One of the first questions you are likely to be asked when you meet with a personal injury lawyer after an auto accident is, “Did the other driver have insurance?” And the answer to that question is one which drives a lot of the action that follows.
The goal in every personal injury case must be to obtain compensation for the client. There may be some psychic satisfaction in suing the other driver and making his life miserable too, but in the end, if I am not putting money into the pocket of the client, I am not serving the client well.
As a practical matter, insurance coverage is really the only way to obtain compensation for the client. In theory, you can sue an uninsured driver, but in order to force them to pay anything, you need to file the lawsuit, serve the other driver with the lawsuit, work the case up, and obtain a judgment. After that the hard part comes: actually collecting any money.
Most people simply don’t have enough money saved away to pay any significant judgment against them, and in the event that you get a judgment and start collection proceedings, the likely result is that you will end up in bankruptcy court, sitting at the end of the line with other creditors like their cell phone carrier, the electric company, credit card companies, and so forth. If you see anything at all, it will be pennies on the dollar – likely not enough to cover the costs of going through the process.
The one way that you can collect money after being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver is by making an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance coverage. These can be technically challenging and is the kind of thing where we strongly recommend getting qualified legal help.
When there is insurance, the identity of the carrier and the amount of coverage are important factors in trying to decide proceed with the case: whether to file suit or not and how to approach the issue of settlement.
On this week’s show of Fighting for What’s Right, the topic for the week will be “How Much is My Case Worth?” and the importance of liability insurance is one of the issues we will be discussing.
You can learn more about this topic by downloading the free report from the Resource Center or by tuning at 6 a.m. on WYLL-AM 1160 or at 8 am on WIND- AM 560.