What Happens If an Uninsured Driver Hits Me?

It is Alabama state law that all drivers must have valid and current auto insurance. Unfortunately, as anyone who has driven in the fast lane on an Alabama highway can attest to, not everyone follows the law all the time. In fact, a 2019 survey found that one in every five Alabama drivers lacks insurance, making us the seventh-worst state in the nation for insured drivers.

The point of auto insurance is to protect yourself and those around you from any damages that might occur while driving. In Alabama, drivers are required to have an insurance policy that covers (at the bare minimum) $25,000 of property damage and $25,000 of bodily damage per person. If someone hits your car and the repairs cost $17,000, their insurance company will pay for the repairs. So what happens if the repairs cost $40,000? Or even worse, if the person who hits you belongs to that twenty percent of drivers who do not have insurance?

Most insurance companies suggest that drivers have policies that cover well over the legally required minimum for this exact reason. If someone’s damages exceed the amount their insurance covers, they would have to cover the rest of the cost themselves. The same is true for uninsured drivers. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, they are responsible for paying all of the damages out of pocket by themselves. If they can’t pay for the damages, there is no one else to get the funding from.

There is something proactive that insured drivers can do to protect themselves from getting in a sticky situation. Most insurance companies offer additional Uninsured Motorist coverage and Underinsured Motorist coverage. These add-ons mean that if you are hit by an uninsured driver who cannot pay for your damages, your own auto insurance company will pay for them. UM and UIM coverage tends to be a small price to add to your own policy (typically in the $10 per month range.) It provides a safety net that ensures you will be protected even in the worst situations.

If an uninsured driver hits you and they will not pay for your damages, you can take them to court. At John M. Totten, P.C., we are very familiar with this scenario. Your eventual success rate depends on the reason they were not paying you. If they ultimately do not have the money to cover your damages, they may go into bankruptcy, which means you will still not see much of the money.

With one out of every five Alabama drivers lacking insurance, being hit by an uninsured driver is a very real possibility. If you do not already have it, it can help to add Uninsured Motorist coverage to your policy. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact John M. Totten, P.C. today. We believe in the power of representation, and we can help you today!

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