If you were recently injured in a crash that wasn’t your fault, you may feel some peace of mind about your accident-related expenses because you’re counting on being able to sue the driver who hit you. But in many cases, getting compensation from at-fault drivers is dependent on them having insurance. And sadly, nearly 20% of Alabama drivers are uninsured.
That means that if you’re hurt in an accident in Alabama, there’s a one-in-five chance the driver who hit you has no insurance policy that you can file a claim against, which can mean no money for accident-related expenses. However, there are a few ways you can protect yourself and still get compensation after a crash with an uninsured driver.
When a driver signs up for liability insurance in Alabama, they automatically will receive uninsured motorist coverage. However, some drivers opt out of this coverage to save themselves money. Unless you specifically opted out when you purchased or renewed your policy, you should have uninsured motorist coverage that will provide at least $25,000 for your medical bills and lost wages.
You may be eligible for more money if you purchased additional coverage for your uninsured motorist policy. This additional coverage also kicks in if your crash-related costs are greater than the maximum amount of liability coverage that was purchased by the driver who hit you.
Medical Payments (or MedPay) coverage is a straightforward type of coverage that kicks in to help cover medical bills after crashes regardless of who is at fault. So, whether the driver who caused your crash is fully insured or has no insurance at all, you can receive compensation through your MedPay coverage.
You’re eligible to get paid through MedPay coverage even if the accident report determines that you were partially at fault for the crash, which normally bars you from receiving any compensation in Alabama due to its contributory negligence rule.
If all the fault of your crash falls on the other driver, they’re uninsured, and you don’t have uninsured driver coverage, you may be able to sue the other driver directly. That means that if you win, they’ll be forced to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses out of their own pocket.
It’s common for at-fault drivers to not have enough cash on hand to pay for these costs upfront, but they may be ordered to pay for them over time via garnished wages or weekly payments. However, getting compensation by suing another driver directly isn’t always reliable, and sometimes at-fault drivers simply stop paying with no regard to the consequences of doing so.
Getting compensation after an auto accident is difficult enough already. It can be even more complex and stressful when you’re in a state like Alabama with contributory negligence rules and the at-fault driver doesn’t have valid liability insurance.
At Vance Law Firm, we understand the stresses and frustrations that go along with getting a settlement after a crash. You’re hurting and trying to recover from your injuries, and the last thing you need is to be racking your brain trying to determine how you’ll pay for your medical bills.