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Can I Sue If the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

March 27, 2024
Sue If the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance

If the at-fault driver did not have an active liability insurance policy at the time of your car accident, you won’t be able to secure compensation through their insurance company. However, you may be able to pursue compensation from the driver through another method: a car accident lawsuit. 

Your car accident case must meet certain criteria before you can bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. An experienced car accident attorney can help you determine whether it makes sense to file  a lawsuit and walk you through the legal process if so.

Who Can Sue the At-Fault Driver in a Car Accident? 

To sue a driver after an accident, you must prove they were negligent. They may have been negligent if they violated traffic laws and caused the accident.

Many states use a comparative negligence method for seeking compensation. This policy can impact your eligibility for compensation from the other driver as follows:

  • In modified comparative negligence states, you can sue the other driver if you were less than 51% responsible for the accident.  Texas is an example of a state with modified comparative negligence.  
  • In pure comparative negligence states, you can sue the other driver if you were less than 100% responsible for the accident.  New Mexico is an example of a state that uses pure comparative negligence.  

The amount you can sue for depends on your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 20% at fault because of distracted driving at the time of the accident, you can only sue for 80% of your damages. 

For reference, Texas is a modified comparative negligence state, while New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. 

What Compensation Can You Seek Through a Lawsuit? 

A personal injury lawsuit opens the door to economic and non-economic damages that can help you move forward from your car accident injuries. These damages may include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Time off work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

If the at-fault driver does not have insurance, this money will come directly from their bank account. If the driver doesn’t have much money, you may not be able to recover what you seek through a lawsuit. 

Your car accident attorney can help you pursue every avenue of compensation from the at-fault driver. In some cases, a judge may order a wage garnishment on the at-fault driver, requiring them to send you a portion of their paycheck each month until they have met their payout threshold. 

Should You File Your Own Insurance Claim Instead?

If you suspect the at-fault driver in a car accident does not have much money, a lawsuit may not be worthwhile. Consider filing a claim through your insurance company to secure compensation instead. 

If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your auto policy, you should be able to gain compensation to pay for your economic expenses from the accident. Otherwise, you can at least reach out to your insurance company about your options. 

Your insurance company will determine whether the at-fault driver has any insurance that could cover some of your costs. For example, maybe they have a small amount of liability insurance, and even though it’s not enough to cover all your expenses, it’s better than nothing. 

Contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. to Discuss Your Legal Options

Just because the at-fault driver does not appear to have insurance doesn’t mean you won’t gain compensation after your crash. Your car accident attorney can help you explore your legal options for compensation. 

If you were injured in a car accident, let our attorneys at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. help you determine your options to see if you can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation. For a consultation with a car accident lawyer, call us at (800) 433-2408.