Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver?

August 12th, 2020 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents

Can you sue an uninsured driver? In the state of Pennsylvania, it is illegal for a driver to not be covered by auto insurance. And, in fact, we have one of the lower uninsured rates in the country, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That is great news. However, like in any state, there are drivers here who try to get away with driving uninsured. And if you are unlucky enough to be hit by one of them, you can find yourself in serious financial trouble. Can you sue an uninsured driver? The answer is that you may be able to. After your accident, it is important to hire an experienced lawyer to help you recover the money you need to pay your bills and other losses related to the wreck. The lawyers at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey,
Waters & Dohrmann will help you with every step of your claim. We will:

  • Calculate the amount of your losses
  • Determine your own insurance coverage and whether you have enough to cover your losses
  • If necessary, help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver and any other responsible parties.

Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver for the Costs of Your Medical Bills?

In most cases, an insurance company will end up paying for medical bills and any other losses you suffer in a car accident. But if the wreck is the fault of the other driver and they do not have auto insurance, you may find yourself in a bind. Even if you have insurance yourself, you may not have enough to cover your bills and other losses. This is especially true if you carry the minimum required by law:

  • Bodily injury liability: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $5,000
  • First-party medical: $5,000.

This may seem like a lot of money. But when you consider the costs of medical treatments, car repairs, and lost work, it will not go far. In Pennsylvania, you may also buy special coverage that is meant to cover your losses if you are hit by a driver who is uninsured or underinsured. But this insurance is optional. Even if you do carry it, it may not be enough to cover your losses.

The experienced car accident lawyers at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann will walk you through the complicated insurance process. We will negotiate for you so you are not shortchanged, because insurance companies are not on your side. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible and save their shareholders money.

And if we are not able to get you the money you need through the insurance route, we will help you take your case to court and sue the uninsured driver for the costs of your medical bills as well as other damages.

Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver in Pennsylvania? For What Damages?

If you do sue an uninsured driver in Pennsylvania, our lawyers will help you seek the money you need to cover your losses. There are two main categories of losses. Economic losses include:

  • Medical bills, including future medical expenses
  • Wages lost because you cannot work
  • Property damage, like to your car or anything that was inside the car.

Non-economic losses are things that are a little harder to calculate, but they are still very real. They include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of quality of life.

Our lawyers will make sure we have calculated the full amount of your losses. We will then fight to win you every penny you deserve.

In rare cases, you may sue for a special type of damages called punitive damages. These are not meant to make up for your losses. They are designed to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are applied only in cases in which the defendant showed reckless disregard for others’ safety. In Pennsylvania, they are capped at two times the amount of compensatory damages.

What Should I Do if I’m Hit by an Uninsured Driver?

If you are in a car wreck and the at-fault driver is uninsured, it is important to take the following steps. These are for your health and to make it easier to build a case for insurance purposes or to file a lawsuit later on.

  • First of all, make sure you and your passengers get medical attention. This is important even if your injuries do not seem to be too bad. You may be hurt more seriously than you realize. And it is important to have documentation to prove your injuries for any legal action later on.
  • Exchange information with the other driver. Even if they don’t have insurance, try to collect their address, license plate number, make and model of their vehicle, and driver’s license and insurance information.
  • Document everything you can about the accident. Take photos of the scene. Write down what you remember. Take pictures of any injuries to you and your passengers and of damage to the cars. Talk to people who saw the accident and write down their contact information. Note weather conditions and anything else that could have been a factor.
  • Call the police. A police report about the accident may be an important piece of evidence later on. Request a copy.
  • Keep all papers and documents organized and in one place.
  • Call one of the experienced car accident lawyers at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann.

How Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Help If You Want to Sue an Uninsured Driver

If you’re concerned about whether or not you can sue an uninsured driver in Pennsylvania, talk to our attorneys to discuss your case. Every car accident is different. But when the driver who is at fault is uninsured, the other driver may be in a difficult spot. They may have hefty medical bills while being unable to work. They may have car damage to repair. And even if they carry insurance themselves as required by law, it may not be enough to compensate them for their losses. Their only option may be to sue. The lawyers at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann have years of experience handling these types of cases. They will go over all your options with you. And if necessary, we will help you take the other driver to court. Call our office at (570) 323-8711 for a free consultation.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]



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