You’ve been in a serious accident and sustained injuries. If the accident was the fault of the other driver, you expect their insurance to pay your bills. Then you find out that the driver didn’t have insurance. What do you do? Don’t think this is a rare occurrence, because it’s estimated that around 13% of drivers don’t have insurance, even though it is required in every state to have car insurance.
Use Your Health Insurance
To keep the bills from piling up, you may want to go through your own personal health insurance. Keep all records to know what your costs were, but this can be a stopgap that gets you through until you can search for other avenues. Your insurance company may want to be repaid if you do receive a settlement. Don’t be surprised if you get a letter that describes this. You’ll want to let your lawyer know, but it is common practice.
Look at Your Own Auto Insurance Policies
In no-fault states, your own insurance pays your medical bills; you don’t go through the other driver’s insurance. Some states require that drivers carry uninsured motorist insurance, which pays medical bills in an accident with an uninsured driver. You can also choose to buy this insurance for yourself in states that don’t require it. You may have auto insurance that would cover your medical bills after an accident. Check with your agent about your coverage.
Sue the Other Driver in Civil Court
One other option is to go after the other driver’s assets in court. Keep in mind that if the driver didn’t have insurance, there may not be any assets. You may need to discuss this option with a lawyer who can check for home equity or other assets that could be seized to pay your bills.
It Isn’t Fair When You Get Hit By an Uninsured Driver
In most states, when a driver doesn’t have insurance, they will face some hefty fines and consequences. That may not be much comfort when you’re the one who is suffering, but you can only work with what is there. It can be helpful to talk to a lawyer about your options to find any other avenues to pay your medical bills. For example, in the case of a drunk driver, if a bar served the driver alcohol, that business may have some liability.