A car crash can be a traumatic event, and it only gets more complicated if you have to take the other driver to court to get compensation for your damages and medical expenses. But if that driver doesn’t have any money, how will you get paid?
Don’t panic: there are still ways to collect what you are owed, whether through the insurance company or the courts. Obtaining the compensation you deserve after a car crash when the other driver doesn’t have money is possible, so long as you are patient and prepared.
In most cases, insurance companies are the first recourse when it comes to getting compensation for medical expenses and vehicle repairs after a crash. However, there’s a chance the driver at-fault for the accident didn’t carry adequate insurance. An Insurance Research Council study estimates that nearly 12% of Illinois drivers are uninsured.
Illinois is an “at-fault” state, meaning the driver that caused the crash is held responsible for the damages. Drivers are required to carry liability insurance and uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage. These policies cover medical expenses when the other driver can’t pay.
Collision coverage is optional but can be beneficial. This policy will pay for expenses to repair your car if the other driver is uninsured, but you must have the policy to use it.
If the at-fault driver was driving while on the clock, their employer could be held responsible for your damages and medical bills. The driver’s personal insurance will likely be the first avenue pursued, but the employer could be required to use their liability insurance to cover your compensation.
And there could be a chance the crash involved a teenager without their own insurance. The responsibility would fall to their parents or guardians to take care of your expenses.
While insurance may be the first place to look when getting compensation after a crash, there could still be challenges. Even if your lawsuit rules in your favor, you may need further assistance from the court in getting the compensation you’re owed.
If the defendant does not have insurance to cover your losses and your damages exceed the insurance policy you have, you could be allowed to sue for further costs. If the defendant is shown to have no money to pay you, the court may order them to sell the assets they own. They could also garnish their wages until you’re fully paid for the damage they caused.
A judge could order the defendant to pay you on a schedule. This is typically done when the defendant cannot pay the entire balance of damages owed all at once. Defendants commonly agree to this method because it makes the debt more tolerable.
However, it is not a guaranteed method of getting your money, and it will take time to recover the total compensation you’re owed. Interest could also be collected as part of the plan, complicating matters further.
Like usual car insurance claims, getting your compensation can be a lengthy affair. Even with an attorney working for you, you may feel stressed and want your money sooner than the courts or insurance companies can get it to you.
Avoid services that offer pre-settlement loans. These often operate on the basis that you’ll be loaned some money that you can pay back once your settlement is awarded. However, that should be taken with a grain of salt: you have to win the settlement before you have the money to pay back the loan. Losing the settlement or not getting as much of an award as you thought could backfire on you. Having an attorney by your side will help mitigate that risk throughout this process.
Car crashes are a risk drivers face every day on the road, and facing the prospect of not having compensation for someone else’s negligence can be daunting. However, having an attorney to guide you through the claims process and to assist you during legal recourse may be your best option to gain compensation.
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we know how challenging life can be after an accident. The prospect of medical bills and car repairs going unpaid can seriously impact your health and mental well-being. That is why we tenaciously fight for your rights through settlement negotiations or to win a claim with your best outcome at heart.