What should I do if I was in a car accident with someone with no insurance? 39 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I was involved in an accident to which the other driver was at fault. He has no car insurance. Can I sue him for anything more than the blue book value of my car (it is totaled)? I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance but had no serious injuries.

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A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C.
A. Daniel Woska & Associates, P.C. | Dan Woska
The fact that you were in an accident which was caused by another driver, you have a legal claim against the other driver for negligence. Whether the person causing the accident has insurance or not does not have anything to do with his liability to you. You should contact an attorney familiar with car accidents and let him look into the facts and circumstances for you. The lack of insurance is not determinative of whether they have the assets to pay for the damages. Also, check to see if your policy of insurance contains under insured or uninsured coverage.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 8/22/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
If you have bodily injury you can pursue an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance. Assuming your insurance is covering the totaled vehicle you can pursue the person who hit you for your deductible and if you feel the book value was too low you can try to ask for the difference in court.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/18/2011
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight
Law Offices of Earl K. Straight | Earl K. Straight
As for the car, you can only sue for its fair market value, which is similar to but may be slightly different than book value. If youre going to file suit, make sure you include a claim for your bodily injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. You only get one shot at it. You cannot sue for your car now and then come back later and file a second suit for any other claims, so claim all your damages in your original suit.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/18/2011
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
Your medical expenses should be submitted to your insurer under the medical payments coverage that is standard on most policies. You can sue for property damages only in small claims court, but collecting a judgment will be a dubious proposition. People without insurance don't always have bank accounts. If you know where the person works, you can try and execute against his paycheck.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 8/18/2011
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
You can sue him but as I have pointed out in the past, people who do not have insurance usually do not have money and/or assets with which to satisfy a possible judgment.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/18/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Did you get money from your insurance for the value of your car? Did you have insurance on your car?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP
    Dwyer, Black & Lyle, LLP | Kevin Habberfield
    Sorry to hear you were in a crash. After you have contacted the police, notify your insurance company immediately. They can set you up with an Uninsured Motorist (UM) claim if your injuries turn out to be more serious than you think. They will also make sure your property damage and any medical bills/lost wages are paid for by your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, i.e. No-Fault. This is why you buy insurance, to protect yourself from others. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    You are entitled to something (perhaps small) for personal injury. Suggest you sue in Judge Judy court (small claim).
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    Book value plus rental value of replacement vehicle for a reasonable period of time (figure a week). Check with your insurance company first to see if you have coverage for this, if so, let them pay you and then they can go after him. Your no-fault coverage will pay for your medical expenses. If you were not seriously injured, then there is nothing else to pursue.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Do you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage on your own policy? If so, your carrier will handle the claim. You may have to obtain a certificate from DMV to prove the other driver was uninsured. Most people who get car insurance don’t give much thought to Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but it becomes really important when things like this happen, particularly since so many motorists in our economy cannot afford car insurance and drive anyway. If you don’t have this coverage, you can sue the driver for your damages. This includes the damage to your car, your medical expenses, and your inconvenience, pain and suffering, (even if no serious injuries). Insurance companies do not give much credence to Blue Book values. They look in the area for similar cars offered for sale. You can always argue which is ever the highest value Kelley Blue Book or car sales in local newspapers and online in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    Claim the loss on your insurance. Your company will seek reimbursement from at fault driver.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
    Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
    If the at fault driver of the car accident has no insurance, he probably has no assets. So you have to look to the uninsured motorist coverage under your insurance policy.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Yes, you can sue him for your property damages, your personal injuries, your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. However, more practically-speaking, you will also want to sue your own insurance company if you have "uninsured motorist" coverage. Check with your insurance rep to see if you have the coverage and then make a claim. However, do not give any statements to anyone until you talk with an attorney. Since you have injuries and medical bills, you will want that added layer of protection. Also, in my experience "soft tissue" injuries take a while to manifest themselves. You may think you are okay and then begin having increased problems in the weeks and months after your injury.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You should have uninsured coverage that covers all of your damages in the event you are hit by an uninsured driver. Uninsured coverage is mandatory in SC and if you are insured, you have it.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 8/18/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    Unfortunately this is a common situation. You would need to first check your own insurance policy to determine if you have uninsured motorist coverage. The best thing to do is to have an attorney look at your case and determine if there are any available sources to recover from. For example, if the driver was in the course and scope of his employment, or if he was running an errand for someone. There are theories of vicarious liability that may apply.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/7/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    For personal injuries you can go against your own insurer under your SUM endorsement but for property damage you'll have to go against the other driver and owner personally. I suggest you use a lawyer if you think you might have a personal injury claim.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law
    Timothy Jones, Attorney at Law | Timothy Jones
    You are entitled to be reimbursed for property damage and compensated for personal injuries. If the defendant is uninsured, they are unlikely to have any assets which could be used to compensate you. Therefore, you should file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance company.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    If you have no permanent injury you cannot generally sue for pain and suffering, but you can sue for the loss of value to your car, your medical expenses and your lost wages. Before you go after the uninsured driver, check with your own insurance. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it may actually step in and pay your claim for you. If you had PIP insurance, it should cover your medical expenses and any lost wages (a percentage of both). Make sure to advise your insurance company right away and ask them to provide you a list of coverages. To be safe, you should consider consulting a lawyer who can help you navigate these issues and make sure you are not leaving money on the table.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    So long as you have insurance you should have coverage under your own car insurance policy for "uninsured drivers." Check the most recent declaration page for your car insurance to see how much coverage you have.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    You could but probably would not collect anything. You may have uninsured insurance. Call personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    If you had full coverage - then you should have Uninsured Motorist (UIM) benefits through your own insurance company. Make a claim through your own insurer. They will step in the shoes of the other driver and will pay you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer
    Harris Personal Injury Lawyer | Ryan D. Harris
    My strong suggestion would be for you to contact your own automobile insurance and find out if you have "uninsured motorist coverage" for property damage and bodily injury. If you do, this will be the best way for you to get your vehicle repaired. If you have "liability only" coverage, then you will not be able to pursue vehicle damage recovery through your insurance carrier. Regardless, I would strongly suggest that you contact a Personal Injury attorney who can consult with you regarding your rights against the uninsured driver. A Personal Injury attorney also can facilitate determining what coverage you do have, and can expedite the handling of your case. Under the law, the at-fault driver is responsible to either repair your vehicle to its pre-incident condition, or pay the reasonable value of your vehicle on the open market so that you can replace ("replacement value") what you have lost.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    If a person has no insurance it does not affect how much you may sue him for-only how much you may be able to eventually collect. You may only sue for actual damages. Minor injuries are still "damages," they are only "minor" and therefore not worth a lot-but more than nothing at all. You may sue for some inconvenience associated with the loss of your car, as well as the "book value," which varies by locality, so you should be careful to make sure you are getting a good value. If you sue and obtain a judgment, you may be able to collect from the person without insurance by all of the usual means attorneys use to collect judgments-garnishment, seizure of non-exempt assets, etc. You may also be able to have the state cancel and seize his driver's license until he reaches a settlement or agreement with you to pay, sometimes over a period of time. If the person cannot afford to pay you, he may file bankruptcy and be relieved of the obligation, again, depending on the amount of the judgment and his assets or other liabilities.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If you were injured you would be able to collect under your own policy under the uninsured portion of your insurance policy. However there are no provisions for property damage. If you were injured your car would also pay your medical bills for the treatment.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm
    The S.E. Farris Law Firm | Spencer E. Farris
    You are entitled to the full value of your vehicle- the blue book may or may not represent that amount. In addition, you are entitled to recover for your injuries. If you are a Missouri driver with car insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage is responsible for your damages.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC
    Matthew D Kaplan LLC | Matthew D Kaplan
    Your own insurance policy will cover you for any injuries and pain and suffering. This is called Uninsured Motorist coverage. Please contact my office at the number below and I would be happy to help you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Offices of Tom Patton
    Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
    You should report the accident to your own auto insurance company to access your uninsured motorist coverage. You should also follow up with your doctor if you are still having pain and stiffness. It is the fastest way to recover, and the only way you can be fully compensated for your injuries. You should report both your property damage claim, and your bodily injury claim, even if you have only the one emergency room visit. Your bodily injury claim will be worth substantially more if your doctors recommend physical therapy or other further treatment beyond the one visit.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    You probably have uninsured motorist (UM) insurance coverage on your own auto policy. Your agent should be able to tell you more. If you have that coverage, make a claim for your bodily injury and your property damage.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    You need to contact your insurance company and either make a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage or your collision coverage. In Indiana your insurance company is required to provide you with uninsured motorist coverage unless you waive it in writing. If you have been injured at all you do not want to settle your uninsured injury claim until you are 100% back to normal. If you are already okay you should still be sure that your medical bills get paid. You may also have medical payment coverage that will pay part or all of your medical expenses. With respect to your property damage which coverage you use will depend on the value of your vehicle. The uninsured property damage coverage will likely have a cap less than what you can claim under your collision coverage. On your vehicle you are entitled to the lesser of the fair market value of your car or the cost of repair. Once your insurance company pays you then it will have the right to go get reimbursed from the other driver. If you are suffering from any injuries I would suggest that you call and talk to an injury lawyer for free. Your insurance company isn't necessarily on your side when you are making a claim against them so it usually beneficial to have an attorney help you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You can sue without concern for the fact he had no insurance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC
    Law Offices of Richard Copeland, LLC | Richard Copeland
    You can sue for both your personal injuries (even though not serious) and the property damage. It is likely, however, that an uninsured driver has no assets worth going after.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    Yes, you can sue him for the actual cash value of your car plus any rental expenses you incurred as a result of his negligence. You can also request judgment for all medical expenses and pain and suffering. There are other options as well that we can investigate before bringing a lawsuit against the person which might be more beneficial to you.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley
    Law Office of Christopher F. Earley | Christopher Earley
    If you want you can give me a call and I can help answer your questions. Thank you.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation if you call my office at either of the numbers listed below. If my office accepts your case, there is no fee charged unless we are able to obtain a settlement for you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Langer & Langer
    Langer & Langer | Jon Schmoll
    If you have insurance on your car, check the uninsured motorist coverage because it might provide coverage for property damage by an uninsured motorist. Also check your collision coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, that coverage will handle your personal injury.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/17/2011
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