What to Do When You’ve Been Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Kentucky
Although car insurance is required of all drivers in Kentucky, many break the law by driving while uninsured or underinsured. If you get into a car accident and discover that the other driver does not have insurance, there are certain steps you must take if you wish to recover financial compensation for your medical bills and property damage repairs. If you need assistance with this complicated type of case, contact a car accident lawyer in Louisville for help.
Call the Police to Report the Driver
First, obtain a police report by calling 911 from the scene of the accident. In Kentucky, the law requires you to report any accident involving property damage exceeding $500, injuries or deaths. It is wise, however, to report any car accident that you are involved in, big or small, to protect your rights. This is especially true if the other driver is breaking a law, such as driving while uninsured. Calling the police can lead to a ticket against the driver for breaking Kentucky’s insurance law, forcing the driver to obtain the required insurance before getting back on the road.
File a Claim With Your Own Insurance Provider
Kentucky is a choice no-fault state. This means when a driver purchases car insurance, he or she can choose between fault or no-fault insurance. Fault insurance allows an injured driver to hold the other party financially responsible (liable) for the accident. With no-fault insurance, a driver will file a first-party claim with his or her own insurance carrier, regardless of fault.
If you have fault insurance, determining fault will be the first thing that you should do, whether the other driver has car insurance or not. This may require a police investigation or assistance from a law firm that has the resources to investigate your crash. Fault for a car accident will generally go to the driver that violated a traffic law, such as speeding or running a red light.
If the uninsured driver caused your crash, you may be able to seek financial compensation from your own insurance provider through a type of coverage known as uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM). Uninsured motorist insurance is a required type of coverage in Kentucky. This insurance will make up for the other driver’s lack of coverage by paying for your medical bills and property repairs through your own insurance provider.
If you caused the car accident and have no-fault insurance, you will file a claim with your own insurance provider regardless of fault. In this case, your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will pay your bills. In Kentucky, you must carry at least $10,000 in PIP insurance to cover your own out-of-pocket expenses.
Consider Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
In most cases, if a driver cannot afford to maintain car insurance, he or she does not have enough money or assets to pay if you win a lawsuit. However, if an investigation by an attorney finds that the uninsured driver can pay, consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the individual instead of going through insurance. An investigation may also find evidence of a third party’s fault, such as an auto part manufacturer or the government. These parties may have more insurance to pay for your losses than the driver.
Don’t Settle for Less Than You Need
Do not accept money directly from the uninsured driver to pay for your losses. You cannot trust the other driver – who has already proven that he or she is willing to break the law by driving uninsured – to give you his or her real information or make good on a promise to pay for your medical bills. Even if you do get money from the driver, you will most likely end up with less than you need to pay for your past and future damages. Instead, work with an attorney to obtain the financial compensation that you deserve, either through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.