After checking for injuries, the first thing you will probably ask the other driver involved in a crash is for their license and insurance information. You will need those details for your own records and your insurance claim.
What you may not expect us to find out that the other driver either doesn’t have policy documents at all or to have them hand the papers to you while sheepishly admitted that they haven’t paid their premium recently.
Getting into a crash caused by another driver leaves you largely dependent on their insurance coverage. A driver without insurance has few options for reimbursing you for the cost of damage to your vehicle and any injuries you suffer. How likely is it for you to cross paths with someone so irresponsible that they don’t carry liability coverage on their car?
Colorado has a concerning number of uninsured drivers
Insurance protects both the people who cause crashes and the people in the crashes they cause. Without insurance, a driver who injured someone else could face lawsuits that result in judgments against them. Injured parties could garnish their wages or even place a lien against their property.
Insurance also protects the people who get hurt in crashes by ensuring that they don’t have to pay for their own medical care or the repairs to their vehicle. People who don’t carry insurance don’t just take a risk for themselves but also place a lot of risk on others.
You will probably see dozens, if not hundreds, of insured drivers during your daily commute. Colorado holds the 19ths position in the country, with only 18 states having more uninsured drivers. Approximately 13.3% of vehicles on the Colorado roads aren’t insured at any given time according to research by the Insurance Information Institute.
What can you do about an uninsured driver?
If you are unlucky enough to not only cross paths with one of those 13% of drivers without insurance but to get hurt by one of them, you may have two options available to you for compensation.
You may have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage on your own policy. However, making a claim against your own insurance due to an uninsured driver could potentially mean more costs for you and limitations on future coverage, depending on the terms of your policy.
The other option is to take civil action against the driver. A personal injury lawsuit holds them responsible and gives you opportunities to get repaid for some of the lost wages and medical bills you’ve had due to the crash. Looking at all of your options can help you make better choices after a crash caused by an uninsured driver.