There are three basic obligations that the state of Alabama imposes on every automobile owner before they can lawfully operate a vehicle. The first is that they need to have a license. Drivers have to undergo special training and then pass both a written test and a practical exam if they want to secure a license. Then, they can theoretically drive any registered vehicle.
They need to pay a registration fee and secure a license plate for their vehicle. Finally, Alabama also requires each driver who owns a vehicle to have sufficient car insurance in place. Every driver could potentially cause a crash that could hurt someone else and leave them at risk of severe financial hardship. Insurance helps to mitigate the financial risks of this reality.
Most people don’t have enough savings to cover the cost of repairing their vehicle or paying someone else’s hospital bills, so insurance provides necessary protection against the financial consequences of a wreck. When you get hurt or have to have your vehicle repaired because someone else causes a crash, you might expect that they would reimburse you by providing you with details of their insurance coverage. But what happens if the person who hits you turns out to not have insurance coverage as required by law?
You may need to take them to court
It is unfortunately common for people to make irresponsible choices without considering how they may affect others. For example, many drivers intentionally go without car insurance because they think that their own personal risk is minimal. Alabama was in the top ten states for uninsured motorists as of 2019. The last review of coverage indicates that 19.5% of drivers in Alabama are on the road without state-mandated coverage. In other words, roughly one in five drivers doesn’t have active insurance.
A personal injury lawsuit filed against an uninsured driver can compensate you for vehicle repair costs, lost wages and medical expenses. A lawsuit can also provide more thorough compensation than basic insurance because there won’t be policy limits preventing you from claiming the full value of your losses.
Do you have other options?
There are two alternative solutions beyond suing the other motorist. The first involves making use of your own insurance coverage. Drivers with uninsured motorist protection can make claims against their own coverage after a collision caused by someone without coverage.
Sometimes, those hurt in a car crash will have the option of pursuing a third-party claim against a business that may have contributed to the crash by producing defective products or having questionable employment practices.
The more severe the crash was, the more important looking at different kinds of compensation becomes. Understanding the risk generated by uninsured motorists can benefit every driver, especially those recently involved in a serious car crash.