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Accidents are unexpected events that can instantly change your life. What makes matters worse is being hit by an uninsured motorist, adding a layer of complication to an already stressful situation.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s crucial to understand your rights and options for seeking compensation. Let’s explore what steps you can take after being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. 

Understanding Auto Insurance Requirements in Virginia

In Virginia, drivers must carry minimum liability coverage limits to ensure financial responsibility in the event of an accident. However, not all drivers follow these requirements. This leads to uninsured motorists on the roads. 

Driving without insurance in Virginia can result in penalties. These penalties include fines, license suspension, and even vehicle impoundment. Despite these consequences, some individuals still choose to drive without insurance, putting others at risk in the event of an accident. 

How to Get Compensation After Being Hit by an Uninsured Motorist

Getting compensation can be tough if you’re in a collision with an uninsured driver. It often means dealing with costs for property damage, medical bills, and other losses from the accident. This situation can leave you feeling helpless and unsure where to turn for assistance.

Even though it can be challenging, there are ways to recover your losses after being hit by an uninsured driver in Virginia. In the following sections, we’ll explore three main ways to get paid.

File a MedPay Claim

When you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, covering medical costs can be one of the largest hurdles. That’s where a MedPay claim comes in. MedPay is a type of insurance coverage that helps you pay for medical expenses. It does so regardless of who is at fault.

It’s important to check your insurance policy to see if you have MedPay coverage. This information can usually be found in your policy documents. You can also contact your car insurance provider directly to confirm if you have this coverage. 

MedPay coverage has deductibles and coverage limits that vary depending on your policy. A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Coverage limits set the maximum amount your insurance will pay for medical expenses. Knowing these details upfront can help you understand what to expect in compensation.

To file a MedPay claim, contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Your insurer will review your claim. They will then determine how much your policy covers. Remember to keep a record of important documents, including medical bills and accident details. Your insurer may ask for these.

You may also be able to ask your medical provider to bill your insurance company directly. In this case, you will want to provide the details of your policy to your provider. It’s also wise to think about hiring a personal injury lawyer. They can help you deal with insurers and healthcare providers and help ensure you receive the compensation you need. 

File an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Claim

When involved in a car crash with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance coverage, uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage can help. UM/UIM is a specific type of auto insurance coverage that can be added to your policy for an additional premium. It is important to note that this coverage must already be on your policy at the time of an accident to apply.

If the other driver’s auto policy doesn’t cover all accident expenses, your UM/UIM coverage can pay the difference. It acts as a safety net, so you aren’t solely responsible for the financial burden after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

UM/UIM coverage typically provides the same coverage a liability policy would cover, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, it’s important to review your policy carefully to understand the specific coverage limits and deductibles that apply.

To file a UM/UIM claim, you’ll need to contact your insurance company promptly and inform them of the accident. It’s also important to reach out to a personal injury attorney right away. They will guide you through the claims process, which typically involves providing documentation related to the accident. An attorney can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. 

Take the Uninsured Driver to Court

If a driver lacks sufficient insurance to pay for your car accident damages, you have the option of taking them to court to recover the difference. If the court determines that the uninsured driver caused the accident, it can make them pay for damages out of pocket.

However, if the driver lacks the assets to pay a judgment, this option may not be feasible. In such cases, even if the court rules in your favor and orders the uninsured driver to compensate you, they may not be able to pay. 

Dealing with legal proceedings after a car wreck with an uninsured driver can be tricky. That’s why hiring a lawyer who knows about these kinds of accidents is critical. They can help you understand the process of taking the uninsured driver to court and if it is likely to be worthwhile. 

Importance of Legal Advice

Dealing with a driver who doesn’t have insurance can be hard, especially when there’s a lot of legal stuff to figure out. Getting advice from an uninsured motorist accident lawyer who knows about these types of accidents is important. An attorney can help with:

  •  Evidence gathering. A lawyer will gather evidence related to your accident that can help to prove the other driver’s liability and the amount of your damages. 
  •  Negotiation expertise. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to help get you fair compensation.
  • Filing legal documents. A lawyer will handle all the necessary legal documents. They can ensure that paperwork is filed correctly and on time. 
  • Going to court. If needed, your attorney will represent you in court. They will persuasively present your case and advocate for your rights.

Additionally, an attorney brings valuable expertise to your case. They can offer insights into the ins and outs of uninsured motorist accidents. Therefore, having a seasoned legal professional by your side can make a major difference in the outcome of your case.

Finding a Reputable Car Accident Attorney

You have many choices for car accident attorneys in Virginia, but there are some specific steps you can take to identify the one that is right for you:

  • Look for a lawyer who has specific experience with car accident cases in Virginia,
  • Ask for recommendations from friends and family members who may have been through a car accident claim,
  • Look for attorney reviews on websites such as Avvo, and
  • Review the attorney’s website to learn about their background and to get a feel for their personality.

Once you have identified several potential lawyers, schedule in-person consultations with them to help you choose one. Initial consultations with car accident lawyers are typically free, so you can make an informed decision without worrying about the cost.

We’re Here to Help with Your Uninsured Driver Claim

Getting hit by an uninsured driver can be scary, but it’s important to know you have rights and options to get help. A lawyer can help you deal with the aftermath of an accident and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

If you’ve been hit by an uninsured motorist in Virginia and need legal help, River Run Law is here for you. Our focus is personal injury cases, including car accidents. Additionally, our track record includes several seven-figure settlements for car accident cases.

With a personable approach and a dedication to client comfort, we strive to provide the support and advocacy you need during this challenging time. Call or contact us online to schedule a consultation and explore your legal options.

Where You Can Find Our Richmond Office

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Brooke Alexander

Brooke graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brooke worked for five years in private practice with a law firm specializing in insurance defense litigation before becoming the trial litigator for Allstate Insurance Company in the metro Richmond area.

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