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Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Wyoming

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in WyomingWyoming is top destination for recreational hunters and nature lovers alike. But if you’re caught driving without car insurance in this idyllic state, you could find yourself in the crosshairs of the authorities on the hunt for errant drivers.

According to state law, driving without insurance is classed as a misdemeanor offense. As a result, taking this unnecessary risk won’t just result in you relinquishing your driving privileges but could also tarnish your otherwise spotless criminal record.

In Wyoming, all drivers are required to insure their vehicles with the state’s mandated minimum limits. This system is similar to other states and is divided into three categories of coverage: $25,000 for bodily injuries to one individual in one crash, $50,000 for total bodily injuries caused in an accident, and $20,000 for property damage (or 25/50/20).

This basic policy provides enough coverage to pay for bare minimum injuries and damage sustained by another party in a crash. In more severe accidents, these amounts may not be enough to protect you from financial. That’s why many motorists elect to purchase added policy features to cover different types of loss.

In this blog we will discuss:

  • Penalties for driving without insurance
  • SR-22 filing requirements
  • License reinstatement fees
  • Expunging a Driving Without Insurance misdemeanor from your criminal record
  • Disputing a Driving Without Insurance conviction
  • Probationary License limitations
  • No fault and fault states
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
  • High-risk driver categories
  • Deductibles

If you are caught driving without insurance (or cannot produce proof that you are insured up to these limits), you could be subjected to some of the penalties listed below:

First Offense

In some states, first-time offenders are given a warning and a slap on the wrist. But Wyoming pulls no punches, strapping virgin rulebreakers with fines, jail time, license suspensions, and SR-22 maintenance requirements.

If you are caught driving without insurance for the first time in Wyoming, you can expect these penalties:

  • Fines totaling up to $750;
  • Up to six months behind bars;
  • SR-22 maintenance requirements for a period of three years; and
  • License suspension until you are able to show the courts, state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or Department of Transport (DoT) proof you are insured.

Second, Third, and Subsequent Offenses

When it comes to serial offenders, the gloves come off in Wyoming. If you are caught driving with no insurance more than once, you can expect these penalties:

  • Fines of up to $1,500;
  • Prison time to be determined by the courts following conviction;
  • SR-22 maintenance requirements for a period of three years;
  • License suspension until you are able to show the courts, state DMV, or DoT you are insured; and
  • Surrender of license plates and registration.

What Is SR-22 Filing?

Following the suspension of your license due to any serious offense – such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, causing a severe accident, committing numerous traffic violations in a short window of time, or driving with no insurance – you will be required to complete SR-22 filing requirements before your license is restored.

This requirement involves filing forms with the local DMV or DoT proving that you are insured up to the state’s minimum limits. Typically, your insurer will take care of filing these forms as part of what is known as SR-22 Insurance. This type of “insurance” is tailored to high-risk drivers. As a result, you will tend to pay far more for insurance during the SR-22 filing period.

Warning: If you let your coverage to lapse for any reason – whether you missed a payment or cancelled your policy – your insurer will have to inform the department that you are no longer insured. In this event, your driving privileges will be revoked and you will have to surrender your plates and registration. Worse still, regardless of how far you were into completing your SR-22 requirements, you will have to start the process from scratch, winding the clock back to the beginning of the three-year period.

While SR-22 Insurance is more expensive, it is the only way to continue driving while completing this process. Many motorists in this situation choose to trade out their cars for less expensive models to offset the burden of increased rates.

Can I Reinstate My License After a Driving Without Insurance Conviction?

As we’ve mentioned above, the state Department of Motor Vehicles will reinstate your driving privileges once you are able to produce reliable proof that you are covered. In addition to this evidence, you will also have to pay a reinstatement fee of $50 to restore your license. You must also fulfill SR-22 filing requirements for an uninterrupted period of three years.

However, if you were convicted for committing numerous serious offenses, you may be barred from the road for a set number of years. In these cases, either the courts or DMV will inform you of these added penalties.

Can I Have a Driving Without Insurance Misdemeanor Expunged?

Nobody wants a misdemeanor on their criminal record. Convictions for many traffic offenses – including driving with no insurance – will tarnish your standing with the law. A conviction can also sink your chances of employment in the public sector, obtaining a gun license, applying for travel VISAs, or even applying to rent an apartment. However, your fate is not set in stone. Countless Wyoming motorists have managed to expunge this conviction from their records.

How? Typically, you will have to wait up to five years until after your sentence has expired. During this time, if you have committed any other crimes, your application for expungement may be rejected.

Can I Dispute My Driving Without Insurance Conviction in Wyoming?

If you believe you were wrongfully convicted for driving without insurance, you can challenge your conviction in court. You can request a hearing by sending a written letter to the Wyoming Department of Transportation within three weeks after you received a notice of license suspension or revocation.

In some cases, you can accept the conviction but request a record review. This will ensure you retain limited driving privileges. However, take note; a request for a record review will only be successful in situations where you have a clean permanent driving record. You will need pay $15 for a record review and a further $50 in reissuance fees. In many cases, you may also need to complete SR-22 filing requirements before the license is issued. Similar to a dispute, you will have to send a written request to the department detailing the reasons why you should retain limited driving privileges.

In the event that your request is approved by the department, you can acquire what is known as a Probationary License.

What Is a Wyoming Probationary License?

Typically, a Probationary License is a limited license given to younger drivers (under the age of 21). However, if your license is suspended, you can often apply for this temporary document to retain your driving privileges with a few limitations. These limitations can differ based on the nature of your offense. In the event that you are convicted for driving without insurance, the only real drawback is the SR-22 filing requirement.

What’s the Difference Between a No Fault and Tort State?

In the U.S., states are divided into “no fault” and “tort” states. In so-called “no fault” states, drivers receive compensation from their own insurers for injuries and damages sustained in a crash regardless of who or what caused the accident. In this way, drivers can have peace of mind that their coverage will kick in to pay at least a portion of their expenses immediately in most cases. However, policies in these states tend to cost far more than in “tort” states.

In “tort” states, the driver who is at-fault is responsible for covering the losses of all other parties in a crash. For example, if a motorist is driving in the wrong lane and crashes into another vehicle, he or she will be held liable for the repair costs and medical bill of the other driver. The parties who have suffered an injury or loss would therefore file a third-party claim against the insurance company of the at-fault motorist.

In many cases, fault is not a black and white concept. It is not uncommon for claims adjusters to assign a portion of the blame to each driver involved in the accident. For example, let’s say you were hit by a reckless driver but you were also breaking the law. The claims adjuster determines that you were 20% at-fault for the collision. That means 20% of the costs would come out of your own coverage or out of pocket.

What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

It’s estimated that nearly 10% of Wyoming’s motorists are driving without insurance. That means if you’re involved in an accident, there is around a 1 in 10 chance the other motorist isn’t covered up to the state’s mandated minimum limits. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is your safety net in any situation involving Wyoming’s risk takers. Here’s what these policy features cover:

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): Many, if not most, drivers choose to pay for the bare minimum coverage to meet the state’s liability limits. In serious accidents, these policies will fall short of covering the costs of injuries and property damage. Investing in UIM coverage will protect you from financial loss when an at-fault motorist’s policy has limits that are too low to cover your losses.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UMBI): Uninsured drivers are a road hazard you might not hear about during Driver’s Ed. Fortunately, UMBI is an add-on that kicks in to cover the costs of treating injuries sustained by anyone in your vehicle (who is listed on your policy) in the event of a collision with an at-fault motorist who does not have insurance. Many UMBI policies will also cover additional expenses such as lost wages.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage (UMPD): This added feature will compensate you for any damage to your car caused by a driver with no insurance. However, if you plan to or already carry collision coverage, it’s not worth increasing your premium with UMPD as part of your policy.

Because of the low financial risk for providers, these features can be relatively inexpensive compared to most other types of coverage. We suggest investing in these add-ons if you live in states where there are a high number of uninsured drivers, such as FloridaNew Mexico, Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Washington, Alabama, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.

Am I a High-Risk Driver?

The definition of a high-risk driver can differ based on context. For example, an 18-year-old driver with limited experience is classed as a higher risk driver than a middle-aged motorist with a spotless driving record. But in most cases, you will be classed as a high-risk driver if you are convicted for committing severe traffic violations such as driving under the influence, driving without insurance, or causing a serious car accident.

High-risk drivers are a financial risk for insurers because they are statistically more likely to file a claim than low-risk drivers. As a result, if you are classed as a high-risk driver, you will probably pay more for coverage.

You can reduce your premium by taking time to learn safer driving habits and avoid being involved in an accident for a few years. If you are currently completing SR-22 filing requirements, you will notice a drastic reduction in your rates once you have fulfilled this requirement. You can also net yourself discounts by driving less, attending and completing a safety driving course, investing in a car with better safety features, trimming unnecessary addons from your policy, and obtaining a higher-education degree. Ask your provider about what discounts they offer and what you can do to reduce your rates.

What Is an Auto Insurance Deductible?

In the event of an accident, your deductible represents how much you will have to pay out of pocket to cover costs of repairs and treatment for damages and injuries sustained in a crash before your auto insurance policy kicks in. Simply put, a higher deductible will keep your rates low but will put you at risk of greater financial loss after a car accident.

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Types of Car Insurance Coverage: The Complete Guide

The average motorist will be involved in a car accident about once every 18 years. And that risk only becomes greater the more you drive. When the odds aren’t in your favor, the right auto insurance policy not only can protect you against financial loss but also can give you peace of mind knowing you’re covered in the worst-case scenario.

Shopping for car insurance can feel like drinking from a firehose. Between the deductibles, co-pays, premiums, and fine print, it’s easy to get lost and put pen to paper on a policy that doesn’t provide adequate coverage. Fortunately, our Geeks have spent years investigating the ins-and-outs of America’s auto insurance options. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the types of coverage offered by the country’s top insurers.

Read on to arm yourself with an in-depth understanding of types of car insurance coverage:

What Is SR-22 Insurance?

Has your license been revoked or suspended? Bad luck or bad driving can land you in hot water with the law, leaving you to run the gauntlet of exhausting admin required to reclaim your driving privileges. Before your license can be reinstated, you may be required to show an SR-22 form to prove you are adequately covered.

Technically speaking, SR-22 is not a type of insurance. Companies offering SR-22 insurance are advertising that they are able to file the appropriate paperwork to notify the state you are covered. This insurer will also update the state on changes to your policy such as cancellations and renewals. Some insurance providers also offer discounted rates to drivers who need SR-22 insurance.

Remember, if your license was revoked or suspended due to a serious driving offense, the state will require your insurer to provide annual updates on your policy. These offenses can include:

  • Drunk driving;
  • Reckless driving;
  • Driving without insurance;
  • Causing a severe crash; or
  • Committing numerous traffic violations over a short period of time.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage: The Complete Guide

If you miss a payment or cancel your insurance, the insurer will have to report that your coverage has lapsed, and you could lose your driving privileges again.

Buying SR-22 insurance is as simple as checking the right boxes when purchasing your new policy. While most insurers offer SR-22 insurance, you may benefit from opting for a provider who specializes in coverage for high-risk drivers. Take note: Due to the nature of your violation and the state-specific fees associated with filing SR-22 forms, this type of insurance can be expensive.

What Is Collision Coverage?

Getting your vehicle repaired can take a huge bite out of your budget. Collision coverage is your safety net, ensuring that even when an accident is your fault, you won’t break the bank to keep your car on the road.

This optional add-on to a basic policy has become a popular addition for drivers looking to protect their four-wheeled assets. Not only does it cover damage to your car caused in any collision with another vehicle or object, but insurers will also pay for pothole damage and ice and slide damage.

Adding collision coverage to your plan is expensive, but these costs pale in comparison to the average price of repairing or replacing your car.

What Is Comprehensive Coverage?

When Hurricanes Irma and Harvey tore through the U.S., more than 1 million vehicles were damaged or destroyed. When a blaze in California blackened the state’s lush landscapes in 2018, the unstoppable inferno left hundreds of scorched vehicles in its wake. An “act of God” can wipe out your assets in seconds and leave you to pick up the pieces—and the damage probably won’t be covered by your basic policy.

Fortunately, investing in comprehensive coverage can help you weather the elements, paying for any vehicle damage or loss caused by natural disasters, falling objects, fires, theft, riots, and vandalism. Simply put, this addition to your basic policy will cover repair costs related to any vehicle damage that isn’t a collision.

If you lease or finance a vehicle, there’s a good chance your lender will require you to carry a policy that includes comprehensive and collision coverage until the car is paid off or until the lease comes to an end. But if you’ve already paid off your vehicle, you should still consider investing in a comprehensive policy for added peace of mind and financial security.

What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Before you can use your vehicle on the road, you need to purchase coverage that meets your state’s minimum insurance requirements. Unfortunately, even if you’re covered, about 12 percent of drivers are uninsured.

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you against the road’s risktakers, ensuring that costs related to damage or injuries you have sustained in a collision with an at-fault uninsured or underinsured driver will still be covered even when the other motorist involved does not have the means to do so.

This type of insurance is split into three categories:

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): Many drivers elect to pay for only the bare minimum coverage mandated by their state. This probably will not be enough to cover the costs of damage and injuries you, your passengers, and your property after a serious collision. Adding UIM coverage to your basic policy will protect you when an at-fault driver’s insurer does not cover all your costs.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) Coverage: If you are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, this add-on will kick in to cover the costs of injuries sustained by anyone included in your policy, from you and your family members to friends and employees. UMBI may also cover other expenses such as income you have lost while being out of work during recovery.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: This optional extra will cover damage to your vehicle caused by an uninsured driver. If you already plan on carrying collision coverage, our Geeks have concluded that it’s not worth increasing your premium to include the UMPD feature.

UIM, UMBI, and UMPD coverage are relatively inexpensive additions to your basic policy and could benefit you in the long run, particularly if you live in states such as Florida, New Mexico, Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Washington, Alabama, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., where there are a relatively high number of motorists driving without insurance.

What Is Personal Injury Protection?

Even a minor crash can put tremendous stress on your body, causing long-term injuries that require expensive treatment, pain management, and rehabilitation. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a popular policy add-on that will help cover the costs of treating injuries sustained in a crash regardless of who is at fault. Unlike MedPay, Personal Injury Protection could also compensate you for lost wages, absorb the steep price of emergency services, cover funeral costs, or reimburse your family for survivor’s loss.

PIP is mandatory in 15 states including Utah, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Dakota, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Kansas, Hawaii, Florida, and Delaware. However, even in states where PIP is optional, our Geeks highly recommend it because countless families are forced to borrow money, dig into savings, or declare bankruptcy in the aftermath of severe accidents.

When you purchase PIP, you will be offered a choice between a deductible or zero deductible. Remember, the larger your deductible, the lower your premium will be, but the more you will have to fork out if you’re injured in a wreck. Now, if you choose to go with no deductible, most insurers will pay 80% of your hospital bills, safeguarding you from a potentially bankrupting financial loss in the event of a crash.

types of auto insurance coverage

What Is MedPay?

MedPay is the less-comprehensive cousin of PIP coverage that can pay for medical expenses incurred by you, your family, other drivers listed on your policy, and your passengers. MedPay kicks in regardless of who was at fault, giving you access to a lifeline of funds that will help you shoulder the costs of treating injuries sustained in an accident.

Think of MedPay as a way of bolstering your current PIP policy. It has no co-pay or deductible, pays out quickly, and can even cover injuries sustained as a passenger or pedestrian, whether you’re taking public transportation or riding your bike.

MedPay is mandatory in only two states: New Hampshire and Maine.

What Is Pay-Per-Mile Insurance?

If your car spends more time parked than on the road, you may be the perfect candidate for pay-per-mile insurance. This policy is exactly what it says on the can, giving you access to all the benefits of mandatory coverage at a cost based on the number of miles you’ve driven.

The logic is that the less time a motorist spends on the road, the less likely he or she is to be involved in a crash. Many companies have experimented with offering monitoring devices to motorists designed to track and analyze driving habits and adjusting premiums based on the results. Some insurers have taken this a step further, using the data to record every mile driven and attaching a price to the distance. If you use your vehicle rarely or have a second car reserved for shorter trips, this type of insurance could save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Our Geeks conduct a yearly study to identify the most affordable car insurance for low mileage drivers in each state. You can view the results of our study here.

What Is Accident Forgiveness Insurance?

If you are involved in a collision and your insurer determines it was your fault, you’ll probably notice an uptick in your premiums. Accident forgiveness is an optional feature that will safeguard your driving record and insurance premiums from being affected by your insurer’s ratings system after you’ve caused an accident.

However, in most cases, this protection will only apply to your first at-fault accident. Insurers will often include accident forgiveness as part of their basic policy offerings to help “sweeten” the deal. But providers are not likely to offer you this feature if you have past crashes and other road violations in your driving history.

What Is Rental Insurance?

Many insurers will extend the liability coverage included as part of your policy to cars you are renting. Not only will this help you save money in the long run (especially if you travel frequently and have to make use of rental vehicles at your destination), but it can also provide you with more comprehensive coverage than day-to-day policies offered by rental agencies.

What Is Emergency Road Service Coverage?

Even your brand-new car could break down on the highway. Emergency Road Service Coverage will kick in to compensate you for the costs of paying for roadside assistance. This feature typically covers:

  • Costs of towing your vehicle to an auto shop;
  • Battery services;
  • Oil, gas, battery, and tire delivery;
  • Tire changes;
  • Locksmith services if you are locked out of your car; and
  • On-site mechanical labor.

Because Emergency Road Service Coverage is relatively inexpensive, our Geeks recommend adding it to your policy. At most, you can expect to pay just a few extra dollars for peace of mind that your next break down won’t break the bank.

Now that you know about the types of auto insurance coverage available, it’s time to compare the options and find the best policy for your needs. Click here to use our car insurance quote comparison tool.

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12 Most Entertaining Publications in Texas

Our Geeks compared dozens of magazines and newspapers to find the most entertaining publications in the Lone Star State. Whether you’re an avid reader or you just need something to pique your interest during your daily coffee break, these 12 publications are sure to deliver:

Texas Monthly

Known for its fierce editorial independence, Texas Monthly has built a solid reputation as a magazine that offers both pertinent political analysis and a comprehensive guide to leisure time in the state. No wonder its read by 1 in every 10 Texans. Best sections: BBQ, and the inimitable “Being Texan.”

Texas Highways Magazine

This Official Travel Magazine of Texas is produced each month by the DOT and prides itself on attracting travelers into the state by telling the Lone Star story. Expect features on duck schnitzel in Fredericksburg and why Wednesdays are boogie woogie nights in downtown Marshall.

The Dallas Morning News

With more than 250,000 dedicated subscribers – and as many as 75,000 more on a Sunday – this daily paper (founded all the way back in 1885) breaks news big and small, with in-depth analysis on the looming trade war with China right alongside an exclusive look inside the Sweet Tooth Hotel.

 

12 Most Entertaining Publications in Texas - The Dallas Morning News

 

Fort Worth Star Telegram

Specializing in community news, the Telegram is often the first to break stories that directly affect residents in the Fort Worth and Metroplex areas. Weddings, obituaries, even lane closures – this is your first port of call for all breaking local news.

San Antonio Express-News

First published in 1865, this daily broadsheet now serves over 137,000 readers from its offices in Austin, the Rio Grande Valley, and Washington, D.C. Stay up to date on important topics such as the latest events in the race for governor, and stay entertained with compelling feature stories.

Austin American Statesman

The capital’s major daily newspaper serves a wide audience, which is reflected in sections such as Ahora Si, which offers breaking local and international news in Spanish, and Austin360, where you’ll find everything from Emmylou Harris concert reviews to the popular seasonal Boozery Guide.

El Paso Times

Part of the USA Today Network, the Times offers a lot more than news, helping city residents find a new home, car, or even a new career in its bulging Classifieds section. The paper’s site is no less entertaining, with features on local train shows, advice on how often to take your pet to the vet, and a daily updated guide to El Paso’s most-wanted fugitives.

Corpus Christi Caller Times

Since 1883, the Times has offered major news that matters, but its strongest selling point might be the diversity of its Opinion pages. Read expert comments on how Texans’ right to information is being infringed, alongside captivating letters to the editor. Fun fact: This paper was the first to report on then-U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s hunting accident in 2006.

Houston Chronicle

News, sports, entertainment, and a whole lot more make the Chronicle the third-largest newspaper in the U.S., as per 2016 Sunday circulation figures. It’s not hard to see why; there’s something for everyone: log on to the paper’s website and you’ll find exclusive interviews with a drug lord’s mother, right next to advice on how and where to find free McDonald’s fries.

 

12 Most Entertaining Publications in Texas - Houston Chronicle

The Monitor

The Monitor brings the stories of everyday Starr and Hidalgo residents to life, alongside the thriving Marketplace – an enormous directory of local businesses – and JobMatch Texas, which allows you to find your new career within a few clicks.

Waco Tribune-Herald

Best known for breaking a series of stories around the 1993 Waco raid incident, this daily newspaper also produces a monthly lifestyle magazine called Waco Today, with themes around weddings, remodeling your home, and the best restaurants in the Waco area.

Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Founded in 1900 with the aim of surprising its readers, the Avalanche has had its own moments in the news, publishing daily despite being caught in a tornado in 1970, helping uncover the evidence that led to the posthumous exoneration of Tim Cole, and becoming the first media house in the South Plains, in 2011, to launch an iPad app.

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Will My Car Insurance Cover Treatment for a Brain Injury?

Will My Car Insurance Cover Treatment for a Brain Injury?Car accidents are costly events, and it pays to be prepared. Car insurance might take a bite out of your monthly budget, but it’s a small price compared to the potential expense of a serious injury. This is especially true when a person suffers a severe brain injury.

Even if you don’t hit your head in an accident, you could still suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In a rear-end crash, for example, the sudden forward-and-back motion known as “whiplash” can cause your brain to bump the inside of your skull and become bruised, also known as a “contusion.” Alternatively, a side-on collision can knock your head and spin your neck, twisting and tearing crucial cells deep within your brain tissue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that motor-vehicle crashes were the third leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in 2013. They were also the leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations for adolescents and persons aged 15 to 44.

But here’s some good news: Depending on the circumstances that led to the crash, the extent of your injuries, and your insurance coverage, you might not have to pay for your medical treatment out of your own pocket.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: How It Can Help

Liability and collision car insurance can help cover unexpected costs stemming from an accident involving another driver – but in many cases, the policy limits are too low. This is especially common when a person sustains a brain injury because the costs of medical are exorbitant.

Too many motorists are uninsured or stick to bare-minimum policy limits. If you’re involved in a collision with such a driver, uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can help.

UM coverage is an additional policy that comes into play when you are hit by an uninsured or uninsured driver. It may also pay out if you are injured in a hit and run crash.

There are two types of coverage built into most UM policies:

  1. Uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD), which covers damage to the vehicle and other property; and
  2. Uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI), which covers medical expenses arising from the accident.

The terms and limits of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage vary among auto insurance companies and states, but these policies usually cover:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Funeral expenses;
  • Loss of income; and
  • Pain and suffering.

If you sustained a TBI in a motor-vehicle collision, your first sources of compensation would probably be the at-fault driver’s liability coverage and your own UM coverage. If neither of these options produces enough coverage to pay for your medical expenses, you should consult an attorney to discuss your options. It might be in your best interests to file a claim against the at-fault driver or another party whose negligence contributed to your accident. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can assess your case, review all applicable insurance policies, and help you determine the best way to pursue the compensation you need to move on with life.

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What Happens When Car Accident Damage Exceeds Insurance Coverage?

What Happens When Car Accident Damage Exceeds Insurance Coverage?Every car insurance policy has coverage limits that cap the amount of compensation available after an accident. When a collision results in a permanent disability or serious property damage, or when several people are injured, the coverage limits might not be enough to pay for all the damages incurred.

Fortunately, if you were hurt in an accident and the at-fault party’s insurance coverage is too low to pay for your losses, there are several potential ways to recover the compensation you need to pay for hospital bills, lost income, and other damages. The best course of action depends on the specifics of your case, but here are a few options to consider:

1. File a Claim Against Your Uninsured Motorist Policy

If you have UM coverage, it should help cover the difference if the driver who hit you doesn’t have enough insurance to pay for your damages. UM policies usually cover bodily injury and property damage up to the policy limits.

2. File a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver

It may be possible for you to hold the at-fault driver personally liable for the damages that were not covered by his or her insurance policy. Unfortunately, most people do not have the money or assets to pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and property damage incurred by accident victims. If you intend to pursue this option, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to perform an investigation into the at-fault driver’s finances.

3. Identify Other Liable Parties

Even if it seems clear that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident, you may have grounds for a claim against another party. For instance, if the driver was operating the vehicle in the scope of his or her employment, you might have grounds for a claim against the driver’s employer. In this situation, you may be able to tap into the employer’s insurance coverage to pay for your damages.

In rare cases, a government entity can also be held responsible for damages incurred in an accident. This may be the case if poor road conditions contributed to your crash.

Consult an Attorney to Discuss Your Options

If you’ve already incurred significant hospital bills and lost income, the thought of hiring an attorney might not be all that appealing. But with so much on the line, it might be in your best interests to consult a seasoned personal injury lawyer who understands the laws and procedures that govern car accident claims in your state.

Not only can your attorney help you identify all potential options for pursuing compensation, but he or she can also gather the evidence needed to strengthen your claim. Your lawyer can handle the paperwork and logistics of your case so you don’t make any mistakes that would derail your case. Finally, your attorney can calculate your damages and handle settlement negotiations so you don’t wind up accepting a payout that is lower than what you deserve. Ultimately, the cost of legal counsel could be far less than would you might lose if you attempt to handle the claims process alone.

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