You are driving your car when, all of a sudden, you are rear-ended by a distracted motorist who was texting on their cell phone. The collision is serious resulting in you suffering serious neck and back injuries, along with the extensive damage to your vehicle. To make matters worse, you discover that the negligent (at-fault) motorist has no automobile insurance coverage (another common scenario is learning the other driver has just a bare-bones minimum policy- not enough to cover your injuries). What can you do in this terrible situation? Will you be forced to pay for your medical treatment and auto repairs out of your own pocket?
The Worcester, MA car accident attorneys with Eden Rafferty understand the stress and anxiety associated with an accident caused by a driver who lacks sufficient auto insurance coverage to compensate you for your harms and losses.
Shockingly High Percentage of Motorists Lack Adequate Insurance Coverage
Nearly 1 in 8 motorists in the United States are driving around without any form of automobile insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Journal. The Journal highlighted a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). The IRC discovered that roughly 13 percent of all U.S. motorists lacked any auto insurance coverage in 2015. Despite laws on the books in 49 states requiring auto insurance coverage, some motorists choose to drive without coverage or neglect to purchase or renew coverage.
According to the IRC study, approximately 6.2 percent of motorists in Massachusetts were traveling on roads and highways without any form of insurance coverage.
What To Do If You are Hit and Injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver in Massachusetts
If you or a loved one was hit and seriously injured by a motorist lacking auto insurance coverage, one of the first steps is to review your own auto insurance policy. Why? Because you may have a specific form of insurance coverage under your own policy that can help in this situation. In Massachusetts, motorists have the option to include uninsured motorist coverage to their insurance policy.
Filing a UM/UIM Claim Through Your Own Auto Insurance Policy
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage under your policy, you have the ability to file a UM/UIM claim seeking financial restitution for your harms and losses. When you use uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage, your own auto insurance company effectively steps into the proverbial shoes of the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This means your own insurance company will likely attempt to raise defenses and reduce or deny your claim as much as they can. Do not expect any special treatment or an easy settlement simply because you file a claim with your own insurance company.
Filing a Claim Against the Negligent Driver Individually
If you do not have UM/UIM coverage through your own insurance policy, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent motorist who hit you individually. Basically, this means you will attempt to collect financial restitution via the assets of the negligent driver. However, it is important to understand that the chances of actually receiving financial restitution are fairly low in these situations. Why? Because a lack of automobile insurance typically means the driver has few, if any, assets that could lead to recoverable damages for you or your family.
Injured by an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist in Massachusetts? Speak to an Attorney Today
Getting hit and injured by a motorist lacking automobile insurance can be particularly stressful and anxiety-inducing, which is why it makes sense to speak to an experienced Worcester car accident lawyer with Eden Rafferty. Our team of skilled attorneys will immediately go to work reviewing your auto insurance policy and investigating any other forms of insurance coverage that could be accessed on your behalf. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.