What happens if the driver who hit me has no insurance?
I was hit from the rear totaling my vehicle and the at-fault driver had no insurance. He was in a car he had just purchased from a car lot.
When a car hits another in the rear, the fault is usually allocated to the driver that collided with the car in front of them as they were likely driving too closely or not maintaining their car at a reasonable speed to stop safely. If there was a police report, and the police found the other car to be at fault, and to not have insurance you have a few basic choices.
1. submit a claim to your insurance company as it will pay your damages under what is called uninsured motorist coverage. However, your insurance premium may go up by submitting this claim. But, your damages will be fixes after you pay the deductible.
2. submit the claim to your insurance company and then file a lawsuit against the other driver hoping that the other driver has money to pay the damages and your deductible.
3. fix you car without submitting it to insurance and sue the other driver.
I suggest option 3 and filing the claim in small claims court if the amount of the damages is recoverable in that court.
I am going to disagree with the above comments. In Texas, the insurance company cannot adjust your rate for filing a personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured motorist (UM), or under-insured motorist claim (UIM). These are all "ad-ons" to a policy that are not subject to punitive rate increases the same way that your regular policy is.
The tricky part is convincing them to pay you. Most people have the misconception that insurance companies will just cough up money when called upon. The reality is that even your own insurance company will become quite combative when a claim is filed against them; especially a UM or UIM claim.
Suing the driver, as suggested above, probably won't do you any good because he more than likely does not have any assets. Typically, if someone doesn't have insurance, that's a good sign that they can't afford to pay you anything. Even if you secure a verdict in your favor, it won't do you much good if the person doesn't have any liquid assets, as you cannot sue for someone's home or property.
The important question is "were you injured?" I think the argument could be made that the dealership is liable for negligently entrusting the vehicle to someone with no insurance. They have an obligation to make sure that this does not happen.
If you are injured, therefore your damages (the money that is owed to you) will be sufficient enough to justify hiring an attorney to go after the dealership.
Last, there is a scam that has been on the rise lately whereby someone will claim not to have insurance when they are in an accident, when they actually do, in fact, have insurance. They get into an accident, they say they don't have insurance, they get a ticket, you think you have no options to file a claim against them or their insurance, they go to the court house and say, "Whoops, I just plain forgot. I DO have insurance.", they produce the insurance card and get the ticket dismissed as they laugh all the way to the bank.
This happens all of the time. The cure for this is having an attorney call the defendant and threaten legal action. You would be surprised how many times this results in them "discovering" that they had an insurance card all along.
Fell free to call me at 214-220-9191 and I would be happy to let you know what your options are.