Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver if They Caused Your Car Accident?

When we meet with a client who was involved in a car accident, the first thing we ask is whether the other driver had insurance. Nine times out of ten the answer to this question is yes. When that’s the case, we file a claim against the other driver’s insurance carrier. The insurance carrier has the option of paying the claim or fighting it. If they choose not to pay, your Carrollton accident lawyer can file suit against the other driver. When that suit is filed, your attorney will also name the defendant’s insurance carrier.

The insurance carrier is legally required to defend the other driver should you file suit. Unfortunately, if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you don’t have this option. The only option you have at that point is to file a claim against your own uninsured motorist policy and sue the defendant personally for damages. The problem with this, as we will discuss here, is that there’s a good chance the uninsured driver will not have any assets. If this is the case, you have a very difficult time collecting damages from the defendant.

Most Drivers in Georgia Have Car Insurance

The good news is that almost all drivers in Georgia carry the required auto insurance. Nobody wants to put their person or their property in jeopardy. Even if you’re involved in a minor collision, such as a rear-end accident, you’re still going to suffer damages. The damage to your vehicle will likely be several thousands of dollars. Your hospital bills alone will be more than $10,000. What this means is that there’s very little chance that your uninsured motorist policy will cover all your damages. You could be left with out-of-pocket medical bills that nobody else is going to pay. There is a good chance that your insurance or your private health insurance will cover the cost of your medical care. You simply won’t have the option of recovering that money from the uninsured driver.

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Your Georgia Injury Lawyer May Have to Sue the Other Driver Personally 

Once you have filed and collected on your uninsured motorist policy, you’ll need to find a way to recover the remainder of your damages. Typically, the only way to do this is to sue the other driver personally. Your Carrollton accident lawyer will file a complaint against them in civil court. A copy of this complaint will be served on the other driver. They will have 30 days to respond. Most of the time, they fail to do this. It’s as if they think it will disappear and they won’t be held accountable.

What we have found is that most uninsured drivers ignore the legal papers they receive. They know they have no chance of winning in court, so they just pretend that nothing’s going on. This happens more often than you may think. This means your Carrollton accident lawyer will request the court to grant a default judgment. They may be willing to do this, especially if the other party never responded. The question is whether this judgment will be worth more than the paper it’s printed on. If the uninsured driver has no assets, it will be nearly impossible to collect on your judgment.

Unfortunately, You May End Up with a Judgment that Is Never Paid

One thing we always warn our clients about is that suing an uninsured driver may not get you the money that you deserve. Most people who have property and assets would never drive without insurance. They know that if something happens and they get into an accident, their assets will be in jeopardy.

What this means is that someone who is injured by an uninsured driver usually ends up without the compensation they deserve. The best way to increase your chances of recovery is to hire a Georgia injury lawyer right from the start. They will help you file your uninsured motorist claim. They will also help you file your lawsuit against the other driver.

Reach Out to an Experienced Carrollton Accident Lawyer Right Away

If you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver,  it may seem like you have no options. Of course, you can file a claim with your uninsured motorist policy. But you’ll be lucky if you can collect as much as $10,000 from this. Most car accident victims suffer much more than $10,000 in damages. What this means is that you should probably talk to a Carrollton accident lawyer to help you pursue the remainder of your damages.

Unfortunately, this means that you will have to sue the other driver personally. In our experience, the kind of person who drives without insurance is not the kind of person who has assets that you can tap into to get your judgment paid. With so many laws protecting debtors, it may be very difficult to recoup the money that you’re owed from the uninsured driver. That doesn’t mean that your Georgia injury lawyer won’t try.

What we suggest is that you contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself and worry about damages before you’ve even started your case. You can sit down with a Carrollton accident lawyer and explain to them what happened. They’ll review your file, including the police report and your medical records, to determine if you have a valid claim.

If your case has merit, they will more than likely be willing to represent you. If, however, they do not feel the case is worth pursuing because it is unlikely to recover damages from an uninsured driver, they will let you know up front. One thing that our associates do not do is get their clients’ hopes up without good reason. Since the consultation is free, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of it. Even if you’re familiar with the civil court system in Georgia, these cases can become very complicated very quickly.