What to do if I was rear-ended by a person and have just found out they have had no insurance for the past 6 months?

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What to do if I was rear-ended by a person and have just found out they have had no insurance for the past 6 months?

Both of my children had to be checked out by the hospital and had minor whiplash. I refused any medical attention because I had just been hired for a major railroad and didn’t want to take a risk of losing my new job since I am on my probationary period. My truck is totaled and my insurance had lapsed by a week due to me being out of the state for a month for the railroad school. I didn’t know about this until after the accident. What are my options as far as compensation for my vehicle being replaced (it’s 10 yearold vehicle with low miles) and payment for my childrens hospital visit. My insurance should cover their visit.

Asked on March 7, 2013 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends upon the laws in your state. If you're in a state with traditional insurance laws, the insurer of whoever was at fault is supposed to pay. If the at-fault driver doesn't have insurance, there's a chance that they also do not have much by by of assets. A lawyer can be hired to file a lawsuit but not much my be able to be recoveed even if the lwsuit is successful. However, there may be some protection if the innocent driver's auto insurance contains "uninsured" or "under-insured motorist coverage".

If your state has "no fault" laws, then each driver or their insurer pays for that driver's and/or their passengers' injuries (no matter who is at fault). That having been said, no-fault laws restrict an innocent driver's ability to sue. Bottom line, they would be covered so it doesn't matter whether the other driver was insured (that is unless really major injuries were suffered; most no-fault states allow the innocent driver to sue the at-fault driver for severe damages). Further, uninsured motorist coverage should help get more money from the innocent driver's own insurer even if suing the uninsured at-fault motorist doesn't bring any real relief financially.


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