled to

Obtaining a fair settlement from your insurer may be just the first step in completing your case, as the next goal will be securing fair compensation from the uninsured motorist.

Pursuing a Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Motorist (if Your Choose To)

If you choose to pursue compensation from the uninsured motorist, filing a lawsuit may be the way.

Your attorney will:

  • Discuss the ramifications of filing the lawsuit with you
  • Draft and file the lawsuit in the appropriate venue
  • Take any other steps necessary to move your case forward

The at-fault motorist will likely have the opportunity to offer a fair settlement for your accident-related damages. If they refuse your lawyer’s settlement demands, your attorney may take your case to trial.

Taking Your Case to Court, if Necessary

Your attorney will lead the way if your uninsured motorist accident case involves a trial. They will organize trial-related materials, accompany you to any necessary depositions, and argue your case in front of a jury.

Two automobiles are seen after a collision on a city street, both damaged as a result of the accident.

Whether they obtain compensation from your insurer, the at-fault party, or both, your lawyer will fight to recover all the compensation you deserve. Your recoverable damages may include:

Auto accident victims often need substantial medical services, which may include:

  • Ambulance transport
  • Emergency care
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation

Those with scarring and other disfiguring injuries may also need cosmetic surgery, prosthetics, and other services. Your attorney will consult your medical providers to document your healthcare needs and calculate medical costs.

Many accident victims experience intense pain and suffering, which can include:

  • The physical pain that comes with injuries (which may include chronic pain)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety (including a fear of riding in motor vehicles)
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance use issues related to the accident
  • Lost quality of life
  • Scarring and other types of disfigurement

You deserve all necessary treatment for your pain and suffering, and you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Your lawyer will seek fair compensation for these economic and non-economic damages.

 Lost Income and Other Professional Damages

Your accident may affect your professional life in several ways, and you may lose:

  • Income
  • Earning power
  • Chances for bonuses and promotions
  • Benefits

You may also lose the psychological stability that can come from steady employment. Your legal team will evaluate your professional damages and pursue a fair settlement.

Vehicle Repairs and Other Property Costs

If an uninsured driver caused a loved one to suffer fatal injuries, an attorney will pursue a just legal outcome.

They will consider the many ways that a wrongful death affects surviving loved ones, which include:

  • The cost of a funeral, burial, or cremation
  • Survivors’ grief and other forms of pain and suffering
  • Loss of a spouse’s companionship
  • Loss of the decedent’s contributions to their household
  • Loss of the decedent’s income
  • Any other economic or non-economic damages caused by the uninsured motorist’s negligence

Getting justice for an auto accident is not always easy, but it is always necessary. Allow your lawyer to shoulder the demands of your case so you can focus on all forms of recovery.

Cases Involving Uninsured Motorists Can Be Unusually Complicated—Let Your Lawyer Lead the Way

Hire a lawyer because of the unique challenges of cases involving car accidents with uninsured motorists.

If you handle your own case, you may struggle with:

  • Identifying the ways to seek compensation from an uninsured motorist
  • Dealing with insurance companies
  • Determining why the at-fault driver lacked insurance
  • Determining whether to file a lawsuit or settle for an insurance claim
  • Negotiating a fair settlement with insurance companies
  • Handling the demands of the legal process (if you pursue a lawsuit)
  • Meeting all case-related filing deadlines
  • Handling the demands of trial if your case goes to court

The typical accident victim lacks the training, time, and energy to pursue a lawsuit, let alone handle a trial. Let a lawyer use their experience and training to handle every aspect of your case.

Don’t Wait to Hire Your Car Accident Accident Lawyer

Russell Nicolet, personal injury lawyer
Car Accident Attorney, Russell Nicolet

Your legal team may face a ticking clock: your case’s filing deadline. Allow them to file your case on time by hiring a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.