Uninsured Motorist Claims: What You Need to Know

December 21, 2009

car.jpgAccording to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, all drivers must carry a minimum level of accident liability insurance on passenger vehicles. Drivers must have at least $20,000 in coverage for one accident with one injury, $40,000 for one accident with two injuries and $10,000 for property damage. These requirements are designed to protect drivers so that they are protected when accidents happen.

But what do you do when an uninsured driver hits you? In West Virginia, insurance companies offer "Uninsured Motorist" coverage, which protects drivers in the case of an accident in which the other driver is not insured. You can recover damages for medical costs and property damage up to the amounts covered under your plan, just like you would if the other driver was carrying liability insurance.

I Don't Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Can I Still Recover Damages?
Yes. You can sue another driver for negligence, even if you don't have insurance coverage for uninsured drivers. You will want to talk to an auto accident attorney in West Virginia about your options. Not only can you get money for your medical bills and property damage, but you can also make sure that the other driver pays under penalty of license suspension.

By law, you may file a claim against an uninsured driver through civil court. Once a judgment is awarded, you have to submit a copy of the court order and accident report to the Department of Motor Vehicles. At this point, the DMV will suspend the uninsured driver's license. The suspension will remain in effect until the judgment is paid in full or the defendant has entered into an installment payment plan, whichever comes first.