Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be incredibly time-consuming and frustrating, especially if the other driver was uninsured. Colliding with uninsured or underinsured motorists can be worrying, as it isn’t immediately clear who will pay for your car damage and medical expenses.
If you’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver, our Richmond personal injury lawyers at Christina Pendleton & Associates are here to help. One of our uninsured motorist attorneys in Richmond will be able to help you seek compensation from an alternative party or insurer. At the end of the day, they’ll make sure you go home with the payment you need to recover.
Virginia’s Uninsured Motorist Law
Many states impose fines and penalties on motorists found to be driving without insurance. However, the state of Virginia allows motor vehicle owners to register a vehicle without insurance. In order to do this, the driver must pay a fee of $500 to the Virginia DMV and agree to be held personally liable for all expenses involved in an accident.
Unfortunately, this insurance loophole does not prevent drivers from exhibiting reckless behavior on the road. Consequently, if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, and they can’t afford to pay for damages out of pocket, other options for compensation must be considered
Some of the alternatives include the driver making payments over a period of time or offering some form of collateral to cover medical and auto-repair expenses. A knowledgeable Richmond car accident lawyer will be able to advise you throughout the process and help you get the payment you need to move on with your life.
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An Uninsured Motorist Attorney in Richmond Can Win You Damages
If you’ve sustained an injury from colliding with an uninsured motorist, you may be entitled to pursue a number of damages. Seeking compensation from a driver who doesn’t have insurance can be complicated, which is why we recommend enlisting the counsel of an uninsured motorist attorney in Richmond. They’ll find a way to win you the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Vehicle damage
While it’s true that insurers have “deep pockets,” many uninsured motorists are equally capable of covering your expenses. Your lawyer will conduct a financial investigation to determine if they have the means to pay you what you’re owed. If they lack the necessary funds or refuse to pay, your attorney will find another way to get you compensated.
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If an Uninsured Motorist Refuses to Pay
In an honest world, people would always pay their debts, especially court-ordered ones. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest. That being said, there are strong legal mechanisms in place to force people to pay up.
If you win your case and the defendant refuses to offer sufficient payment, your uninsured motorist attorney in Richmond can help you pursue alternate routes to compensation. Depending on the defendant’s assets and financial situation, the court can employ the following methods to get you the money you need to cover your bills:
- Garnishing wages
- Putting a lien on property
- Forcing sale of property
- Reporting the debt to credit agencies
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When an Uninsured Motorist Can’t Afford to Pay
If it’s determined that the defendant truly lacks the finances or collateral to compensate you for your losses, all hope is not lost. If you won your case against them, you could still recover money should their fortunes change. If at a later point they get a job, receive inheritance, or are given a monetary gift, we’ll make sure you get your lawful share.
If the defendant’s financial situation doesn’t change, there are still other parties you can seek payment from. Your lawyer will be able to request compensation from the following parties:
- Your own policy. If you carry an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy, you’ll be able to request a payout from your own policy. Considering Virginia’s legal loophole for car insurance, carrying uninsured motorist coverage is a smart way to protect yourself from individuals who don’t have coverage.
- Alternative coverage. If you carry “MedPay” coverage, your policy will likely pay for a percentage of your medical expenses. You can also use collision coverage, which will pay for damages in the event that the offending driver is uninsured.
- Liable third party. If the at-fault driver was working at the time of the accident, you might be able to seek damages from their employer. An uninsured motorist lawyer will be able to determine if the employer is liable for the defendant’s negligence, and request the highest payment possible from them.
- Disability benefits. If you sustained a permanent disability as a result of the accident, you may qualify for disability benefits. If you were on the clock during the time of the incident, you can also file a workers’ compensation claim.
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Deadline for Filing an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Richmond
If you need to pursue a claim against an uninsured motorist in Richmond, it’s essential that you begin the process as soon as possible. That’s because there’s a deadline for filing such a claim in the state of Virginia. According to Virginia Code § 8.01-243, all claims must be filed within two years of the date of the incident.
If you fail to file your claim within the legal deadline, you won’t be able to receive compensation for your injuries or medical bills. Luckily, an uninsured motorist attorney in Richmond will be able to determine who you’re entitled to receive compensation from, and file a claim against them within the statute of limitations.
You Have Nothing to Lose From Working With an Attorney
If you’re worried about being able to afford counsel from a personal injury attorney, we’ve got good news for you. All our attorneys work for a contingency-fee. That means they get paid a portion of your final settlement or jury-awarded compensation.
The advantage of contingency-fee is that you won’t have to pay a cent out of pocket, even if you lose your case. Don’t let your financial status dictate whether or not you receive the compensation you need to pay for medical bills and auto repair.
Talk to an Uninsured Motorist Lawyer in Richmond, VA
After an accident, recovering from your injuries should be your top priority. The attorneys at Christina Pendleton & Associates will work tirelessly to build a winning car accident claim for you. They’ll also do everything they can to get the driver to pay you the damages you deserve. And if they aren’t able to, they’ll find another way to get you compensated.
Our uninsured motorist lawyers in Richmond will work with you to ensure that the uninsured driver is held liable for any damage their actions caused to you and your vehicle. Call us or fill out a contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
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