What happens if you are in a car accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance? This is a question that many Rock Hill residents ask, and fortunately, there is an easy answer. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may be able to file an insurance claim with your own insurance company.
At The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, our Rock Hill car accident lawyers have years of experience helping car accident victims get the compensation they deserve. We will work with the insurance company to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.
South Carolina Car Insurance Laws
When you apply for or renew a driver’s license in South Carolina, you must certify that you are insured by a car liability policy, that you do not own a vehicle or pay an annual fee of $600 if you do not wish to purchase insurance for some reason.
Liability car insurance protects you if you are at fault in an accident. It will pay for the other party’s medical bills, property damage, and legal expenses up to your policy limits.
South Carolina drivers are required to carry liability insurance that meets the following minimums:
Bodily Injury (BI) – $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident. BI pays for the other party’s medical bills, lost wages and other damages when you cause the accident. This policy also covers legal expenses if the other driver sues you.
Property Damage (PD) – $25,000 per accident. PD pays for damage to the other vehicle when you cause the accident. However, it will not pay for damage to your vehicle. You need to have collision coverage for that and collision coverage is optional coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in South Carolina
South Carolina drivers must also carry uninsured motorist coverage (UM). Drivers must carry a minimum UM bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person. Your UM coverage will pay for the damages incurred by a driver who does not carry liability insurance or bodily injury incurred as a result of a hit and run.
You may also have undersinsured motorist coverage (UIM). UIM is optional coverage that will pay for damages if the at-fault party’s policy is exhausted.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver (UM), your UM insurance will cover the damages. This includes
- Medical Expenses – Medical bills are the costs of treating injuries resulting from an accident. These expenses can include ambulance rides, hospital stays, and doctor’s visits.
- Lost Wages – If you cannot work due to your injuries from an accident, you may be able to recover lost wages. This would be the amount of money you would have earned if you were physically able to work but for your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering is the physical pain and emotional anguish you experience due to an accident. This can include things like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is important to note that Uninsured Driver Insurance may not cover the damages to your car. You would need separate, additional collision or comprehensive coverage in those instances. In all of those instances you may have to pay a deductible.
What to Do After a Car Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver in Rock Hill, South Carolina
If you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it is important to take the following steps:
- Seek Medical Attention- If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do not wait to see if the injuries will go away on their own.
- File a Police Report- File a police report as soon as possible. This will help document the accident and could be used in court if you need to file a lawsuit.
- Contact an Attorney- Contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.
- Keep Records of Expenses- Keep records of all medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. This information can be helpful if you decide to file a lawsuit.
It is important to remember that car accidents can be complicated, and it is often best to speak with an attorney before making any decisions. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, please contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor for a free consultation.
Filing a Lawsuit in Car Accidents With an Uninsured Motorist
If you are in an accident where the at-fault driver is uninsured, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver. This type of lawsuit is called a negligence lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit. To win your case, you will need to prove that the driver was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries.
It is important to note that many factors go into a negligence lawsuit, and it is often best to speak with an attorney before filing a lawsuit.
Optional Coverage Options in South Carolina
If you are injured in a car accident in South Carolina, other coverage options may help cover damages sustained due to the car accident.
Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle when you collide with another car or object, regardless of fault. For example, if you hit a tree, the collision coverage on your policy will pay to repair the damage to your car. Collision coverage is important coverage to have as even if you think the other driver is at fault, the other driver’s insurance company may not accept liability right away.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car that is not caused by a collision. This could include damage from a natural disaster, theft, or vandalism.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage, commonly referred to as Med Pay, pays for the medical bills of you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. This coverage does not have a deductible and is optional coverage. However, it is highly recommended to help pay for out-of -pocket expenses prior to an actual settlement.
Rental Car Coverage
Rental car coverage pays for a rental car while your car is being repaired after an accident. This is optional coverage and not required in South Carolina.
Legal Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Rock Hill, South Carolina
If you are caught driving without insurance in Rock Hill, you will face several penalties, including:
- Jail time
- License suspension
- Registration suspension
It is important to note that the penalties for driving without insurance vary from state to state. Make sure you are familiar with the laws in South Carolina before you hit the road.
The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in South Carolina
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to settle your claim or file a lawsuit to preserve the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, you typically have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations in your particular case is something you should discuss with your lawyer early on.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer for an Uninsured Driver Car Accident
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, it is important to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can help you file a lawsuit, if necessary, and can often get you a better settlement than if you try to handle the case yourself.
When you are injured in a car accident, the last thing on your mind is dealing with insurance companies and lawsuits. That is where the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor can help.
Contact a Rock Hill Car Accident Lawyer Today
Unfortunately, auto accidents are common, and even though South Carolina has specific auto insurance laws, not all drivers carry insurance. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries.
Our auto accident attorneys are well versed in South Carolina law. We have experience with all personal injury cases, including car accidents. We are not afraid to take on insurance companies to help you obtain fair compensation. We value the attorney-client relationship and will work tirelessly to protect your rights.
Contact The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor today for your free initial consultation and learn more about what we can do to help you. We will answer your questions and explain all of your legal options.