If you or a loved one got hurt in a car accident with an uninsured, negligent driver, you will not be able to recover compensation through a liability claim. What happens if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance depends on the other coverage and legal options available to you. You may be able to file a claim under a different type of auto insurance policy or bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Unfortunately, you may have trouble getting what you deserve when the at-fault driver in your case lacks adequate insurance. For help exploring your options for compensation after a motorcycle collision, contact a law firm that represents injured riders.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you suffered serious injuries and significant property damage in a motorcycle accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, this doesn’t necessarily prevent you from collecting damages. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, you could receive compensation from your own insurer. UM policies offer compensation for damages in accidents with uninsured drivers and hit-and-runs.
According to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), an insurer must offer uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UMC/UIM) to all new policyholders. However, individuals can sign a waiver if they prefer not to add this particular type of coverage to their policy.
It is important to note that insurers may limit the amount of time that claimants have to make a claim under their UMC policy. As soon as you find out that the at-fault driver in your claim is uninsured, you should file a claim with your insurance company. However, if you lack coverage—or your injuries are severe, and the cost of your damages exceeds your UMC policy—you may have legal options for holding the at-fault driver to account and pursuing adequate compensation.
If you have collision coverage as part of your auto insurance, you may also be able to recover funds for motorcycle repair when the at-fault driver is uninsured. However, collision coverage will not reimburse you for any medical costs or other losses. It can only help you fix your motorcycle, depending on the amount of coverage available.
You May Have to Take Your Motorcycle Accident Case to Court
If you opted out of uninsured motorist and collision coverage, you could struggle to get compensation for your damages. In this case, you might want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In order to hold another driver to account, you will have to prove negligence and fault. Generally, the accident victim must prove the four elements of negligence, which include:
The Defendant Had a Duty of Care
All road users have a duty of care towards others on the road. By law, drivers are required to drive with due care so as not to cause harm to other drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and other road users.
The Defendant Breached Their Duty of Care
If a defendant acted negligently or carelessly—such as by driving drunk, texting while driving, or driving aggressively—they may have breached their duty of care. Other examples of this can include:
- Not stopping at a stop sign or red traffic light
- Following too closely
- Speeding excessively
The Defendant’s Breach Caused the Victim’s Accident and Injuries
To recover compensation, you will also have to prove a direct link between the defendant’s negligent actions, the accident, and your injuries.
The Victim Suffered Losses
Motorcycle accident victims can potentially recover various types of compensation for injuries, such as:
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Motorcycle damage
You will have to show conclusive evidence to have a chance at recovering damages through a lawsuit. Gathering the crucial evidence and keeping detailed records can be essential for recovering what you deserve.
Unfortunately, you may still struggle to recover compensation when you are dealing with an uninsured driver. A motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can help gather the documents and other materials you require, prove your claim, and fight for the damages you seek.
The Statute of Limitations
We suggest that you reach out as soon as possible after your accident. The California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 only gives you two years to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle collision.
How the Attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices Can Help
In order to give yourself the best chance of recovering compensation, you should consider all the available options, including your own insurance coverage and filing a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney from Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices can help you explore these options and put your recovery plans into action. Call the team at Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices now for a free case assessment at (888) 522-6291.