For victims of a car accident, there can be a significant difference when dealing with an uninsured driver and an insured driver. Recovering compensation can be more difficult when another driver has no insurance and is at fault for the accident.
With an insured driver who is at fault, a claim can be filed with his or her insurance company. A Clarksburg personal injury lawyer can assist with the process of recovering compensation if injuries and damages are significant.
Car Insurance Laws in West Virginia
All drivers in West Virginia are required to carry liability insurance. So if another driver were responsible for a car accident, the injured person would be covered up to the limits of the policy (if damages go that high).
The minimum amounts of coverage are:
- $20,000 for one car accident, one injury;
- $40,000 for one accident, two or more injuries; and
- $10,000 for property damage.
So let’s say to repair the vehicle, it will cost $7,500. Property damage liability coverage would cover this amount. Or let’s say an injured person sustained injuries costing $12,000 in medical expenses. This would be covered, too.
However, if the car repairs were greater than $10,000 or the medical bills were greater than $20,000 and the other driver only had minimum insurance, this might require legal action with a Clarksburg personal injury lawyer.
Unfortunately, not all drivers in West Virginia are insured. When this happens, the injured driver might have to go through his or her own insurance coverage either car and/or health insurance. But other legal options for legal recovery may also exist such as pursuing a lawsuit against the negligent driver with a Clarksburg personal injury lawyer's legal guidance and assistance.
Coverage for a Car Accident Involving an Uninsured Driver
One of the best ways for motorists to protect themselves from uninsured drivers may be to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. This will cover property damage and medical costs when injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver’s negligence. It could also cover passengers in the car who were injured.
Not only does this provide coverage for an accident caused by a driver who has no insurance, it can also provide protection if injured by a hit and run driver.
Of course, anyone who has ever been seriously injured in a crash understands that more than suffering the financial burden of medical bills, there are other losses. Uninsured motorist coverage may help cover lost wages and address damages such as pain and suffering. Keep in mind that this coverage is available up to the limits of the policy.
A second type of protection is through medical payments coverage. This covers drivers and passengers who are injured in a crash.
Although health insurance coverage can take care of some of the medical expenses, it may not be enough. Or there may be significant copays and deductibles.
Medical payments coverage can help cover a variety of medical costs such as:
- nursing services; and
- prosthetic devices.
Again, this will be up to the limits of the policy. In some cases these additional types of coverage may still not be enough. Or, if an injured motorist doesn’t carry this additional insurance, it could necessitate seeking legal action to recover damages.
Seeking Legal Counsel with a Clarksburg Personal Injury Lawyer
Although being injured in a car accident with an uninsured driver may require legal representation, there are circumstances where a crash with an insured driver may also require legal representation. For instance, an attorney may be able to help if the other motorist’s insurance company is refusing to pay.
Any time an accident causes serious, disabling or life-threatening injuries—with an insured or uninsured driver—it may be in the best interests of the injured party to talk with a Clarksburg personal injury lawyer at The Miley Legal Group about the car accident and legal recovery options available.